Members of Igorot Austria continue to promote the rich cultural heritage of the Cordillera Region in Europe. This time, they showcased the two famous festivals of the province of Kalinga.
With their own version of the Bodong and Matagoan Festival the beautiful culture and tradition of the Kalingas was shared and appreciated by the participants and visitors who even joined in the cultural dance presentation after their balangbang dance presentation.
Other presentations include the Sakpaya dance by the youth including the singing of the beautiful music of Kalinga.
Igorot Austria member Marjorie Guidangen-Akistoy, a registered nurse in Vienna Austria, said like other Igorot community around the world, they are active in promoting their rich culture and traditions. For them, it’s one way of letting people know more about the Igorots other than what they have heard, read or thought about them.
“The misconceptions and discriminations we have had encountered because of the lack of knowledge, people get and start to appreciate our culture once they see and hear us, they actually love our attires,” she said.
She added that since the existence of Igorot Austria in 2000, they have been active in the preservation of their unique culture, traditions and rich heritage.
Three years ago, they started to highlight the six provinces of the Cordillera region beginning with the Begnas of Mt. Province, the Adivay of Benguet and lately the Bodong and Matagoan of Kalinga with their precious pieces of heirloom beads which became part of their attire.
Proud to be part of the event is Igorot Austria Organization Youth member Marilyn Magoo who traces her grandparents’ roots in Sabangan, Mountain Province. Through the festivals their group is promoting, she is learning more about the culture of the Igorots.
Meanwhile, in a video message, Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac lauded the organization for spearheading such event held lately and making the world see the beauty of their unique culture and tradition.
With the theme “Through diligence, peace and unity the Igorot Austria continues to prosper,” the festival was also attended by Consul General of the Philippine Embassy in Austria Deena Joy Amatong who served as special guest and speaker.
Led by their president Hilaria Banban Garcia, Igorot Austria, vowed to continue on making efforts of preserving their indigenous roots, timeless heritage, distinctive culture and enduring community.
With such undertaking, the Igorot culture will be preserved and continue to be appreciated even in other nations.