Baguio City Mayor, now Congressman,
Mauricio Domogan delivers "Ugayam" during IIC-1

Hosted by BIBAK Los Angeles, IIC-1 was held in September 1995 in West Covina,
California, and was attended by about 500 participants from the United States,
Canada, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines. The conference theme was,
"Looking to the future of the Igorots". The topics of discussion and other
major parts of the program included:

Domogan

 

1. Culture and Igorots
2. Profile of the Igorots Today in America
3. Religion and the Igorot
4. Search for a Common BIBAK Identity
5. The Proposed Philippine Cordillera autonomy
6. "Inom Ni Bodong" in which the various Igorot dances were presented within the context of the forging of a Kalinga peace pact
7. An inter-faith service, participated in by four Christian denominations, with the use of Igorot tapestry and Igorot music and songs...

In summarizing the Consultation, Dr. Arturo Pacho, Executive Director of the Filipino American Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, who chaired a team of outside observsers/evaluators, wrote:

The positive benefits from the consultation conference were enormous. The benefits may be summarized as:

1. Information
2. Appreciation
3. Awareness
4. Action

The participants gained valuable information on the profile of the Igorots today in America, the culture and history of the Igorots, and the geography of the Cordillera. This was crucial to achieve an understanding of where the Igorots are now and whre they are heading.

One significant outcome of the conference was reaching an awareness of the conflicts that exist between the youth and their parents. There was also the realization that the youth are now zealous in learning more about their roots and are proud to be Igorotsl. The candid exchange between the youth, their parents, and other elders during the panel on Generational and Cultural Conflicts was possibly the highlight of the event. For the first time, social and cultural problems exist that require attention by the community.

Participants became aware also of the move to establish autonomy in the provinces of the Cordillera into one regional unity. The autonomous region, while still an integral part of the Philippines, will have self governance and full control of its socio-economic development consistent with its history and culture. The attendance of political leaders from the Philippines made the participants aware of the emerging political power of the Igorots.

Finally, the action benefits of the conference relate to the decisions of the participants to become more involved in their BIBAK associations, to develop more communications with the youth, to support cultural program that would maintain and enrich Igorot heritage, to develop innovative programs for the youth and the seniors, to reach out to gain a bridge with other minority groups, to sponsor a more comprehensive survey of the immigrant Igorots, and to continue helping their homeland.

The prognosis of the conference theme "Looking to the Future" is positive, encouraging and bright for overseas Igorots because they are dynamic, they have a strong sense of community, and they are proud of their ethnic identity.

 

The women at IIC-1 show off their gangsa-playing skills

gangsa girls

 

During the IIC-1 Dinner Dance

Dinner_dance

 
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