Arlington, Virginia  July 1997

 

IIC-2 was held in Arlington, Virginia, in July 1997, with about 500 representative Igorots around the world, including about a dozen politicians from the Cordillera, in attendance. Hosted by BIBAK-DC, the theme of the Consultation was “Respecting Our Heritage: Adapting to our Environment.” Topics discussed with speakers and panelists included: “Mountains, Beauty and Culture,”; “Exploring Cultural Heritage and Identity;” “Arts and Culture;” “Adapting to New Environment in the Health Profession, in the Military, in Business, in Engineering;” “Political Empowerment;” “Bridging the Generational Cultural Gap;” other topics, and a dialogue with the Philippine delegates.

 

 

 

At this conference, a resolution was presented to change the name “Igorot International Consultation” to “Cordillera International Consultation.” The resolution was overwhelmingly voted down. (A similar resolution was re-presented during the IIC Planning Commission in Vancouver, Canada, in 1999 but was also resoundingly defeated.) At this Consultation, a resolution presented by BIMAK-DC authorizing the creation of a planning committee to plan the formation of an Igorot international organization, was approved. Subsequently, during IIC-3 in Baguio City in April 2000, the IGO (Igorot Global Organzation) was formed and organized.

Summing up his impressions of IIC-2, Claus Nabert of Canada said: “The conference demonstrates many things. First and foremost, a coming of age for Igorots throughout the world. No longer are we a bunch of fragmented tribes more intent on making war with one another than on living in peace; instead we are a strong, united people developing a strong, informed united voice to be heard in the future. It demonstrates that our values and traditions are not only alive and well, but that they are also flourishing and that we are proud to be part of them. It demonstrates to the world that we have come of age.”

And Carolyn Bacdayan of Connecticut says: “Other highlights for me were Ambassador Rabe’s commendation and challenge to Igorots to recognize their significant place in the Philippine cultural scene, and to participate in the nation’s economic and political life.

 
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