ALMOST 500 Cordillerans in the United States including visitors gathered at Milpitas, California for the celebration of the 10th Grand Ca?ao of BIBAK of Northern California.
The unique, colorful, and successful occasion became even more meaningful with the big participation of the new generations of leaders who played a very important role in the event including the coining of the celebration’s theme dubbed “Interweaving the Generations.”
The highlight of the International Festival of Igorot Arts and Culture was the traditional performance with the elders giving their blessings to the younger generations to play the gangsa and dance the indigenous traditional dances with them.
The show started with the Bibak NorCal youth playing the wooden instruments called tongatongs followed by the cultural presentations of the new generations with their uncles and aunties. Together, they performed the Apayao courtship dance, Ifugao tayao dance, Bontoc balangbang, Benguet Kankanaey tallak, Benguet Ibaloi bendian, Kalinga banga dance, and Kalinga Torayan.
Another highlight of the event held on August 3 was the recognition of generational Igorot folk leaders in Northern California and giving honor to the Igorot pioneers who have contributed to the preservation of their cultural heritage.
More than just an occasion the annual event is also a family supported undertaking with each member playing a very active role for the success of the endeavor as shown by Bibak NorCal Vice President Salve Agiao and husband Albert with their two children Dwayne and Trixi Anne.
Famous Baguio City country singer Conrad Marzan who is now based in Northern California made the crowd sing with his all-time favorite music line up while his wife Pilar wowed the crowd with their group’s beautiful indigenous dance presentations.
Bibak president Rev. Leonard Oakes said apart from promoting the cultural heritage of the Cordillera in California, they also focus on providing scholarship to some students.
With different generations working together, the Igorot culture and tradition will continue to live on in California.
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