What is ICBE

ICBE stands for Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK-Europe.

(1) Igorot refers to the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera, northern Luzon, Philippines;

(2) Cordillera is a political and geographical concept and

(3) BIMAAK is an acronym for the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in northern Luzon, Philippines. These provinces are: Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Abra, Apayao and Kalinga. Another acronym commonly used is BIBAK, which stands for: Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, Kalinga.

ICBE is an informal network of Igorot/Cordilleran/BIBAK organizations and individuals in Europe. It began as a gathering of Igorot Cordillerans in Gent, Belgium in 2002 and was hosted by Cordillera Community in Belgium.

When some Igorot Cordillerans gathered again in Vienna, Austria in 2003 with host, “Igorot Organization in Austria,” they decided on the name, ICBE. They also decided to have a consultation (or conference) every odd year. The objective is to preserve the Igorot Cordillera cultural heritage and pass it to the next generation. A host committee plans each consultation. Thus, leadership is shared.

Each consultation usually consists of a plenary session and workshops on the theme, cultural night, liturgical celebration and a historical-cum-cultural tour. Planning for the next consultation ensures continuity.

Being in the network means that a member of an Igorot/Cordillera/BIBAK organization in Europe has attended an ICBE consultation or Igorot Cordillera individuals in Europe have attended one.

Such organizations are: BIBAK Barcelona, BIBAK Ireland; BIBAK Marbella; BIBAK Switzerland; BIBAAK Madrid; BIMAAK Sweden, Cordillera Community in Belgium (Cordi-Bel); Cordillera Migrant Workers Association (CMWA) of Como Milan, Italy; Cordillerans in Italy of Bologna and Modena; Cordillerans in Rome (Cordi-Rome); Dap-ayan di I-Montanyosa of northern Italy; Igorot Austria; Igorot Cooperative in Athens Greece; Igorot Frankfurt; Igorot UK, MABIKAs Foundation-The Netherlands; ULNOS di Mountain Province (Rome Italy) and United Igorot Association of Napoli. Individuals, who are in the network, are from Germany.  


Day 1, July 26 (Friday)

Afternoon: Registration (snacks and dinner included)

Evening: Opening Programme. Video on 17 Years of ICBE. ICBE Souvenir Book Launch.

For participants 18yrs & below, they too join the general opening programme, then they proceed to their separate activity after viewing the video on 17 years of ICBE — “Getting to know you” — which will end +/- 21:30 hours.

Day 2, July 27 (Saturday)

Morning: Keynote Address: Celebrating 17 Years of ICBE’s Existence. Presentation on Abra: Land, People & Culture. Workshops: Group Discussions on our Advocacies and the Future of ICBE Consultations.

Afternoon: Cultural Workshops (Dances of the six Cordillera provinces)   

Evening: Igorot Cordillera-European Cultural Night (Cultural Night)

Participants shall present the Cordillera dances that they learned during the cultural workshops. The ideal is to be able to present a dance per Cordillera province. Aside from these dances, we hope there will be participants who will perform the Bontoc war dance. The participants who are under 18 years old (second-and third-generation) will present two dances they have learned during their cultural workshop.  

For participants 18yrs & below:

Morning Activity = Input and/or Workshop

  • Familiarizing and/or introducing them about the Cordillera being their ancestral roots.
  • Method: Showing the map of the Cordillera with the different provinces. = Map reading. Powerpoint presentation
  • Brief input: Igorot = Collective name. Then introduce the different tribes or ethnolinguistic groups and identify their location on the map.

Afternoon activity = Cultural workshop

  • Gong playing, dancing, how to wear the G-string and/or the tapis
  • Prepare their presentations for the cultural night

Day 3, July 28 (Sunday)

Whole day: Cultural-cum-Historical Tour

Day 4, July 29 (Monday)

Morning: Closing Programme. Departure: After lunch.

For participants 18yrs and below: 1st activity in the morning is evaluation, and afterwards they join the general closing programme.



The deadline for registration is March 31, 2019.   


All financial transactions of the 10th ICBE Consultation and ICBE Souvenir Book will be handled by the host: MABIKAs Foundation-The Netherlands.

The bank account details will be sent to those who will attend the conference.  


Option (1) is for participants to have a three-hour bus tour in the morning to tourist spots outside Amsterdam. In the afternoon, they will be on their own. The participants will take care of their dinner. If this option is agreed upon, the tour fee will be given later. The tour fee is separate from the registration fee.

Option (2) is for participants to be on their own. They can spend the whole day in Amsterdam or  travel to other cities of the Netherlands. The participants will take care of their lunch and dinner.  


For those planning to attend the conference, this paper could be sent to them when their request is received.       


For those intending the attend the conference and need a visa for The Netherlands, they are requested to apply for a tourist Schengen visa through the website: www.vfsglobal.com. If they plan to visit other countries within the Schengen states, they can provide their itinerary.


For more information on ICBE, please visit: www.icbe.eu


To register for the conference and for inquiries on the event, please contact: Yvonne Belen.    

Email: yvonnekbelen@gmail.com.


For the 10th ICBE Consultation, a Preparatory Committee was formed. Those in the Preparatory Committee have helped organize an ICBE conference in their country and were participants of the 9th ICBE Consultation in Rome. (Myra Colis and Yvonne Belen have been included in the Preparatory Committee as members of the host.) The members are:   

1. Ric Cuyob – 1st Assembly of Cordillera People in Europe (Belgium);
2. Rick Kilongan – 3rd ICBE Consultation (Switzerland);
3. Jane Klee-Morgens – 5th ICBE Consultation (Germany);
4. Conchita B. Pooten – 6th ICBE Consultation (United Kingdom). Conchita requested her daughter, Averil “Wendy” Pooten-Watan to assist her;
5. Gil Tiban Catimo – 7th ICBE Consultation (Spain);
6. Marjorie Abeya-Soaygan – 8th ICBE Consultation (Austria)
7. Rosmar G. Smith and Grace Banto – 9th ICBE Consultation (Italy) and
8. Myra Colis and Yvonne Belen – (The Netherlands).


To commemorate the 10th series of ICBE conferences, the Preparatory Committee decided to publish a Souvenir Book. Aside from featuring organizations and individuals—in the ICBE network, Europe, the Philippines and the USA—with their articles and/or greetings and images, the book will contain articles from the past nine conferences and the forthcoming 10th.
The ICBE Souvenir Book editors are the 10th ICBE Consultation Preparatory Committee members. Myra Colis, Chairperson of MABIKAs Foundation-The Netherlands will design and layout the book.


ICBE has had nine consultations: Gent, Belgium (2002); Vienna, Austria (2003); Aeschi, Switzerland (2005); Dublin, Ireland (2007); Vallendar, Germany (2009); London, United Kingdom (2011); Barcelona, Spain (2013); Vienna, Austria (2015) and Rome, Italy (2017). Except for the first gathering in Belgium in 2002, the conference is held every odd year.


(by preferred days of attendance)