Welcome Messages by Rick Kilongan

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3rd Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation

5-8 May 2005

Hello and welcome everybody.

Allow me to say a short message before I will hand over the floor to our MCs (emcees).

We are happy to see friends from previous meetings and to meet and welcome new ones. To those attending for the first time, who may not be familiar with us, a very warm welcome too.

As we go about our program, we hope that each of us will not just focus on the serious discussions, but will find time to bond and enjoy each other’s company. We can mix serious talks with pleasure for all of us in this meeting. Some of those we meet will be lifelong friends, but whatever terms of relationship may develop, we have always something to share, teach and learn from each other. For most of us, this time is a unique opportunity to meet and bond with fellow Igorots/Cordillerans in and outside Europe and overseas. We meet not only to discuss and deliberate on issues affecting us, Igorot migrants, but also to show our common tribal music and dances. It is a cultural fellowship to represent our rich tradition and customs and an event to celebrate and enjoy life.

In behalf of BIBAK-Switzerland members and supporters, I welcome you all and sincerely hope that we will have a productive and informative meeting. May you find both the program and activities, which we have prepared for you interesting. Likewise, we do hope that during the course of the meeting, we will find time for informal discussions as they can be as important as the formal sessions we have planned. We then expect an interesting exchange both in terms of speakers/talks and fun entertainments.

Friends and kaka-i-lians, we wish you all an enjoyable and fruitful consultation.

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