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IGOROT GROUP IN THE NETHERLANDS ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’s DAY




By Christina Moncado
The Netherlands
April 11, 2018


 
 


Igorot Group was invited  by Stichting  Bayanihan – Netherlands in  celebration of the International Women’s Day in Rotterdam.


Last March 10,2018 MABIKAs, local based Igorot organization here in The Netherlands joined the Stichting Bayanihan , a 25 year old foundation that helps in empowering women through advance participation, integration and emancipation.

The Chairperson And Founder of this foundation, Diana Osteerbeek in a short interview with her why MABIKAs was asked to join the celebration and she said one of the programs of the foundation is to introduce different existing indigenous organizations and to be able to learn and have a knowledge about their culture.Fortunately MABIKAs was the first group to be invited to participate.

During the celebration, Myra Colis, MABIKAs foundation chairperson presented a statement of having the opportunity to  honor  and to share the  Indigenous women and who played an exemplary role in the struggle against Spanish colonial rule and threats to their ancestral land and communities..

These women are Gabriela Silang and Ina Petra Macli-ing. And the Lumad Women in Mindanao.

 Gabriela Silang, the first woman general who fought against the Spanish rule in Ilocos – Abra for four years then was captured and hanged including her 100 soldiers.

Ina Petra Macli ing from Bontoc, Mountain Province..She courageously and wisely led the women of various Bontoc- Kalinga tribes against the world Bank that financed the Chico Dam in the late 80’s.

Ina Petra Macli-ing received an award from the Women’s World Summit Foundation and the Asian Women’s Coalition for Advancing the rights of the Indigenous Women.

The Lumad women in Mindanao and various Indigenous People’s Communities in the Philippines who are fighting for their rights for development, social emancipation and defense of their ancestral land, life and livelihood.



Moreover, the MABIKAs gave a cultural dance workshop featuring the BENDIAN Dance-led by Ms. Yvonne Belen and Mr. Cesar Taguba and also the MBIKAs ladies also performed a cultural dance that incorporated different steps from the different provinces as well of the Cordillera..

The MABIKAs expressed solidarity with migrants and families and called for the end of armed civil conflicts impacting on women and their families.

MABIKAs stands for the six Cordillera Provinces namely Mountain Province, Abra, Benguet,Ifugao, Kalinga , Apayao and first Cordillera group to be formed here in the Netherlands..

MABIKAs ATTENDS CELEBRATION OF PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY IN THE NETHERLANDS


The MABIKAs the first Igorot Organization in the Netherlands has joined the Filipino community in celebrating independence day. MABIKAs stand for Mt. Province,Abra, Benguet,Ifugao, Kalinga- Apayao. This organization was formed last year with the aim of uniting and empowering all Netherlands based Cordillerans through education and understanding their cultural roots.



The organization President Myra Colis  read the statement in response to the theme: Kapit -bisig para sa kapayapaan sa Araw ng kalayaan.

We Igorots/Cordillerans join our compatriots and friends in the Netherlands in celebrating the 119th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence or “Araw Ng Kalayaan” in Pilipino. We Igorots/Cordillerans warmly salute all the martyrs and heroes of the struggle for national freedom, specially our Igorot forefathers who took part in the struggle against Spanish, US and Japanese colonial rule.

For 350 years, our forefathers resisted Spanish rule in the Cordilleras aimed at controlling the gold mine and trade with neighboring provinces and to maintain our beliefs and institutions.  Our forefathers joined the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolutionary Army that resisted Spanish and  US colonial rule.  Our forefathers, bravely fought in the defense of Bataan earning the praise of US Gen. Douglas McArthur with the famous quote “those Gallant Igorots”. They provided the manpower for the guerilla and regular battles of the Philippine-US armed forces that defeated the Japanese occupation army headed Gen. Yamashita, in its final stand in the Cordillera.



The igorots/Cordillerans bravely bore the  price of resistance. Their homes were burned down and population reduced due to killings, forced relocation and labor  and diseases spread by the colonizers.



Disastrous colonial tactic of pitting one tribe against each other, of demonizing them as “pagans” and “uncivilized”, exhibiting them in international fairs in Madrid and US to justify the so-called “civilizing role” of colonial rule- pitting lowlanders vs, the various tribes and  above all, imposing control over their ancestral lands and resources had a disastrous impact. These colonial policies laid the basis of  discrimination and national oppression up till now.

From the ruins of the Spanish-US-Japanese wars of conquest and plunder, the Igorots/Cordillerans self-reliantly rebuilt their communities, social system and economy.

Today, the igorots/Cordillerans are drawing on their experiences in the long anti-colonial struggle to raise their voice and demand for the right to self-determination, defense of their ancestral land and respect. 

Igorots/Cordillerans unite with the entire Filipino people in their desire to complete the revolutionary dream  of their forefathers and entire Filipino people for genuine national sovereignty, democracy and  tunay na kalayaan.

(Igorots is the collective name  of the various ethno-linguistic groups living in the Central Cordillera region Philippines, thus the Igorots/Cordillerans  designation).                               



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