BIBAK of the Pacific Northwest
BIBAK PNW is a Filipino cultural group dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich culture of the Cordillera tribes located in the northern part of the Philippines. BIBAK is an acronym for the five provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc (Mountain Province), Apayao, and Kalinga becoming a symbol of unity between the five tribes. BIBAK strives to pass down its traditions (like songs and dances) to younger generations and teach others about the unique cultures in the region. BIBAK PNW was founded in 1992 and has since grown and expanded with the help of welcoming arms of the BIBAK family throughout the years. There are dozens of other BIBAK organizations throughout the United States and internationally that all contribute towards one common goal: to celebrate and share the life and culture of the Igorot people.
There was once a point in time when the Cordillera Mountain range, formerly known as the Mountain Province, was a combined region. However, in 1996 the Republic Act of 4695 divided the region into separate provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province (Bontoc), and Kalinga-Apayao. The people within these provinces may collectively be called Igorots, but you must not mistake the tribes as a whole, for they are distinct with their own dialects and cultures.
Benguet: The “Salad Bowl” of the Philippines is known for its production of upland vegetables in the Cordillera mountains. Their main dialects consist of Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, and Kalanguya.
Ifugao: Known for its wood carvings, the Ifugao province attracts tourists with its famous Banaue Rice Terraces which is considered the 8th Wonder of the World. These terraces were hand-carved into the mountains 2,000 years ago to plant rice. Their main dialects are Amganad, Batad, Mayoyao, and Tunwali .
Bontoc: Mineral resources such as gold, copper, limestone, and gypsum can be found in this province. The Chico River provides sand, gravel, and white clay while the Barlig and Sadanga forests provide bamboo and pine trees. Bontoc’s main dialect is Kankana-ey.
Apayao: Known for its agricultural production in food and industrial crops like palay, corn, coffee, root crops, and vegetables. Some fruits included in their production are lanzones, citrus, bananas, pineapples, durian, santol, rambutan, coconut, and mangosteen. The main dialect that they speak is the Isnag language.
Kalinga: They have rich cultural traditions with the expressions of music, dance, and artisan work. They hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Gong Ensemble Dance with 3,440 male gong dancers and the Largest Banga Dance with 4,681 banga dancers. Their main spoken dialect is Kalinga.
The purpose of our organization is to promote unity in the Igorot community of Washington, preserve and enhance the Igorot culture, customs, and traditions, promote good citizenship and leadership within the BIBAK youth, and provide Igorot immigrants a safe place for social and cultural integration in the US.