On the island of Luzon in the Philippines exists a range of mountains called the Cordillera Mountains. This mountain range stretches across the island's northern most part and is divided into five sub-provinces. These mountains, formerly known as the Mountain Province, is now divided into five sub-provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, and Kalinga. These sub-provinces come together to form the acronym BIBAK. In Illinois, the Philippine summer capitol city of Baguio located in Benguet, is added to the acronym. As a result, the more popular acronym of BIBAK is changed to BIBBAK.
In June 18, 1966, Republic Act 4695 divided the province into four provinces, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province (Bontoc was named as its capital), and Kalinga-Apayao. This caused some BIBAK organizations to change their name to BIMAK to reflect the change of name. Also, the formation of the Cordillera Administration Region, which added the province of Abra, to the four provinces, has also prompted the formation of some organizations called BIMAAK. Despite these changes, we in Illinois prefer to stay with BIBBAK, hence the name BIBBAK Illinois.
Inhabiting the Philippine BIBBAK provinces and city are unique ethnic tribes with their own distinct languages and cultures. When the Spaniards first "discovered" them, they called them "Ygolotes," which means "people of the mountains." The spelling has changed to what is now known as "Igorots."
BIBBAK Illinois is an organization of Igorots residing in Illinois, USA. It is an organization that reflects Igorot solidarity and their desire to preserve and promote the uniqueness of their culture.
BIBBAK Illinois' Purpose:
- To foster and promote the importance of understanding and preserving the Filipino-Igorot culture and character within BIBBAK with the goal of preserving the value of the Filipino-Igorot heritage for generations to come.
- To strengthen the bond among the members and their families of the association through consistent dialogue and interaction that revolves around a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.
- To participate, when possible, in social events and/or activities that help promote the Filipino Igorot culture within the diverse American community.
- To provide members a medium through which Filipino newcomers and/or visitors from the Philippines, especially from the BIBBAK regions, can be afforded an orientation or guidance as the need may arise in the early stages of their stay in the United States.
- To undertake and adopt a BIBBAK program of activity in keeping abreast with the changing of times in the Philippines and in the United States.