What is BIBAK?
Towards the northern most part of the island of Luzon, lies the Cordillera Mountain Range. These mountains were formerly called the Mountain Province, and was divided into five sub-provinces namely Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, and Kalinga. It was then the second largest province of the Philippines.
Inhabiting these sub-provinces are different tribes of distinct dialects and cultures, but also similar to be collectively called Igorots. Perhaps it is the similarities of their cultures, or just the fact that they are all part of the cultural minorities of the Philippines that have bonded these "people of the mountains" to form an organization called BIBAK. As simple as it is, taking the first letters of each sub-province, did not only make sure that this organization represents all the people of this large province, but it also points to a fact that each province and it's people complement each other. Together, they show a better image of an Igorot.
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 but others preferred to stay with BIBAK.
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.
But through it all, name change or not, BIBAK is an organization of Igorots. It is an organization that reflects their solidarity, and their desire to preserve the uniqueness of their cultures.
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