Saturday, June 25, 2011
PIBBA Conference a Success!
The 30th Annual International Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association (PIBBA) Conference held in the beautiful Pacific island of Tinian was a success! The conference theme, “Economic Challenges for the Pacific Islands: Fuetsan I Lingguahi Yan Kuttura (Economic Potentials of Languages and Cultures” was highlighted in each of the conference days from June 21-23, 2011. Each day featured the gathering of everyone singing the PIBBA song, which includes all the languages of the region, such as the following chorus: “Iokwe, Raan Annim, Kaselehlia, Alii, Aloha, Olomwaay, Hafa Dei, Tuwoh, Mogethin, Talofa.”
Among the entities that attended the conference this year are Pohnpei, CNMI, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Hawaii. The mission of PIBBA is to bring these entities together to promote cultural and language activities by disseminating information, involving communities, and encouraging quality education programs through the western Pacific.
A pre-conference reception was held at Taga Beach. The fellowship shared during the gathering allowed PIBBA family members to reconnect on various topics and events affecting the Pacific islands and memories shared over the years.
The first day of the PIBBA Conference began with a continental breakfast/registration at the Kammer Beach Pavillion. The opening ceremony included posting of colors by the Tinian High School ROTC, lighting of the torch by Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, the CNMI and U.S. National Anthems sung by Chloe Hofschneider, Invocation by Fr. Isidoro Ogumuro, Opening Remarks by PIBBA International President Cheta Anien, Welcoming Remarks by Mayor Dela Cruz, Lt. Governor Inos, and keynote speech by Dr. John C. Salas. Afternoon workshops, presentations, and demonstrations took place at Tinian High School, followed by a historical tour of the island. A dinner reception was emceed by Glen Manglona and hosted by the 13th Municipal Council at Tachogna Beach. During the gathering, a remembrance candle lighting ceremony was held, welcoming remarks were said by Chairman Patrick Manglona, and cultural presentations were performed by Tinian and Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The second day of the conference began with a continental breakfast at Tinian High School, general assembly, announcements, and a panel discussion on Indigenous Programs in the Schools and Other Areas that was facilitated by Glen Manglona and Jesus Elamento. Among the panel topics were the CNMI Dictionary Revision project by Dr. Rechebei, Tita Hocog, and Manny Borja; Frances Sablan, CNMI; Chief Hurao School by Ann Marie Arceo; Pohnpei Education Department by Linter Kiheng and Mayson Fredrick; PSS Heritage Program by Jackie Quitugua & PSS Board of Education; Indigenous Affairs by Ana Teregeyo from the Office of the Governor; Amut Yan Kutturan Natibu by Manny Borja & Lino Olopai; University of Guam by Rosa Salas Palomo; and RMI Department of Education by PIBBA International President Cheta Anien. Afternoon workshops, presentations, and demonstrations followed the panel discussion. The Taga House Pa’ot Ceremony also took place, followed by the Parade of Cultures at Natibu Park. The day ended with a dinner reception hosted by the Tinian Legislative Delegation, Welcoming Remarks by Senator Jude Hofschneider, and cultural presentations by Pohnpei and Tinian.
The final day began with a continental breakfast at Tinian High School, general sessions, and announcements. This was followed by workshops, presentations, and demonstrations. A silent auction of cultural items, arts, and crafts also took place. Thereafter, the PIBBA International Business Meeting was held, along with a special recognition for the Indigenous Teacher of the Year and Pioneer of the Year for each of the entities, and an election of new PIBBA officers at the Tinian High School cafeteria. This was followed by an island tour and a grand finale dinner reception at Tachogna Beach hosted by Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz. The reception included cultural presentations by Guam and Tinian, gift giving, closing remarks by incoming PIBBA President Shelten G. Neth, and a special Pues Adios Esta Ki activity.
Deep gratitude goes out to all PIBBA Conference steering committee members, and all the entities that joined us to make the 30th Annual PIBBA Conference a memorable event that will always be remembered! Un Dangkulo Na Si Yu’os Ma’ase’! Kalahngan! Kommol tata! Kinissow! Mesulang! Kammagar!