Wednesday, June 8, 2016
35th PIBBA Conference a Success!
The 35th Annual Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association (PIBBA) Conference was a success! The conference theme, What Is Ours, What We Have, What We Share ... And To Give More ~ Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte ... Ya U Ta Nå’i Mas was highlighted in each of the conference days from June 6-8, 2016. 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 are CNMI, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Guam. 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.
The first day of the PIBBA Conference was held at the University of Guam and included a Tribute to Colors, National Anthem, Guam Hymn, Inifresi, and special selections played by the Belembaotuyan Orchestra. Welcoming remarks were made by PIBBA International and PIBBA Guam Chapter President Theresa “Ewy” Taitano. A special Keynote Speech titled, “Leveraging the Bilingual Bicultural Advantage for Student Success in School and in Life” was made by Dr. Samuel Betances. This day also included various cultural presentations and kicked off the annual silent auction.
The second day included historic field trips to Inalahan and the Humatak Heritage Project. Historical tales and artifacts captivated the audience who participated.
The third day of the PIBBA Conference was held at the University of Guam. It included the awarding of the indigenous Teachers of the Year and Pioneers of the Year, as well as various other cultural presentations. The silent auction also closed on this day. A meaningful closing ceremony and dinner took place at the Latte of Freedom at Adelup.
The final day included the PIBBA International Annual Meeting held at the University of Guam. Congratulations to the newly-elected PIBBA International Officers, including the following: Senator Shelten G. Neth (Pohnpei), President; Jon Masaichi (Palau), Acting President-Elect; Theresa “Ewy” Taitano (Guam), Secretary; Rosa Salas Palomo (Guam), Treasurer; Alister Tolenoa (Kosrae), Historian; and Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera (Guam), Webmaster.
Deep gratitude goes out to all PIBBA Conference steering committee members, and all the entities that joined us to make the 35th Anuual PIBBA Conference a memorable event that will always be remembered! Un Dangkulo Na Si Yu’os Ma’ase’! Kalahngan! Mesulang! Kuloh! Kinissow! Kommol! Kammagar!