The GUMIL Hawai`i takes pride in being one of the key collaborators in the putting up of this 2007 International Conference on Ilokano and Amianan Literatures and Cultures.
It is indeed our honor to have taken part in this event, in partnership with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the Annak ti Kailokuan iti Amerika, the Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Amerika, the Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano-Filipinas, the Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano-Global, the Nakem Conferences, Inc., the Nakem Conferences Philippines, the International Academy for Ilokano and Amianan Studies, the Center for Philippine Studies of the University of Hawai`i, and the Philippine Consulate General.
We welcome friends and colleagues in the business of writing the stories of our people, friends who came all the way from the Philippines and other places outside of Hawai`i and whose presence gave honor to our undertaking. We welcome as well our homegrown scholars and creative writers who are part of this conference.
I dare say that this is a good start—this conference that gathered the best minds our people can be proud of, minds that not only have the boldness and daring to document our pains and joys, our sacrifices and blessings, and our hopes and more hopes but minds that have that capacity to understand the need for action in the face of the onslaught of that which is destructive to our identity, diversity, and humanity.
For we cannot be human if we forgot that part of us that is past-present that is ever present: that Ilokano in us, that Cagayan in us, that Cordillera in us—all these—that continue to insist to us that these be recognized, affirmed, nurtured, sustained, and blessed.
With all these thoughts, we hope to have more conferences like this in the years to come. Mahalo and aloha to all of you.