A Promising Igorot Norway
From the Scandinavian nation where the famous Norsemen and Vikings originated, rise the birth of a promising Igorot group that has been established about six years ago, the Igorot Norway. Coming to Norway is not the same as traveling to any parts of Europe or any country in the world where you can probably have an easier access or connection with fellow kailians. Norway being one of the most expensive countries to live, it's something you have to rethink before traveling to visit or coming to live, or to migrate. With its famous tourist destination, from the Glacial Fjords to the large mountain ranges to the display of Northern Lights, Norway offers outdoor enthusiasts the adventure of a lifetime. But that's only if the country's high cost of living doesn't deter you. The Scandinavian country has one of the highest price levels for personal goods and services in all of Europe. But how amazing when I found out that many Cordillerans came to work and decided to live here, and raised a family of their own. I guess that's the Igorot challenge that runs within us that braved us to survive and to earn a good living even in this farthest cold Scandinavian country close to the Arctic circle. Thanks to the social media that connected me to the Igorot Norway before traveling to renew my passport in Oslo where the Philippine Embassy is located to serve the entire Nordic countries. I would have spent a day wondering around the capital city all alone by myself then book a flight to come back to Finland the next day. But luckily, I landed at the Oslo airport with excitement, I took the speed express train to the city center where I'm being waited by my host family. As I sat at the waiting area, I can't believe hearing Tagalog being spoken around me. As I looked nearby, I see groups of Filipina ladies discussing, some taking pictures and others are dining in some burger house in the central station. It was even more a warm welcoming change to me when I reached the home that I'm going to stay for my five days visit. Driving to the place, ading Caloy and I just confidently talked as if we've known each other for a long time. I guess my shyness shattered away because he made sure that I was feeling comfortable. That awesome feeling of being welcomed was felt the very moment he picked up my luggage and placed it inside his car. Despite the freezing cold weather, the family organized an evening dinner the following day. My special thanks for the initiative of Jonee and Caloy. Your endearing gesture is exemplary. I'm truly humbled by that. It's been a pleasure meeting Abigail, who is the current president of Igorot Norway together with Noimi who took me around to visit some of the grandeur tourists destinations and landmarks of Oslo city. In spite of their busy working schedule, they managed to squeeze their time to meet up with me for a cup of coffee. Some members who were available came over to join and share a healthy meal that night. I must say that I truly enjoyed the Igorot- Norwegian pinikpikan.
The warm exchange of discussion savored a healthy supper with pleasant and happy atmosphere that evening. I can't even remember how much I ate and laughed so hard. That's the kind of feeling that most of us miss so much from our family and love ones back home, which is always present when you are with your fellow Igorots. It's the Igorot instinct that runs within our veins that we naturally relate as family. That certain kind of Igorot identity, the values that we have learned from our parents that we can be proud of and carry on, and to pass to our children and to their next generation. My utmost gratitude to all of you, Igorot Norway for making my stay meaningful and worth remembering. It's been a wonderful time to have met and learned your aspirations as a unified Igorot group in this part of Scandinavian country. Let us be all an advocate in strengthening and preserving our culture overseas. Si Kabunyan nan mangbindisyon isnan plano yu. Ipey-as na nan kapya ya urnos kendatako amin ta itultuloy tako ay men serbisyo isnan nagan na isnan batawa ay pinarsuwana para ken datako! Long live Igorot Norway! Till we meet again.
Meeting and dining at the Sushi bar and restaurant. Thank you, Jason for the lovely evening and heartwarming atmosphere!