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Regional News

Palau hosts Pacific bilingual language conference

KOROR, Palau (PCC) — On June 17-21, 2019 Palau Community College, the Ministry of Education and the Palau Language Commission sponsored the 38th Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association or PIBBA International Conference.

The theme for the conference was “Our Language, Our Culture, Our Identity, We Stand Tall.”

This one-week event consisted of various sessions about educational language and culture.

On Monday June 17, the conference opening ceremony was held at Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. The keynote speaker for the opening ceremony was Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and welcoming remarks were given by PCC President Dr. Patrick U. Tellei, Sen. Kerai Mariur, Delegate Yutaka Gibbons Jr., Paramount Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons and Reklai Raphael B. Ngirmang.

The following days of the conference also included general sessions with guest speakers who have contributed to Palau’s community, traditional customs/language and culture.

Among the guest speakers were Minister Baklai Temengil Chilton, former Palau President Johnson Toribiong, and Sen. J. Uduch Sengebau-Senior.

The participants of the PIBBA conference were representatives from Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia-Pohnpei, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Republic of Palau.

Over 250 educators participated in this year’s PIBBA conference. The conference held several activities such as, educational workshops, healthy local food tasting, silent auction and a rock island fieldtrip.

One event that stood out was the healthy local food tasting which showcased traditional Palauan local food and handicrafts.

Bilung Gloria G. Salii and Mechesil Belau provided the conference participants with an authentic Palauan gastronomic experience with local food tasting.

On June 20, the conference had its closing ceremony in the PCC cafeteria. Paramount Chief Reklai Raphael B. Ngirmang was the keynote speaker. The ceremony ended with heartwarming farewell and appreciation speeches including gift presentations.

The 2019 PIBBA conference concluded with a fun day field trip to the Rock Islands.