Janine Carlos Umali Kayo

  • Tauira / Student
    Janine Carlos
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Tatiana Tavares, Natalie Robertson

“Umali Kayo" is a common Kankanaey phrase used to welcome people to a place, which translates to “You are welcome”. It is a board game designed with a playful perspective to educate young second-generation immigrant Igorots (SGII). SGII are those who are born in New Zealand with Igorot immigrant parents. The game is about the Cordillera Administrative Region of Northern Philippines (CAR). The game explores the Igorot identity and the culture of ethnic provinces within CAR.
Amid the Igorot diaspora, the younger generation is expected to adapt to the Kiwi culture at the expense of forgetting their own Igorot roots. Through a discussion with Myriam Benito, an elder of the Organization of Cordilleran’s New Zealand (OCNZ), an obvious disconnect exists between SGIIs and their cultural roots, as they lack Igorot learning resources within New Zealand.
The game focuses on the Cordillera region's six provinces: Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Benguet. This game allows players to travel around CAR while simulating the traditional trades within the provinces and obtain identity cards that explore the forgotten ways of making art and crafts, traditional foods, and attires of a province in CAR.
"Umali Kayo" acts as a bridge to reconnect and educate young SGIIs in NZ about the rich cultural heritage that encapsulates the Cordillera region. Taking inspiration from the woven symbolic patterns used in Igorot clothing customs to their natural landscapes and woodcarving, the game uses wooden tokens and colourful illustrations to tell the story of the Igorot people while allowing the players to experience the essence of the Cordillera region as if they were there.
"Umali Kayo" is a project that intends to bring Cordillera into the homes of many Igorot immigrants. It is a unique venture to reach out to young Igorot immigrants, in hopes of preserving the Igorot culture for future generations.