Issue of April 15, 2018

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Mountain Province keeps culture alive in Lang–ay Festival ‘18
by Ofelia C. Empian

GETTING BIGGER, BETTER -- The annual staging of the Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc that coincides with the founding anniversary of Mountain Province is getting bigger and better with all 10 municipalities joining the festivities, including the grand street dancing and cultural presentations that remain distinct from other festivals in the Cordillera. This year’s theme “Keeping the culture alive, nurturing the homeland” has gathered thousands of spectators on weekend. -- Ofelia Empian/Harley Palangchao

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Communities from all over the province converged into a sound of joyous merrymaking as they celebrate the 14th Lang-ay Festival in the capital town of Bontoc last week.

The 10 towns namely Bauko, Sabangan, Bontoc, Sagada, Besao, Tadian, Sadanga, Paracelis, Barlig and Natonin participated in the various activities highlighted by the street dancing and cultural presentations of the proud people from the municipalities.

With the theme, “Keeping the culture alive, nurturing the homeland,” the top winner of the street dancing and cultural presentation went to Sabangan, which showcased the importance of the family as a unit where culture and tradition is first learned and appreciated.

Sabangan was followed by Bauko and Sadanga to complete the top three winners of the event where all participants paraded throughout the town center to the Eyeb Ground where the presentations were made.

Mountain Province Acting Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan said that Lang-ay is so much more than merrymaking and showcasing each town’s cultural identities.

“The Lang-ay Festival is an avenue through which we can further device ways to improve as people,” Lacwasan said.

Also part of the activities was the agri-trade fair of each town; “Lang-ay by the street” which is a food fair where everyone gets a taste of the local delicacies and the international forum on indigenous peoples’ empowerment and social transformation organized by the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College that paved the way to the sharing of culture between the Cordillerans and the Balinese visitors.

Keeping the culture much alive is the indigenous games with the help of the Department of Education, which pushes for indigenous peoples education. 

Various towns fielded their best representatives from the grade schoolers who competed in indigenous games such as the ag-agto, kadang-kadang, pakpakaak, wood chopping, arm wrestling, fire wood bundling, tug-of-war, chicken catching for kids and pig catching for adults and fire making.

Before that, a demonstration by each town of how people wear their respective native attires were also made courtesy of the grade schoolers who also earlier joined the street dancing and cultural parade.

The celebration of the Lang-ay Festival started in 2004 and has now grown to become one of the best cultural festivals in the region.

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