Issue of September 8, 2019
Mt. Province
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Tuba lines up various events for town’s 6th Ava Festival
by Susan C. Aro / PIA

TUBA, Benguet – It’s all systems go for the town’s 6th Ava Festival starting Sept.16 with the theme, “Strengthening our culture and community harmony towards enriched agri-tourism industry.”

The festival showcasing taro (ava) as one-town-one-product, is backed by Ordinance 235 s. 2014.

The festival opens Sept. 16 with Cordillera Regional Representative of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the Tabuk City Tourism Officer Arlene Odiem as the guest of honor.

The ava cultural dance competition will be staged on the same day.

The contest will attempt for the town to have signature dance steps for the festival, like the Bendian of Kabayan or the grand march of Kapangan.

The dance must depict the culture and tradition anchored on the importance of ava to the community.

Other activities during the first day include a color fun run and opening of mini agro trade fair, which displays and sells ava produce and processed products along with other agricultural products.

As festivities are associated with food, two gastronomic innovations to savor are the ava ice cream and ava pie.

An investment forum and training on ava production and processing is set Sept. 17.

On Sept. 18, the activities include ava skills competition on “Do-do ni Pising” (ava cleaning), “Kiskis ni Pising” (ava slicing) and “Duto ni Pising” (ava cooking), and search for the biggest ava.

There will also be a lecture on swine production, and “Sekkel ni butbutog” or pig catching competition.

The Ava Festival theme song competition will be held Sept. 19 participated in by barangays and high school students. The lyrics must revolve around the importance of taro in the town’s culture. 

The festival culminates with the search for Mister and Miss Tuba.

Taro used to be a staple food of the town along with camote or sweet potato, and also served during a “kedot” or cañao, according to Municipal Tourism Operations Officer II Anabel Solano.

Tuba is the gateway to the province and Baguio City. The town is endowed with hot springs, resorts, falls, burial caves along with it arts and crafts products among others.

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