This newspaper article was shared with us by our Bago Youth Coordinator, Edil Bliss, who invites all bagos to join in this event in celebration of our bago culture.
VIGAN CITY, Sept. 17 (PNA)– Ilocos Sur Governor Deogracias Victor Savellano initiated the holding of the first ever “Begnas Ilocos 2008”, a unique festival showcasing the cultural heritage of the indigenous people from the upland towns and some lowland towns of the province.
Members of the organizing committees headed by Provincial Board Member Robert Tudayan are now busy preparing the different events highlighting the “Begnas Ilocos 2008” that seeks to promote the identity, cultural heritage, costumes and traditions of the indigenous peoples in the province.
The name of the festival was derived from the word “begnas”, which means thanksgiving or offering rituals.
The unique festival is set on October 28 to 30 in Candon City to coincide with the anniversary on the approval of the Republic Act 8371, otherwise known as Indigenous People Rights Act (IPRA) Law on October 29, 1997.
“The provincial government has been recognizing the capability of different existing tribal groups of indigenous people in the province. We come up with this festivity to provide our brothers and sisters from the cultural minority with a liberating and an empowering force for unified and massive economic development,” Savellano said.
Through the “Begnas Festival,” the province can develop an eco-cultural tourism program that would encourage the people to be aware of their eco-habitat and protect, preserve the province’ rice natural resources and cultural heritage.
Among the important events during the three-day festival are contests on musical ensemble, choral competition and games; beauty pageant; and the best design in “trade fair booth.
Some of the listed games are the bamboo climbing, “ginnuyudan” (pulling contest), “kadang-kadang” (walking contest using bamboo trunks), sanggol (arm wrestling) and sanggol ti saka (leg wrestling).
“I am encouraging our constituents from the upland towns and other places in the lowland areas to concentrate on developing their indigenous products for sale during the trade fair,” the governor said.
Tudayan, the head of the organizing committees of the festival, assured an exciting and attractive festival of the indigenous people to be watched by the general public.
“We had already conducted series of meeting with the elders of different tribes and local officials of the province to discuss pertinent matters regarding issues and concerns for the betterment of the featured events during the three-day “Begnas Festival,” Tudayan said.
According to Tudayan, the existing tribes of indigenous people in the province are the “Bagos”, the Itnegs and the Tingguians.
Members of the Bago tribe are children produced from the inter-marriage of a pure indigenous person to pure Ilokano or other races.
Tudayan disclosed that the participants will be come from the 14 uplands and some lowlands towns in the province such as Quirino, Cervantes, Sugpon, Alilem, Del Pilar, Sigay, San Emilio, Suyo, Tagudin, Banayoyo, Lidlidda, Burgos, Nagbukel, Narvacan, Salcedo, Galimuyod, Sta. Lucia, Candon City, Sta. Cruz, San Juan , Cabugao, Magsingal and Sto. Domingo.(PNA)