Bontoc celebrates Am–Among Festival-A A +A
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Bontoc, Mountain Province -- A grand celebration of culture and tradition crowned the 8th Am-among festival.
The “am-among” is a local term that means a gathering, reunion, and fellowship thanking the gods for a bountiful harvest.
Bontoc Mayor Pascual Sacgaca said, “We observed this year the participation of civic groups, we let them participate more,” where all groups from the private and government sector Monday morning, September 16.
The 16 barangays of the highland town paraded at the main roads showing off local costume, dance and song delighting onlookers and visitors.
Sacaga said contingents from Alab Proper, Alab Oriente, Balili, Bayyo, Bontoc Ili, Caneo, Dalican, Gonogon, Guinaang, Mainit, Maligcong, Samoki, Talubin, Tocucan, Poblacion (Bontoc) and Caluttit were present in the morning parade. “This was very successful, there was more involvement from the community.”
The week-long activities of the festival were also highlighted by an agro-industrial trade fair, which aside from agriculture products, will also focus on ethnic woven products and native foods; inter-school folk dance competition; the Miss Am-among pageant; Bontoc got talent contest; photo exhibits on cultural heritage and nature's wonders; a Bike Fun Run; and several indigenous sports games.
Sacgaca said, “We are boosting tourism here, we are happy that now there are more tourists who stay in Bontoc.”
The chief executive said the practice in the past was to have a daytrip in Bontoc and stay in Sagada for the night, today hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts abound in the town, making lodging easier for visitors.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has been promoting the highland for its rice terraces in Maligcong, the Maiinit hot springs, the Alab, Bontoc Petroglyphs which is described to be a huge rock with bows and arrows and human beings etched on its surface. The etchings of the human beings are believed to have been those of warriors buried in the Ganga cave at the foot of the mountain where the rock stands.
The town is also known for its wine, which is a prime element of almost all occasions in Mt. Province; bringing brewers to organize into an association named the Mountain Province Wine Processors Association and branded their product as “Lang-ay Fruit Wine”.
Sacgaca said the town is now preparing to further train and develop tourist guides.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 19, 2012.