Benguet defends BFF title-A A +A
Thursday, February 21, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Defending champions of the Baguio Flower Festival’s street dancing parade is batting to stay on top.
The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe from Kamora National High School portrays an “Adivay” inspired performance.
Claire Prudencio, provincial tourism officer, said the performance is a continuation of the winning piece last year which has the same title.
The dance piece shows a celebration for a bountiful harvest used in the early days.
The presentation from Kabayan revolves around a local folktale about Gadate, who helped save the Kintoman harvest and its people in Kabayan from a giant snake.
Kintoman is a sweet-tasting rice, with its seeds coming from Bugan, the goddess of grains. It is also Bugan who sent the snake, when the people forgot to do the Cañao as thanksgivng. In Gadate’s dream, the snake told him to ask his people to perform the Cañao, and offer liver and tapeuy, a rice wine.
When he followed as instructed, the snake left Kabayan but went to Kapangan. The people of Kapangan sought the help of a mambunong, a local priest from Kabayan. The mambunong made the snake sleep deep in slumber, and was able to slay the snake. As a reward, he was given carabaos and pigs. He brought the head of the snake to Kabayan and celebrated the conquest, shouting adivay with the dancing of Cañao and Bindiyan. The gods were pleased, and so Kabunyan rewarded them with good harvest and flowering sceneries as a sign of goodwill.
Prudencio said the province has been backing the needs of the Kabayan group in their bid to win the top prize this year.
Another group, the Philexian from St. Louis HS Philex in Itogon will present “Dangtey ken Tayao” – A Thanksgiving Ritual of Graces and Blessings.
It is the first time the group has joined the parade.
The belief of the Kankana-eys in Kabunian and ancestor worship carries deep respect for nature and the spirit of the dead. For centuries, every time they climb mountains, or kalamag ka, as they call it, they seek permission and blessings from anitos, the ancestors and the timongaw, the nature spirits, in search for abucay, a land to cultivate or mine. When they produce good harvests and precious minerals, the Kankana-eys perform the Dangtey, a thanksgiving ritual.
The practice has become a robust economic activity for the people of Buguias, Mankayan, Itogon, Tublay and Tuba, depicting the socio-cultural transformation of the Kankana-ey people while preserving their rich cultural heritage. It is believed that the more marapait, or sunflowers in the area, the blessed and prosperous the community becomes, just like the blooming odyssey of the Panagbenga Festival.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 22, 2013.