THOUSANDS of tourists, and residents witnessed the first Bodong Festival of Kalinga which coincides with the province’s 22nd founding anniversary.

Previously called the Ullalim Festival, the event was changed to Bodong Festival by virtue of Provincial Ordinance No. 2016-029 authored by Board Members Fred Pangsiw and co-authored by Eddie Sarol to rekindle among the people of Kalinga the time-honored custom and tradition of peacemaking through the Bodong.

Dionica Mercado of the Kalinga Tourism Office said the festival is a showcase of the province’ rich culture and tradition and as a way of expressing their thanks and giving credit to forefathers who started this peace institution which had been instrumental in the resolution of tribal conflicts and restoring harmony.

Mercado said highlights of the festivals include a street dancing competition participated by all the municipalities of the province including Lonok cultural performance and Laga cultural show.

“Lonok” is an I-kalinga dialect which means to come in or you are welcome to be part of this gathering. This is one part of the Bodong practices wherein a visitor is welcomed by the other party as they settle a dispute or enjoy a celebration.

The Laga cultural show meanwhile showcased the different woven products of the province such as colorful Kalinga attires, accessories, bags and other homemade handcrafts.

Mercado said the province is set to conduct a yearly Bodong Congress to strengthen bilateral peace pacts between sub-tribes, further promote good practices, particularly the peaceful settlement of conflicts, and discard bad ones like the tooth-for-tooth, an eye-for-an eye means of justice and the automatic severance of the tie when tribes get into trouble.