Sungduan: Say-am Festival Manitoba

CORDILLERANS of all ages in Winnepeg Manitoba, Canada joined in the celebration of Say-am Festival where they learned and understand more about the unique culture and tradition of the Apayao province.

Organized by the Bibak Association of Manitoba headed by President Virginia Gayot, the event held lately at Marlborough Hotel highlighted the different dances of the Isnag tribe like the wedding dance and practices in courtship, giving of dowry and rituals during the wedding, and the celebration with the entire community.

There were also entertainers by local members like Bibak Adult Band, Bibak Youth Band and individual singers including audience participation in dancing the Apayao cultural dance.

Gayot said they celebrate their association’s anniversary every 2nd Saturday of May through a traditional Canao featuring and promoting the different provinces of Cordillera.

The celebration promoting camaraderie among the Cordillerans is in line with their mission to promote the Igorot culture and traditions to the community not only to the Filipinos but to the entire community of Manitoba, Canada.

The 24th anniversary event was attended by guests from other parts of Canada, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines.

The Filipino community there is also elated with the message given by Winnepeg City Mayor Brian Bowman and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledging their big contribution in the community.

As early as now, the association is already planning for a bigger celebration next year for their 25th year anniversary.

“We are celebrating our 25 years anniversary so we will feature all the five provinces' cultural dances and traditions,” Gayot said.

More than just a gathering, the affair is also one way by which they are able to generate money to help the needy community in the country especially those who are victims of calamity. Some of those they have given help includes the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan/ typhoon Yolanda victims, SAF 44, Mankayan fire victims, Engineer's Hill fire victims, and others.

Bibak Association of Manitoba was founded last May 1994 at Winnipeg by 10 Igorot immigrants led by John Gano from Ifugao. The membership grew to more than 500 members from the different provinces of Cordillera.

Joining Gayot as officer of BIBAK Association of Manitoba are Vice President Marife Cadag, Secretary Lily Ann Te-em, Treasurer Rodesia Celoy, Auditor Ronald Calugay, and PRO Danny Bernal.

With the help of Bibak Association of Manitoba many will continue to appreciate and understand the culture of Cordillera. Many needy people will also be given assistance.

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