CELEBRATION of the 7th Etag festival is set in Sagada.
The four-day fiesta starting February 1 will kick off with guest speakers and guest of honor, Representative Jesse Mangaoang opening the town celebration with local officials and guests.
Community activities follow with the opening of booths, an agri-trade fair, and musical and dance presentations with a square dance and ballroom competition.
The festivities are highlighted by a street dancing presentation on February 4 and indigenous games on the last day of the festival.
The festival’s theme centers on happiness and thanksgiving and coming together of the beliefs and culture which unites Sagada.
Sagada has highlighted the way etag is made during the festival conceptualized seven years ago.
Traditionally, etag is used as an ingredient to in native dishes such as pinikpikan (highland version of chicken soup), mainly as an additive to dishes to enhance its taste. Its price depends on where and when the meat is made.
During the festival, guidelines for visitors will be strictly implemented.
The new rules mandate tours in and around Sagada must only be run by the local guides' organizations Sega, Saggas, Setgo, Kiga, ASSETG and BFTAMPGA.
Travel agencies, groups, and individuals must register for the tours at the Tourist Information Office. Pooten said there are 800 guides in the town and six tour guide associations.
The new rules also indicate a limited number of tourists allowed per site per day with all tours requiring a tour guide banning entry to those without a registered companion.
Only local transport will be allowed to ferry tourists to tour sites so as not to create traffic in tourist destinations mandating.
Tourist vehicles are required to park their vehicles all throughout the duration of their stay in their hotel parking area or in pay parking areas and avail of the local transport when visiting the different sites.
Tourists will also be obliged to walk around town to visit shops, restaurants, and nearby tourist spots.
On accommodations in the town, only LGU-registered and DOT-accredited hostels, inns or homestays under the Sagada Inns and Hotels Association (SIHA) will be allowed to operate.
Visitors are also advised to follow standard prices for accommodation in Sagada, without haggling and any request for free beds.
All visitors are advised to bring refillable water tumblers. Disposable water bottles are not allowed. Trash should be thrown only in designated disposal areas.
The local government also advises groups to bring their garbage upon leaving Sagada.