WHEN the Kabayan dancers started their performance, everyone knew the competition was over.
The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe from Kamora National High School were runaway winners for the weekend festivities taking their place in the festival's Hall of Fame after three consecutive years of besting nine other school this year.
Governor Nestor Fongwan said the province has given the town its full support ever since. "Magaling talaga sila," he said.
Fongwan said the perseverance of the highland dance team has proven to everyone what can be accomplished with hard work.
Coming in second was Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) and third place went to Pinsao National High School.
The Pinsao dancers performed a traditional planting ritual in Kalinga, while the BCNHS team presented the “Sakusak,” a ritual about nature entitled “Lubong ko.”
The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe centered in the festival theme “Inspiring the community for a greenertomorrow” which focused choreography around a local folktale involving man’s relationship with the four elements of nature and the deity, “Gatan”, being a provider.
The storyline goes, the goddess of earth provided the native inhabitants with vast greenery of natural resources and rich hunting grounds.
As they celebrate their bountiful harvest with a ritual called “Bindiyan”, they forgot to invite “Bentawan”- the goddess of fire.
Bentawan felt so offended she burned the whole forest surrounding their community. Having no more source of livelihood, the tribe chanted and prayed to “Kabunian” for mercy and bounty.
Kabunian saw their sincerity and conveyed to “Angban”- the goddess of water to provide them with enough rain.
When the soil became fertile again, the natives started to generate their forest by planting trees, crops and flowers. With the help of “Kabigat”- the goddess of wind, seeds were spread rapidly and the lush natural resources came to life.
Soon enough the Panagbenga, the season of blooming came with ecological balance finally restored in their community.
They celebrated once again with a “cañao” called “adivay”, a native term meaning “to come together and have fun.”
Fongwan said the province has many performing groups which can replicate the success of the Kabayan group to again compete in the annual festival next year.