Panagbenga 2013 Street Festival Dance Parade Entries

     Co-chair Baguio Cultural Society
Finally, I was able to edit and finalize the synopses of the thirteen entries for the Panagbenga Streetdancing Competition on Feb 23, 2013. It will be an exciting year of Panagbenga Streetdancing as we go back to our roots and display the rich and colorful Cordilleran in full pageantry, depicting authentic ethnic Regalia.
Just like how we started it last year, each contingent’s presentation must be inspired by a specific Cordilleran custom, ritual, folktale, or literature. It has to be truly specific that the place or tribe of origin must be identified and that costume and props must be reflective of that specific culture.  This has been the goal of the Baguio Cultural Society – to showcase in Panagbenga Streetdancing an identity that is truly ours, characteristic of the beauty of the Cordilleras, and not copied from other festivals.  Infused with flower themes, these presentation will be worth witnessing, not only as a unique form of art, but also an educational experience on Cordilleran culture.
In the order of the parade and the competition, the competing groups are:
1. Tanghalang Teatro Pino of Pines City National High School
Title“Hulin” – Ritual to Drive Away Pests
Origin of Ritual/StoryIfugao
Synopsis:
                  Inspired by a folktale of the indigenous people of Bokiawan in Hinduan, Ifugao, this presentation of dances, rituals and chants starts when the Ifugao God, Maknongan, appears to tell the people to stop infighting and instead become united in protecting their harvest from pests, diseases and bad spirits.  Heeding the call of Maknongan, the people perform the Holokand the Hulin, pest rituals of the Ifugaos, particularly during the Lawang, the planting season; and again during the Anitulo, the harvest season. The Hulin yields abundant harvest and the community celebrates in thanksgiving.  The celebration will include the dancing of the Dinuy-a, in full Ifugao regalia and beats, culminating into the infusion of the Panagbenga Hymn.
2. Tabuk Matagoan from the City of Tabuk (last year’s second place)
Title“Abuyog” – Unity and Cooperation Among Kalingas
Origin of Ritual/StoryKalinga
Synopsis:
                  The presentation from Tabuk City is inspired by the traditional trait and values of cooperation or bayanihan by the people of Kalinga called abuyog.  It is a practice of helping each other on rotation basis.  The nanpa-abuyug, the person who asks for help, when informed, will return the favor of helping to the ummabuyug, the person who rendered help. Disseminating the call for help with patigammu, the people in the community responds with the abuyug practice of cooperation, and this can be applied to many endeavors such as during man-olag, planting of rice; man-ani, harvesting of rice; madagas, hauling of palay to the granary; and manyamanan, the thanksgiving celebration for a fruitful harvest.
3. Bumabanga ti Kalinga of St. Theresita’s School of Tabuk, Kalinga
Title“Banga” – A Living Tradition of Pasil
Origin of Ritual/StoryKalinga
Synopsis:
                  Kalinga has become famous for its pottery or pot-making, considered to be a living tradition in the municipality of Pasil in Kalinga, particularly in Dalupa and Dangtalan.  This tradition was sustained for centuries, with the skills and practices passed on from one generation to another.  Their pot-making is a ritual in itself as there must be a manchachawak or babaylan, local prayer leaders, to find suitable clay soil; and with the chanting of the Sisiwa, to invoke the help and permission of spirits to assure good quality soil and therefore produce quality pottery.  The clay products are usually used for cooking and to barter for seeds and household items in the olden days. But a famous and indigenous use of the pots or banga, is for the game tuktukoy, where dancers show their skills in balancing and handling several pots over their heads.
4. Tsinakhon Cultural Ensemble of SLU – Laboratory High School
 
Title“Tsinakhon” – Dry Season Rice Production of Bontoc
Origin of Ritual/StoryMountain Province
Synopsis:
                  In the heart of Mountain Province, the Bontoc people relies heavily on rice planting as main source of livelihood and sustenance. There are two planting seasons: the sinawali or pak-ang, which is the wet season rice productions; and the tsakhon, which is for the dry season. In atsakhon, the cycle starts with panar, or seeding, after which the ton-ed, or the planting of rice, starts. This is the more tedious job in the cycle, and therefore the tradition of ugugfo, which is bayanihan among Bontoc people, is practiced.  As the palays get into the fourth month, birds and rats start to infest so that a kilaw is put up. A kilaw is a scarecrow used to drive away and frighten pests.  After a bountiful harvest, a tengaw is declared to end the harvest season. This rest and thanksgiving ritual includes the dancing of the Pattong and Boogie, in authentic Bontoc tradition.
5. The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe of Kamora National High School of Kabayan Benguet (last year’s champions)
 
Title“Adivay” – A Celebration For a Bountiful Harvest 
Origin of Ritual/StoryBenguet
Synopsis:
                  The presentation from Kabayan, Benguet 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 andtapeuy, 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 Bendiyan. The gods were pleased, and so Kabunyan rewarded them with good harvest and flowering sceneries as a sign of goodwill.
6. Teatro Mi Pengantaan Pagey of Baguio City National High School – SPA (last year’s third place)
 
Title“Iowak” – One Beat, One Love, One Dance of Our Cordilleran Heritage
Origin of Ritual/StoryBenguet
Synopsis:
                  Iowak is the hero from Itogon in a Benguet folktale, “Akie and the Maja”. To prove his bravery and pure intentions, Iowak has to go the kaingin, or the mountains, and hunt for a gift to Limanan, a lady whom he wishes to marry. In his quest, he meets monkeys named Lakjad and Akie, which were accompanied by many more monkeys. Iowak battled it out with the monkeys but was subdued and was captured. The monkeys started the death ritual and chanted the death chant, Maja, to Iowak.  Iowak kept still while the monkeys got drunk from the wine in his bag.  When he sees the monkeys dancing impetuously, he then mimics the movements of the dance until all monkeys got knocked down in drunkennness.  He escaped and was able to bring home a gift to Limanan. The village celebrated with the dancing of the Bendiyan, culminating to a Tayaw, a wedding dance showcasing the rich culture of Benguet.
7. Bampkabia Cultural Dance Troupe of Baguio City Academy Colleges
 
Title“Chono” – Wedding Feast of Bontoc
Origin of Ritual/StoryMountain Province
Synopsis:
                  A presentation inspired by the story of Lumawig, a Bontoc god, who found the girl he wants to marry in a mortal lass from Bontoc. In adherence to tradition, Lumawig produced gold coins and many pigs for butchering as dowry. The wedding feast called Chono, then ensued. TheChono is usually celebrated up to three or four days, with dancing, singing and merrymaking.  That’s why it is traditionally practiced only by the Kadangyan Igorots, or rich people of Bontoc, where they invite all people from all nearby villages.  An important feature of the Chono, is theatag, a moving platform pulled by vagintot-o and pakwawaan, the female and the male carabao respectively. The presentation also features some indigenous games, as part of the merrymaking, like the fagfagto, throwing stones; sinnontukan, boxing; sanggar, arm wrestling, and many more.
8. Philexian (St. Louis HS Philex)
 
Title“Dangtey ken Tayao” – A Thanksgiving Ritual of Graces and Blessings
Origin of Ritual/StoryBenguet
Synopsis:
                  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 thetimongaw, 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.
9. Cordillera Cultural Performing Group of St. Louis University
 
Title“Say-ang” – a Tinguian Story of Birds
Origin of Ritual/StoryAbra
Synopsis:
                  Inspired by a folktale from Abra, the presentation is the story of Ligi, who was approached by birds called tikgi.  The tikgi birds asked Ligi to let them cut and harvest his rice.  Surprised with the proposition, he still allowed the birds to do so.  The birds even transported the palay to Ligi’s granary house, and eventually helped produce a bountiful harvest.  Ligi celebrated and performed the Say-ang to show gratitude and to win goodwill with the spirits.  His celebration lasted for seven days, which included feasting, drinking, singing and the dancing of Abra’s Tinguian dances such as the BalliwesTadekLablabaanDalliston and many more. After the celebration, Ligi got curious and followed the tikgi birds on their way home to the Bana-asitree.  There he saw the birds flocking together, shaking off their feathers and delightfully have transformed into one beautiful lady. Ligi immediately fell in love, asked the lady’s hand and soon got married.
10. Apayao Ipasindayaw of the Provincial Government of Apayao
 
Title“Kabinnulig” – The Love of Nature and Simplicity in Life and Industry
Origin of Ritual/StoryApayao
Synopsis:
                  In Apayao, Kabinnulig, in its exact definition, captures the strong relationship between a farmer and his carabao.  Early in the day of a planting season, this kind of companionship starts with the farmer preparing his carabao for a long day of work in plantingcaravasa seeds. After three months, the field turns into a haven of caravasa flowers, signifying the hopes of both farmer and carabao. As the flowers turns into young squash, the friendship between farmer and carabao is sealed and promises a bright future for both of them. The abundance of flowers and squash signifies the deities’ blessings to the people of Apayao. As a form of thanksgiving, the people perform the Taddo and Talip, in rich and colorful Apayao regalia.  The feasting and merrymaking is highlighted by the kabinnulig’s haul of ripe squash in the karison, or wooden cart, which marks the farmer’s role of returning the favor for a the carabao’s job well done by taking care of the animal-friend until the next planting season.
11. Litangfan Cultural Group from Bontoc, Mountain Province
 
Title“Te-er Si Saray-at” – a Day of Rest in Bontoc
Origin of Ritual/StoryMountain Province
Synopsis:
                  Te-er Si Saray-at is an eight-day rest observed after the planting season. It starts with two days of butchering and cooking pigs and tinufo, a sticky rice, for immediate relatives.  The third day, members of the Ato convene and also cook. It is on the fourth day when distant relatives are given tinufo and watwat.  On the fifth day, the old men take a piglet to thepapatayan, a sacred place for rituals, to pray, sing, and listen to the sounds of the Ichew, a small bird. The next two days are reserved for rest, but the people can still entertain themselves in their homes by singing. On the eight and last day, the residents go out to listen to the Ichew again, and interpret the sounds as to whether it brings good or bad signs.  The old men comes back from the mountains to signify a good sound from the Ichew, and merrymaking shall commence with prayers in an Ayyeng, and with songs and dances, in colorful Bontoc garbs and ornaments.
12. Tribu Ari-tau of Aritao High School from Nueva Vizcaya
 
Title“Ngayow” – a Celebration of Life
Origin of Ritual/StoryBenguet
Synopsis:
                  Ngayow is an old traditional victory ritual in some areas of Benguet after a successful head-hunting, to ensure a plentiful harvest.  It requires offerings of the head of an enemy, reserves of rice, and jars of tapeuy to the Kabunyan. But the Benguet people are innately peace loving people so that the ritual has become a simulation of the post-head hunting ritual.  Using fern trees as enemies, they dance as if in a battle with the trees and carve out from its trunk a head-shaped object for the offering.  The people gather to celebrate and perform the Sed-sedand the Bendiyan. Together with the Mambubunong, the people sing as a plea for plentiful harvest for the next planting season.  Ngayow, even with its violent roots, has now become a peaceful and joyful Benguet ritual, which incorporates the more famous Bendiyan, as a form of celebration of life.
13. Sakusak Traditional Ensemble of Pinsao National High School
 
Title“Insalay” – A ritual for Rain
Origin of Ritual/StoryAbra
Synopsis:
                  Insalay, in its exact translation means “ritual rain”.  Man by instinct is solely dependent from the blessings of nature… the air, land and water, that make the whole cycle of life of every man and creature.  The people of Abra, particularly the Maeng tribe of Tubo, have a unique practice of performing rituals to appease and thank Kabunyan for his unending caress to his creation.  The Insalay is one of them… during a season when water is scarce, particularly during summer time, the Insalay is performed to ask for water in the form of rain from theKabunyan.  A variation in the chants uses the tune of the victory chant, Assay Duway Umma-a, and incorporating the words of Intako Man-insalay.  A showcase of Abra culture in farming attire and implements, this presentation depicts a unique ritual, which shows the deep respect of theMaeng tribe for nature and the all-providing Kabunyan.
SEE YOU ALL ON FEBRUARY 23, 2013! Happy Panagbenga!
Last year’s champions, Kamora National High School of Kabayan Benguet
The beautiful and colorful Bendiyan dance by Kamora National High School of Kabayan.

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