Mt. Province prepares for Lang-ay Festival
by Juliet B. Saley
BONTOC, Mt. Province (23 February) -- Preparations are now underway for the fourth staging of the Lang-ay Festival in this province this April with the theme, "Living Tradition: We care and share."
After series of meetings conducted by the Lang-ay Development Council chaired by Governor Maximo B. Dalog, the different committees created for this year's Lang-ay Festival came up with various activities of the week-long celebration that will start on April 1.
These include a series of events like agro-industrial fair, tribal sports on 'Gimata' race and pounding rice, indigenous games and exhibits, cultural dance presentation combined with street dancing parade, indigenous sports, Day-eng contest, and cultural fashion show among others.
The agro-industrial fair, now a regular component of the annual festival, will serve as the 'kick off' activity of the week-long festival and will formally open on April 1. There will be a contest on the 'pinaka' in the local products and best booth.
The tribal sports on 'Gimata' race for men and pounding rice for women will be competed among the Balangao, Baliwon, Aplai, Kankana-ey and Bontoc tribes. Participants must be in their ethnic attire.
Lomban di amam-a ya inin-a (marathon for the elderly) is open to men aging 50 years old and above for the 5km run and women who are 45 years old and above for the 3km run. Interested to participate are required to submit medical and birth certificates.
The street dancing will be composed of two groups : the Children Street Dancing which shall be participated in by elementary pupils and first and second year high school. Participants in this category shall be composed of a minimum of 25 to a maximum of 30; and the Mixed-age Group street dancing which shall be participated by the community of all ages with a minimum of 60 to a maximum of 100 performers to include dancers, musicians and prop-bearers.
Other activities to be conducted during the week-long festival include mountain trekking; skills fair/showcase; Ms. Mt. Province Pageant; Lang-ay Theme song competition; farmers forum/congress/lectures; medical/dental mission; coffee sipping experience; indigenous worship and concert; Theater presentation; 11th Community get together; Job fair and Serbisyo Caravan of selected agencies; Chorale Fest; Oratorical contest for the youth with the theme, 'Gawis ay Mountain Province'.
The Regional Development Council will also be holding its meeting here.
From the P1.5 million allocation last year, the provincial government has increased the Lang-ay allocation for 2008 to P2 million.
Financial assistance of P50,000 will be given to each of the ten municipalities to defray cost of preparation, coordination, and rehearsal for street dancing, props and costumes, preparation,of booths and honorarium of municipal coordinator/choreographer.
Another P10,000 per municipality to defray cost of lunch by the Chico River Bank; P10,000 each for transportation expenses for the municipalities of Barlig, Sabangan, Sagada, Sadanga, Bauko, Besao and Tadian; and P20,000 each for the Natonin and Paracelis, the farthest municipalities.
Financial assistance of P15,000 will also be given to each participating group in the children street dancing to defray expenses incurred during coordination, preparation, to include costumes, props, etc.
The remaining amount will be given as cash prizes to the winners of the different competitions like in the street dancing, the Best Performer in the Mixed-Age group will be given a cash prize of P50,000 while the other participants will be given P25,000. the Best Performer in the children group will receive a cash prize of P10,000 and consolation prize of P5,000 for each participating group.
The Lang-ay Festival, which was first staged in 2004, is the biggest crowd drawer in the province. (PIA MP) [top]