PUGO, La Union – Thousands of people from all walks of life not only from the locality but also from overseas and other parts of the country flocked to the municipal grounds here last week to witness the highlight of town’s 2nd Tinungbo festival, the traditional cookfest and the colorful grand streetdancing parade.
The Tinungbo Festival is one of the fastest growing festivals outside Metro Manila because of its emphasis on the preservation of the rich culture and traditions of the people who trace their roots from both the highlands and the lowlands as evidenced by the theme, “Inspired by Traditions, Nurtured by Values.”
Participants from the town’s 14 barangays, Ambangonan, Ambalite, Cares, Cuenca, Duplas, Maoasoas Norte, Maoasoas Sur, Palina, Poblacion East, Poblacion West, San Luis, Saytan, Tabora East and Tabora Proper, simultaneously cooked their signature foods using the “bulo,” or the bamboo used by their forefathers in the past in cooking food when hunting and fishing.
The traditional cookfest tested the mettle of the participants in cooking rice, fresh water fish, assorted vegetables, meat, sticky rice, among others, using the prescribed bamboo tubes heated through the fire from wood as done traditionally.
The hundreds of kilos of prepared food were served by the organizers to the thousands of people who flocked to the municipality to this event.
Six contingents from public and private secondary schools joined the grand streetdancingg parade where each participating institutions danced their hearts out in front of the huge crowd who were gathered to witness the 4 basic steps of the dance performed by the streetdancers.
Amidst the scorching sun, the participants tried to best each other in the execution of the 4 dance steps, the awis – encouraging everyone to join, cooperate, support; Gaget steps — a mixture of Bago, Iluko and Cordilleran steps – depicting their happy footsteps to go to the fields or workplace; Billet Pugo steps – describing the bird quail, reminding them of their history, their town called Rancheria Tulosa before, which had an abundance of quails, therefore of other fauna, and flora including bamboos used in cooking the Tinungbo; and the Rukbab steps – that whatever blessings they have, they owe them to God.
The 4 steps of the Tinungbo festival dance was approved by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) after various consultations, training and seminars with local officials and stakeholders for the successful conduct of the festival dance by the designated performers.
Last year’s champion, Pugo Catholic High School also emerged as this year’s winner in the grand streetdancing competition besting five other participating contingents from the different parts of the municipality and will defend its title as the champion in the grand streetdancing open category for the 23rd edition of Panagbenga or Baguio flower festival in Baguio City next month. Mayor Priscilla Martin expressed her gratitude to all those who, in one way or the other, extended their all-out support for the successful staging of the month-long events that resulted to the festival’s resounding success. By HENT