TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Governor Jocel Baac on Monday led the ceremonial beating of the gong that signalled the official opening of the 23rd Kalinga Founding Anniversary and 2nd Bodong Festival with the theme “Celebrating Our Strength in Pursuit of Good Governance.”
The Kalinga Treasures Trade Fair 2018 simultaneously opened to the public with the opening of the Festival, with the open-air bazaar on the provincial capital’s main thoroughfare where home-grown products are sold by 109 exhibitors, 12 of whom are from Ifugao and four from Baguio. During the fair’s opening, seven entrepreneurs were recognized under the Bagwis Awards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Janel Pineda and Jared Mark Burnot received silver awards while Marivic Gonzales, Ruben Bides, Juanita Juruena, Anamarisa Maymaya, Divina Teckney, and Shriley Balbino each received a bronze award. The awards were conferred by DTI Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Grace Baluyan together with Governor Baac, Representative Sonny Mangaoang, Vice Governor James Edduba, Mayors Ferdinand Tubban and Johnwell Tiggangay.
Slated on February 12 to February 18, the main festival will showcase the dances, songs, and attire unique to the tribes of Kalinga. In the light of the revival of Kalinga’s tattoo tradition, a tattoo hub where visitors can experience Kalinga’s traditional hand-tapped tattoo under a new generation of tattoo artists will be set up at the Provincial Tourism Information Center.
Other highlights of the festival include the float parade on February 13, the cultural parade on February 12, the street dance parade on February 15, and the Kalinga Tapestry Show on February 16.
This year’s biggest guests include Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. who is expected to attend as guest of honor during the City and Municipalities Day on February 13.
Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” G. Ejercito will be the guest of honor during the School’s Day on February 15.
The band Silent Sanctuary will also be entertaining the crowd at the Capitol Park on February 13.
Due to logistical challenges, the “Awong Chi Gangsa” will not be part of this year’s activities and is replaced with the “Digdiga Din Tupayya”, a competition of Kalinga’s traditional dances.
To ensure that everyone can enjoy and participate in the festivities, Governor Baac has issued Executive Order No. 2018-09 declaring February 14 as special non-working holiday and suspending classes on February 15 in all levels of private and public schools and colleges.
The Bodong is a traditional system of peacekeeping practiced predominantly by Kalinga tribes. It is a century-old practice of peacekeeping among warring tribes by instituting a series of formalities and rites in accordance to Kalinga traditions.
By Iryll Sicnao