LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet State University-Center for the Culture and the Arts (BSU-CCA) performing group is currently training with Rev. Ventura Bitot for the stage play, “Boka Id Kayos (Escape from Kayos)…Igorot’s Resistance to Spanish Colony.”
The play showcases the story of a group from Abra, Benguet and Mt. Province who, under the cruelty of Spanish soldiers, decided to poison and stone their oppressors, then escape, with the setting in a place called Kayos in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur during the Spanish regime.
“The women actually were enslaved; they were made to cut and carry trees to fortify the military camp of the Spaniards. They were only able to stay there for three years because the Igorots hatched a plan against the soldiers. The place is called Kayos because it is a plateau with deep mountain gorges which is a passageway,” explained Rev. Bitot adding that the typography of the place became the Igorots’ advantage against their enemies.
After fighting the Spanish soldiers, the group from Benguet settled in Bakun, those from Abra went to Tubo and those from Mountain Province mostly went to the Western and Central part of Tadian. There are others who went to Bangnen, Bauko, Besao and Sagada.
Up until now the story is recounted in rituals and prayers during the Begnas, an agricultural thanksgiving festival held before harvesting rice. The tribes believed that Kabunyan helped them fight and escape.
The event also stopped the Spaniards from entering Mountain Province.
“According to the elders, there were about 200 Spaniards and they were supposed to start their attack at the Western Mountain Province and Kayos should have been the center of their defense,” said Rev. Bitot.
Assistant Director, Matyline Camfili-Talastas believes that reliving the story though a stage play would capture and raise the awareness of students and the wider audience on some important Cordillera his and herstory which are not available in textbooks.
The play written and directed by Rev. Bitot and produced by the BSU-CCA will be at the BSU Gymnasium on May 3, 2019.Matinee and gala shows will be at 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM respectively.