The Gotad ad Ifugao 2023 gracefully ends its week-long packed celebration with the presentation of the Ifugao culture through the Bullogan di Bimmoble or the cultural parade and a cultural presentation as a highlight of the Gotad ad Punihidaan or the Grand Program of the Gotad on June 16 at the Capitol Plaza, Lagawe, Ifugao.
The 11 municipalities of Ifuago marched the streets of Lagawe from Kitikit Road, Dullagan, Lagawe to the Capitol Plaza while each presented their colorful tapestries, innovative artcrafts, and energetic chant, songs, and dances leading to the provincial plaza where the Grand program and cultural presentation was commenced.
Of cultural parade and cultural presentation
The theme of the cultural parade and the cultural presentation is the display and showcase of each town’s festivals which were culminated in the Gotad ad Ifugao celebration.
Each municipality performed presentations that showcased products unique to the municipalities, cultural practices celebrated in the communities, and performances filled with festivities from the delegate’s chants, songs, and dances.
The cultural display allowed the activity to be an avenue to celebrate the rich culture of Ifugao and help present Ifugao culture to the youth.
Marcelo A. Kidayan, a munpaot from Kiangan, emphasized that activities like these allowed knowledge holders like him to showcase their indigenous practices.
He proudly shared, “Daytoy ti ipresenta mi nga daytoy ti kultura idi, kultura mi ditoy Ifugao. Isu nga dagitoy ti maibatbati tapnu daytoy nga ayayam (artcrafts), isu ti iruwar da nga, ipakita da nga daytoy ti kultara idi nga inggana tadta… (We present these artcrafts as our culture here in Ifugao. We show these artcrafts [to the youth] for them to be share [to the world] that these are cultural practices we have before that we still practice up until today)”
Another participant, Mary Lydia M. De Castro from Kiangan, expressed her hopes for the youth to continue to uphold cultural patriotism and encouraged them to practice to continue to enrich and preserve Ifugao culture.
“To the youth, we encourage you to go on with our indigenous activities and practices because that is the only way you will be able to help to help preserve and conserve our indigenous knowledge and practices…It is during this time that we revisit again our practices, our dances, and our chants before they are into oblivion”
She also added that there are about nine indigenous practices that help in the ecological balance and the relationship of the Ifugao people.
She enumerated, “We have about nine indigenous practices which are worth transmitting to the next generation like land-water forms preservation, biodiversity conservation, preservation of the land, preservation of the water, preservation of our values system, preservation of our family kinship and genealogy.”
Winners were judged with 50% of the grand score from the cultural parade and the other half in the cultural presentation.
The showcase of the land’s festivities with the diverse cultural practices allowed Kiangan to bag the grand prize; Asipulo placed second with their creative rendition of the rice cycle and the Dinnuya dance; and Mayoyao placed third with their showcase of their fire dance ritual.
Other towns performed interpretations of their own festivals and cultural practices. Lagawe showcased their famed coffee production; Banaue presented the process of the production of Bayah; Tinoc prides their vegetable production through their performance; Alfonso Lista presented a Gaddang Tribe prayer; Aguinaldo drew inspiration from their victory ritual; and Hungduan centers their performance on thanksgiving and cultural display.
Of Grand Program of Gotad
The cultural parade and cultural presentation concluded with the the Gotad ya Punhidaan ad Ifugao or the Grand Program of Gotad.
Ifugao’s Lone District Representative Solomon R. Chungalao represented by Ramces D. Cabbigat and Ifugao Provincial Governor Jerry U. Dalipog graced the closing program.
Both highlighted the celebration’s symbolism to the province’s unity and its desires for continued progress and development of the province.
Cabiggat expressed Chungalao’s message to the Ifugao people as the celebration unites the people and its leaders.
“No matter what municipality you come from, what tribe you belong to, what church you go in, what walk of life you are area at, and what endeavor you are with. Today, we are one united people, blessed with a united set of leaders.”
The father of the Province, Governor Jerry U. Dalipog, closed the program and the celebration with a reiteration of the annual event’s theme which bannered, “Linngop, Hangley ya Amlong”.
He also shared words of encouragement to the province’s public servants to continue to put the Ifugao people upfront their service to its constituents.
“We must appropriate a nation that leaves nobody behind and upholds dignity for all.”, he firmly stands. By Mark Gonzalo D. Benter