The first-ever Kankanaey Festival is scheduled on May 13, 2023 with Kibungan town as host.
With the theme “Ulnos di Kankanaey para sin Pansigedan di Ili,” the relevant Kankanaey cultures, indigenous knowledge and practices will be highlighted.
“The purposes of the event are to showcase each municipality’s culture, traditions, indigenous knowledge, skills and practices and for the officials and people of neighboring municipalities to have acquaintances,” said Labio Nabe, Kibungan municipal councilor.
He added that a resolution has been passed for the Kankanaey Festival to be a yearly activity of the Kankanaey-dominated towns.
Kibungan Mayor Cesar Molitas invited all Kankanaeys and other Indigenous Peoples to take part in the said event.
“Umali kayo ta man Kanyaw tako ed munisipyo (Come that we will celebrate “Kanyaw” together in our [Kibungan] municipality), the mayor said as he invited all interested groups and individuals to the said celebration.
Meanwhile, Benguet Congressman Eric Go Yap, Benguet Governor Melchor D. Diclas and Benguet Vice Governor Ericson “Tagel” L. Felipe and other distinguished officials will be gracing the said festival.
“For the meantime, we have invited the four Kankanaey-dominated municipalities like Bakun, Buguias, Kapangan and Mankayan,” added Nabe.
He further mentioned that aside from the trade and agri-fair, photo exhibit and free “tapey” (rice wine) tasting, the visitors will be introduced with Kankanaey cultures through the cultural presentations of every town.
Kibungan mayor believes that hosting the First Kankanaey Festival would boost further the town’s tourism industry.
Kankanaey Festival is the counterpart of Ibaloy Festival which is celebrated every October. In addition, February 23 is Ibaloy Day celebration in Baguio City.
Kankanaey is one of the Indigenous Peoples in Benguet like Ibaloy, Karao, Kalanguya and Iowak.
In some parts of Mt. Province, there are people who speak Kankanaey language but with different intonation and accents.