LAGAWE, Ifugao – The province will be celebrating its 50th founding anniversary with the week-long activities lined up for the prestigious and famous “Gutad ad Ifugao’anchored on the theme “Haggiyo Ifugao or a shout of victory and thanksgiving.”
“Gatad” is an Ifugao term referring to a general invitation for gathering the people in a very festive atmosphere. A week-long celebration featuring series of activities like the parade, sports and games of the rich Ifugao customs and traditions will spice up the celebration being spearheaded by the concerned government agencies and the provincial government.
Governor Denis Habawel said that activities are the same but this year would be special because of the improved integrations like the different competitions prepared that prioritizes the transmission of culture from our old folks down to our young people.
The 11 municipalities of the province will showcase their products in the agro-industrial fair happening on June 14th, displaying their strength and agility in sports events and present their beauty, skills and talents in concerts, theatrical presentations and pageants. Ifugao delicacies from the different towns will also be presented from June 13 to 18. Food stalls will be offering various native delicacies and food products fresh from their Ifugao farmers. On June 1, a film showing on the Ifugao history where in old film clips taken as early as 1912 will be shown depicting a glimpse of how the Ifugaos dressed, worked and did their day to day activities for more than a century ago also shedding light on the perception of other people about the Ifugaos. A yearly competition looked forward by the young people is the Musical Cultural Theatre Festival that will showcase the creative and artistic skills of young Ifugaos in performing arts.
This year’s story line will focus on Ifugaos victories and milestones as a province. The celebration will also feature the most popular traditional games in the province on the 16th day of June where in ethnic sports like bultong, kayyatan, guyyudan, uggob, hinnukting, cabba/labba race, kadang-kadang, akkad and batawil race is to be contested rekindling the awareness of the younger Ifugao generation. There will also be a marathon in G-string competition which will have two race categories, category A for 10-15 years old running for a distance of 10 kilometers and category B for 16 years old and above running off to 21 kilometers. Other major events are the grand cultural parade, float contests, grand “Gotad” program and quiz bee on Ifugao culture and history that will also promote culture among the Ifugaos.
Habawel adds that what we’re doing now is a showcase of the culture that can be harness into a tourism activity and everyone is invited to come and be a part of this founding anniversary and the celebration of “Gotad ad Ifugao”.
By Breach Belle L. Chinayo and JASON DE GUZMAN