TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The several hours of heavy downpour and the over eight hours of performances failed to dampen the verdant desire of the people and officialdom of Kalinga to place the province in the world map by setting two unique records for the books.
Close to 10,000 male gong players and female ‘Banga’ or pot dancers from the province’s 7 towns, Rizal, Pinukpuk, Tanudan, Pasil, Lubuagan, Tinglayan and Balbalan and the 4 districts of Tabuk City patiently performed the famous playing of the gongs and the traditional ‘Banga’ or pot dance with the clay pots on the heads of the women to satisfy the prescribed rules by the Guinness Book of world Records as per the assigned adjudicator to establish the 2 records.
The record setting Awong chi Gangsa, Agtun chi Banga or A Call of a Thousand Gongs, Dance of A Thousand Pots was the highlight of the celebration of the province’s 28th founding anniversary and 4th Bodong festival which was held at the Kalinga Sports Complex last Wednesday, February 15, 2023.
The said event which is the brainchild of Dr. Amelia Miranda and headed by Bishop Prudencio Andaya, Jr. was over 2 years in the making after the same was affected by the cancellation of major crowd drawing events following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020.
Although there is no official record documented for the Largest Gong ensemble and the Largest ‘Banga’ or Pot Dance, Guinness Book of World Records Adjudicator Kazuyushi Kirimura disclosed that the record to beat for the Largest Gong ensemble was 150 and the Largest ‘Banga’ or Pot Dance is 250.
Based on his adjudication, Kirimura claimed that Kalinga was able to set the record for the Largest Gong ensemble with some 3,440 bar coded gong players who simultaneously performed the traditional playing of the gongs within the prescribed 5-minute period without undue interruption.
On the other hand, Kalinga was also able to set the record of the Largest ‘Banga’ or Pot Dance with some 4,681 bar coded women dancers performing the traditional ‘Banga’ or pot dance simultaneously dancing to the tune of the gongs while balancing the clay pots on their heads and doing the steps with high proficiency during the separate 5-minute period that was given to them by the adjudicator.
“We were overwhelmed by the victory that Kalinga was able to achieve at this time. The preparations and sacrifices that had been done by our people paid off and now Kalinga is in the world map of record holders. We congratulate everyone who sacrificed their time, effort and resources to ensure the successful conduct of one of the most difficult events to prepare,” Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang stated right after the certification was turned over by the Guinness Book of world Records Adjudicator to provincial officials.
The 3-term Kalinga lawmaker pointed out that the recent fete that the province has achieve will definitely contribute in boosting the tourism potentials of the province and will entice foreign and domestic visitors to consider Kalinga as one of their must-see destinations because of the well-preserved culture and traditions of the indigenous peoples.
Congressman Mangaoaong explained that whenever the gongs will be sounded, there is always a celebration and whenever women carry the clay pots on their heads and dance the ‘Banga’ dance, it symbolizes bountiful harvest.
“It is a victory of the people of Kalinga. Everyone did their part for the successful conduct of the much awaited event. We are dedicating the victory to the people of our beloved province,” an emotional Gov. James S. Edduba said right after receiving the separate certificates from the Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator stating the records that were set by the said activities.
The governor disclosed that it was the committee headed by Bishop Andaya that sourced out the needed resources for the successful staging of the record setting event while the provincial government provided the 16,000 pounds to bring in the adjudicators from the Guinness Book of World Records to oversee and adjudicate the conduct of the twin events that set separate records belonging to Kalinga.
He assured that part of the annual celebration of the province’s anniversary and the conduct of the Bodong festival will be the ‘Awong chi Gangsa, Agtun chi Banga’ for visitors to be able to witness the ongoing efforts of concerned government agencies and the provincial government to preserve the rich culture and traditions of the indigenous peoples.
Among the gong players and ‘Banga’ dancers who actively participated in the said event include beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, students, farmers and interested residents from the province’s 7 towns and 4 districts of Tabuk City.
Edduba pointed out that during the conduct of the said event where it rained for several hours, the people of Kalinga were able to show to the world their unity, cooperation and their verdant desire to set the twin records as they weathered the rains and did not left the Kalinga sports Complex until the ss Book of World Records Adjudicator declared that Kalinga is now the record holder of the Largest Gog ensemble and largest ‘Banga’ or Pot Dance.
He said that the provincial government plans to make a mini-museum within the area where the event was conducted to serve as a monument of the key players that led to the successful conduct of the said event, especially the gong players and the ‘Banga’ dancers who are now part of Kalinga’s rich history. By Dexter A. See, Darryl Valdez and Nicko Gatchalian