BANAUE, Ifugao – Senator Manuel ‘ Lito’ Lapid and officials from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) will be the town’s premier gests during the conduct of this year’s Imbaya festival scheduled on 27-30 April 2015.
Mayor Jerry Dalipog said the municipal government is still awaiting final confirmation from their invited guests as of presstime but organizers of the different lined up activities for the 4-day celebration assured all things are in place for the conduct of the different events.
“Local residents and guests will be provided with adequate entertainment and sufficient education of the culture of the Ifugaos during the lined up activities. WE want our visitors to have a memorable stay in our town so that they will keep coming back during the celebration of the Imbaya festival which is now done annually,” Mayor Dalipog stressed.
He said selected indigenous peoples from the 19 barangays of the municipality will showcase the longest manual rice pounding in front of the municipal plaza during the first day of the festival.
In order to entice the interest of the public to attend the manual rice pounding event on 27 April 2015, Dalipog said each of the 19 barangays were required to bring with them two concrete pounding bowls and two pairs of wooden pounders.
According to him, the pounding bowls will be spread along the 500-meter stretch of the municipal plaza and assigned individuals will be tasked to perform the simultaneous manual pounding of rice in front of the viewing public.
The local chief executive disclosed the municipal government will be providing the palay that will be manually pounded by the concerned individuals and that the rice to be produced will be cooked and served to the public during the public lunch to be hosted by the municipal government during the first day of festivities.
“ We want our visitors to taste our manually pounded rice in order for them to have the experience of tasting native rice varieties that were manually pounded,” Dalipog added.
Ifugao is known worldwide as the host of the famous rice terraces that earned the title of the Eighth Wonder of the World and the source of the native rice, “tinawon” being organically raised within the terraces.
For the past several years, native rice farmers were able to produce a total of 7 tons of native rice variety which are all being shipped to the United States for the consumption of foreigners.
However, Mayor Dalipog wants the local government to adopt a policy that mandates native rice farmers to leave behind 50 percent of their produce so that local residents and visitors will have the chance to taste the locally produced native rice produced in the world famous rice terraces.
He said the 50 percent of the “ tinawon rice” that will be left behind in the locality will be purchased by the municipal government or stored so that it will be offered to special guests of the town during special occasions such as the annual celebration of the Imbaya festival to help entice more people to frequently visit the town and enjoy its sceneries and beautiful sites.
Dalipog appealed to interested guests to visit the locality and have a first-hand experience of joining native events and partake of native food. By Dexter A. See