TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government is studying the possibility of rescheduling the conduct of its Ava Festival from December to either March of April of every year to ensure the availability of gabi that will be served as the primary food for the celebrants.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera admitted the need to reschedule the town’s Ava festival to allow sufficient time for the maturation of gabi by the local farmers which is the primary purpose why the town is ceclebrates the festival to help promote the gabi or ava as the primary product of farmers.
“We had an insufficient supply of ava during the 3rd Ava Festival last week because the crops that were supposed to bear gabi were heavily damaged by Tphoons Karen and Lawin last October,” Rivera stressed.
He explained the local government distributed ava planting materials to the farmers in the different barangays last August purposely to make sure that there will be an adequate supply of gabi in time for the festival last week but the typhoons heavily affected the ready-to-harvest gabi that had to be harvested immediately draining supply for the festival.
According to him, the concerned offices of the municipal government are now conducting consultations with the various sectors of the municipality on the matter before local officials finalize the passage of the resolution transferring the schedule of the Ava Festival from December to either March or April every year.
Mayor Rivera also pointed out the plan to reschedule the town’s festival will be in line with the appeal of Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan for the neighboring towns of Benguet to schedule their crowd-drawing events either before or after the world famous Panagbenga or Baguio flower festival so that the localities will be able to get a share of the visitor crowd to the city.
Amidst the inadequate supply of gabi or ava in the Ibaloi dialect, Rivera said the celebrating the town’s 3rd Ava festival last week was successful even with the ava supply shortage, thus, the need for local officials to consider the proposed rescheduling of the town’s major crowd drawing event.
With the proposed conduct of the Ava Festival by March or April, Rivera emphasized the local government could start distributing the planting materials by November or December to ensure a good gabi supply by the time of the festival for residents and visitors.
Rivera called on various sectors in the town to actively participate in the consultations for the purpose of soliciting their opinions on this important municipal-wide concern.