Friday, March 11, 2011

The Kawayan Festival of Abra

Finally this time I was able to catch and watch the Abrenian Kawayan Festival in Bangued in celebration of the province’s foundation anniversary. I was late last year because I assumed that the grand parade will be held in the afternoon.This landlocked province belongs to the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon and was founded on March 9, 1917.

I arrived at around ten in the morning and the grand parade was ongoing. I rushed to the capitol and I saw the people from different municipalities and government agencies on parade. Some of them have their floats made of bamboo. Abra is known to produce bamboos aside from the tobacco. Aside from the beautiful and creative designs of the floats, they also make various handicrafts out of bamboo. They make bags, baskets, fans, chairs, tables, even musical instruments like patpato and many others. One very important use of bamboo is for building a house or shelter. I have seen several houses along the hi-way made up of bamboos.

On the floats were stunning muses who wore the ethnic and local costumes. I have seen the cultural group of the Tinggian Masadiit who sang and dance during the parade. The males wore the g-string and played the patpato to produce music for their performance.

There was also a showcase of sakuting dance performance by a group of men. They used the bamboo sticks. An exhibition of taekwondo stunts was conducted by international champions. Big bikes joined also the parade.

I personally met Governor Eustaquio Bersamin during the event. He was cool because he cheered for every contingent parading infront of the capitol. He even sat at the stairs of the stage together with the balikbayans.

The province also conducted a trade fair entitled Padaya at the SM Megamall. At home, they held Farmer’s Day where they showcased the rarest products and livestocks. They also had Youth Day, Women’s Day, and pageant for Little Miss Abra. This provincial fiesta is a showcase of arts, crafts and cultures by the locals and indigenous people. It’s a way to preserve and promote the treasures of the community.

This is the video of the sakuting dance performance.

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