Monday, May 16, 2011

The Panagwawagi Festival of Dumalneg

It was my fourth time to visit the town of Dumalneg in Ilocos Norte and still being fascinated by the mountains surrounding her. Besides that, it was so colorful to see the indigenous peoples clad in their native costumes and the men wore the g-string.

Last week, when I joined the press staff of the provincial government, I was lucky to witness the celebration of the town’s fiesta called Panagwawagi Festival. The term means brotherhood. Its an annual celebration to preserve and promote the indigenous culture.

I saw again some familiar faces. I greeted Mayor and Mrs Francis Espiritu when we arrived at the auditorium. I have seen the elders busy playing the indigenous musical instruments.

A little later, they started their ethnic dances. The men that sport long hair are members of the lamplighters. They too participated in the dancing. I saw also a toddler who wears a g-string but with a diaper underneath. So cute to see and watch him as he went at the middle of the auditorium.

Governor Imee Marcos was the guest speaker for the event. She mentioned that Dumalneg came to be an independent town during her father’s regime. She watched the competition for the Sayaw Kalikasan. There were three groups competed and they depicted nature and environment. Their dances imparted a message to protect and preserve Mother Earth.

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