I was invited again for the third time to judge the Street Pageantry of the Gameng Festival of Solsona town in Ilocos Norte. This is their 5th year to celebrate the said festival.
Gameng refers to treasure. All their treasures were showcased in the floats or carison paraded around the streets during the pageantry. All the floats were decorated with indigenous materials. I saw flora and fauna displayed. On its flora, aba and daludal or called abaludal or taro was the star of the festivities since the dancers did not only bring with them the plant itself but they danced the way this sways.
Fresh farm produce and harvests were showcased at the Gameng Village. I have seen different seed products on sale, fruits such as the saba, corn, river weeds, river shells such as the agurong and birabid, deer dried meat, free-range chicken eggs, and other items such as old charcoal flat iron, sungka, hats, very old and antique costumes, cooking utensils and many others. Some of them were used to decorate the floats.
I had a dose of the pocherong deer meat and agurong shells where Mayor De Lara hosted us lunch at his office. There were Iloco green salads. Tinolang native chicken and igat or eel were also served. The town was even featured on TV about the showcase of taraon or exotic food at the opening of the festival.
In the aftenoon, there was a showdown of the 21 barangays. There was the interpretation of abuladal dance and some other mixed forms. Talugtog bested the defending champion Darasdas this year for their wonderful performances with great costumes and props and smooth dance choreography. It was great to be part of the festival and we had fun.