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Ibaloys continue month long festivity with music, cultural shows

TRACING ONE’S ROOTS. The Ibaloy Festival continues at the Ibaloy Heritage Park within the Burnham Park and will continue until October 29 during the Indigenous People’s Day. This is a sketch of urban sketcher or on location sketcher Aurelio Castro III during his visit at the park on his last day for his Session: SketchTour of Baguio with Ged Alangui and was launched last September 30 at the baguio Convention Center.

Festivity resumed Thursday and may continue until Sunday at the Ibaloy Heritage Park as Ibaloy musicians strut their talent and cultural shows take precedence in the month long Ibaloy Festival which has a PhP500,000 backing from the city government.

The Ibaloy folks oldest rock band – Bag-iw (moss that many believe was how the city got its name) – reunites this Sunday as culmination of the four day rock “fest” of sorts at the park, an area segregated for the original settlers’ use.

Friday showcased the Ibaloy Material Culture which will be followed by the display of Ibaloy indigenous plants on the day.

Also on Friday afternoon, the Triwit band will open the performances and will be joined by the Wakat Suello group. Suello is a former Benguet governor, whose descendants include former Department of Tourism – Cordillera and Benguet first lady Purificacion Molintas.

On Saturday, it will be Bangkilay followed by youth activities and workshops from 1 until 5PM. This will be followed by performances of tha bands Amigos and Purple Heart from 6 to 8 PM.

After the Ibaloy cultural dances in the morning, Irisan based band Eagles will be performing and the turn of the Carantes family from Loakan after.

Founded in the late 70s, Bag-iw composed of brothers Reuelle (Owat), Bobby and Beaureguard may reunite to bring popular tunes from the 70s until the 90s as well as originals that may dexcribe the old Baguio.

Baguio’s original settlers kicked off their annual festival last October 1 where the 22 clans not just from the city but neighboring towns trace their ancestry and interconnectivity.

Tunton ni Kaafuan: Pansaksahey ni Familia is a festivity marked with the 22 clans tracing their ancestry and how they are all related.

“We all came from one, each clan is related to another not just here but also from neighboring towns,” said Lynette Carantes – Bibal, who said that Tunton or tracing the interconnectivity is the main theme in this year’s festival for the people which inhabited the city long before the Americans came here.

“We are able to trace our ancestry from five generations or nearly 150 years,” said Carantes-Bibal, a theater and recently a film maker who won an award for a documentary of his late father, Geoffrey Carantes, a historian, artist and councilor of La Trinidad.

“Some even traced their ancestors from 500 years ago,” she said or even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines.

“I am an Ibaloy, and I am proud of where I come from and the rich culture we have,” said Pamela Carino-Bomogao, a descendant of Donato Carino, one the sons of Mateo Carino, who owned most of the land around the old Kafagway until Camp John Hay including most of Burnham, the City Hall grounds and all the way to Tuba.

The festival opened last October 1 with the “madmad” or the opening ritual at 7 AM. At 9AM, the official opening will be made followed by messages from city officials present which will be followed by a booth tour and introduction of clans.

This week’s celebration of the Ibaloys coincide with the 12th Tam-awan International Arts Festival that has nearly 400 artist-participants from all over the country. Pigeon Lobien

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