BAUKO, Mountain Province (PIA)--With the theme “Asenso Bauko: Binnadang di Litagwan, Sumikaan di ili ay Nataguwan” (Unity of the People for the Progress of the Homeland), this year’s Begnas di Bauko Festival celebration was packed with cultural performances and games.
In his message, Mayor Randolf T. Awisan said that the Begnas is a thanksgiving for all the blessings amidst all the challenges of life brought about by the COVI-19 pandemic and the strong earthquake last year.
“We have surpassed all these turmoils because we united to help each other. Furthermore, these reasons and many more are the ground to why we celebrate Begnas despite the difficult times; we have thousands of reasons to be thankful to the Lord,” Awisan said.
The Begnas di Bauko festival kicked off in March 9 with a thanksgiving mass, it was followed by a program that commenced with rituals called “pitik di tapey” (prayer for the wine), “sikmat, “salibongbong” performed by Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives.
Municipal IPMR Perfecto Codod explained the importance of the rituals – the “pitik” is a traditional prayer asking for blessing for the good of all; the “sikmat” is for sharing of blessing by all, and the “salibongbong” is the concluding prayer of thanksgiving.
The first day of celebration also featured the awarding of winners of the pre-Begnas contests on Solid Waste Management Most Compliant Barangay, Art in the Park Painting contest and the Promotional Video Contests.
The “Salidsid di Umili” Cultural Festival and indigenous games were the highlighted activities in March 10. The day’s activities started with a parade and street dancing performances which were attended by the representatives of the 22 barangays that were grouped into clusters, national line agencies and schools in Bauko.
Police Brigadier General Patrick Joseph Allan, representing guest of honor, Philippine National Police Chief PGeneral Rodolfo S. Azurin, Jr.; Tagaytay Councilor Gener M. Vergara, representing Senator Francis N. Tolentino, Congressman Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr., Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Vice Gov. Tauli and other local officials also joined in the 17th Begnas festival.
Lacwasan, in his message, stressed that among the cultural values that the iBaukos should not lose sight of is the value of oneness and cooperation. “Since time immemorial, it is the spirit of unity and mutual help that sustained us together.” (JDP/CEVT-PIA CR, Mt. Province)