Nueva Vizcaya presents 4th Ammungan Festival

May 23, 2012 9:49 pm 

By Ben Moses Ebreo

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 21 — Ordinary villagers and visitors in this province are now in a festive mood as the provincial capitol in the capital town of Bayombong has been transformed into an area of fun, entertainment, local trade fair and cultural center designed to promote the rich cultural history, achievements on local governance and unity of all sectors.

All these form of excitement and celebration lead to Ammungan Festival, a yearly celebration of the 173rd founding anniversary of Nueva Vizcaya where young and old, are free to roam and enjoy the various events and activities during the week-long celebration.

Now on its 4th year of celebration with the theme: “Extreme Fun in Ammungan” it offers the following services, attractions and entertainment programs from May 1 to 31, such as the Tiangge sa kapitolyo, Fun Rides Carnival, Zip Line and Rapelling, Agri-Trade Fair and Gawang Biscayano Trade Exhibit.

Flash Mob, Medical, Dental and Surgical Mission, Tugtugan sa Park I-MOVE Green Mobility, Extreme Shootfest, Job’s Fair, Taekwondo Competition, Bicycle Fun Ride, Skateboarding Competition, Street Dancing Competition, Parlor Games for Kids, Fire Boat, Gabi ng Panginoon; Indigenous People’s Day, Cultural Night, Drum and Lyre Competition, Chess Tournament, Fire Works Display, Search for Saniata ti Tribu Biscayano, Fun Trail/Run, Dog Show, SMART TNT Fun Day, Arnis Tournament, People’s Night; and

Float Competition, Raffle Bonanza, Youth Night, Kate Flying and Lantern Show and the Grand Parade on May 24, the Vizcaya Day proper, declared as a non-working holiday in the province.

“We see in this yearly event the support, cooperation and participation of all sectors of Nueva Vizcaya, moving as one to share their resources for this important occasion,” said Dr. Pinky Torralba, the festival’s director-general for three years.

Torralba said the festival’s cultural highlights have inspired even the Novo Vizcayano Association (NVA) in Hongkong who also conducted a similar festival in 2011 and blended its programs with Nueva Vizcaya’s cultural identity.

“This shows the unity and identity of Novo Vizcayanos in other countries in the form of their varied culture, arts and crafts, music and other talents. They are proud to show their identity wherever they are,” Torralba stressed.

Ammungan, a Gaddang term which means gathering was coined by the festival organizers to describe the event as a venue to promote and exchange cultural practices in a bid to educate the younger generations on their identity as Novo Vizcayanos.

It was inspired by the “Ammungan” festivals in 1989 and 1996 which were organized by the Nueva Vizcaya Heritage Foundation, Inc. to showcase the culture of a limited number of identified indigenous people.

“The ‘Ammungan’ Park, built beside the main capitol building, showcases what has become one of the conglomeration of the different indigenous peoples in Nueva Vizcaya where it can also be called Tribu Biscayano village.

Within the Ammungan park are distinctive natives huts built by tribal folks representing the Isinai, Gaddang, Bugkalot, Kalanguya/Ikalahan, Iwak, Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, Ayangan, Tuwali and other related tribes.

To inspire tribal folks in putting in place traditional styles and other cultural symbols in their respective abodes, a native hut competition is regularly sponsored by the provincial government, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

From May 19 to 24, tribal folks troop to the park to participate in the tribal gathering which will be highlighted by the holding of “Wat-wat” or sharing of consecrated meat which is similar to the tradition of “Padigu” among Ilocanos.

The festival also recognizes the migrant ethno-linguistic groups such as Ilocano, Pangasinense, Batangueno, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Bisayan, Mindanaoan, and other related groups and sub-groups, including the children of inter-tribal marriages and of foreign blood origins as members of Tribu Biscayano, a branding cultural name for Novo Vizcayanos.

“This is without prejudice to the adoption of new members by voluntary action or by recommendation based on meritorious contribution to the overall development of the province,” explained vice governor Jose Gambito, director-general of the 1st Ammungan Festival.

The Wat-wat program where tribal folks garbed in their traditional attires show their cultural dances and traditional sports, native rice wine called “tapuy” is endlessly served to the public.

Gambito said the Ammungan Festival does not only showcase the rich culture of the Tribu Biscayano, but an event where the future generation develops understanding of their cultural origin and environment, foster unity and better cooperation among villagers with different ethnicities as well as mother dialects in order to attain peace and development in the province. (PNA)DCT/SCD/BME/mba

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