A lawmaker here is mulling a Panagbenga-like celebration of its 124th foundation anniversary next year.
Lone District Representative Eric Yap, in an interview on the sidelines of this year’s 123rd Foundation Day program on Thursday, said he has already spoken to two top provincial officials about the plan.
“I was talking with the governor and vice governor that maybe it is high time that we show the country what we are as people of Benguet, what we do during Adivay,” he said.
By inviting tourists in the province to join the celebration, Yap said businesses would flourish and more income will go to Benguet residents and the local government.
“For the Adivay celebration falling on the foundation anniversary, we hope to get the 13 municipalities’ and the capitol’s support to the plan, especially in terms of logistics,” he said.
Benguet is known as the “salad bowl” of the country, with vegetable gardens carved into its mountains and a picturesque landscape.
“I want to show the tourists about our resilience as Benguet people. We have been through numerous calamities like floods and earthquakes but we remain steadfast and standing, fighting and continuing to make a living,” Yap said.
Other tourist attractions in the province include the famous Mt. Pulag National Park; the mummy burial caves in Kabayan town; the strawberry fields in La Trinidad, and the recently popularized flower gardens in Atok municipality, among others.
Animals for offering
In line with the Adivay festival, Yap said more than a hundred fully grown pigs, aside from cows, were butchered during Day One of the three-day celebration in observance of the cultural practice of offering meat.
The rituals started on Nov. 22 with the butchering of pigs as an offering to the gods and the ancestors.
On Thursday, the grand cañao had eight pigs and two cows butchered for the provincial government’s tent, which was partaken by the public.
On the last day of the ritual, more pigs will be butchered in the traditional way called “owik”, with the native priest interpreting the size, shape, and position of the animal’s bile.
The centuries-long practice of the Benguet people remains alive with the dancing, beating of the gong, and the sipping of rice wine together with partaking of the meat simply boiled in water without any spice, that each person will have, or can bring home. (PNA)