BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—The 2018 “Ammungan” (Gathering) Festival will focus on the rich history and culture of Nueva Vizcaya, provincial officials said Thursday.
The Festival, to be held from May 21 to 25, is an annual array of weeklong festivities in the province where Novo Vizcayanos from all walks of life will commemorate the province’s founding anniversary on May 24. It was declared as a non-working holiday here.
c, the festival’s director-general, said the executive committee has chosen history and culture as the focus of the festivities to promote the traditions of various indigenous peoples that compose 70 percent of the total population of Nueva Vizcaya.
“This cultural and historical highlight of our festivities is timely considering the efforts of the provincial government in preserving the culture and traditions of various tribes here,” Torralba said.
Marichele Costales, provincial tourism supervising officer, said since 2014, the provincial government through former governor Ruth Padilla started an aggressive advocacy program to teach young IPs on their vanishing cultural traditions, ranging from learning their local language to internalizing their native dances, songs and rituals, among others.
This is being conducted annually through the IP Summer Workshop, which has already taught more than 1,000 IP children belonging to the Tuwali ang Ayangan sub-tribes of Ifugaos, Kalanguya and Ibaloi sub-tribes of Igorots, Isinais, Gaddangs, Bugkalots and Iwaks, among others, she said.
“At present, we now see young IPs doing and performing their native songs, dances and rituals during cultural shows in our province and even outside. When the IP Summer Workshop is not yet in place, only IP elders do several cultural performances of their respective cultural and traditional practices,” Costales said.
The Ammungan Festival, along with other historical, cultural and eco-tourism attractions of the province has become a crowd drawer among local and foreign tourists, she said.
“We have attained 100 percent increase of tourist arrivals from 2016 to 2017. We have recorded close to 300,000 tourist arrivals in 2017 compared to the more than 103,000 arrivals in 2016,” Costales added.
Tourist arrivals in 2017 ranged from 10,000 to 15,000 a week, focusing their journey to the Capissaan Cave System in Kasibu town, Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park in Diadi town, St. Vincent Church in Dupax del Sur town, and other historical and cultural sites of the province, she said.
The festival also features an Agri-Industrial Trade Fair, where local products of the province will be exhibited; walk of history photo exhibit; landscaping contest; free health services; a job fair; search for model grandfather and grandmother; native games; arts and music festival; and a beauty contest.
On May 23, the festival offers cultural day, jobs fair, free music lessons, Iloko literature contest while May 24 showcases the grand parade, street dancing, and variety shows.
A Farmers’ Day and the 2nd Nueva Vizcaya Historical Congress will also be held on May 25 as a post-activity of the weeklong festival.