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Apr 16

Memory Trails of the New MP in Lang-ay Festival

By: Glo Abaeo Tuazon
Email: twilight_gloatyahoodotcom

LANG-AY FEST 2010. Participants danced for 5 minutes under the shade of the Eyeb Open Gym. Each group portraying a sort of tradition usually practiced in their area.

The Lang-ay Fest 2010 main events concluded with a new twist on its 5th year of annual celebration. The whole affair was a bit subdued, but the new activities that were inserted made it the more memorable that the years in between its creation and today.

Probably the most important event this year is the unveiling of the Governors Memorial Marker right outside the Multipurpose Hall fronting the Capitol. The soft sunlit early morning saw the heirs of the past governors with the current governor standing amidst them, unveil the wall marker that immortalized the efforts and memories of the past leaders. The history of leadership from the Old Mt. Province were neatly summarized in the most solemn way possible, the remaining families nostalgic for the first time in many years, thankful that a memorial was thought of by the current governor Maximo B. Dalog.

Board Member Eufemia Lam-en who recently lost her husband, the late Alfredo “Binky” Lam-en Jr. has sentimental words to say. One surviving past governor, the Honorable Jaime Gomez spoke in recollection of the old times and his gratitude that they were remembered. It was a great joy, Gomez said,  to know that they are being recognized for their contributions in the making of the new Mt. Province. One by one the banging of the gong echoed the soul of these leaders as their names were called, a bow each and the cold letters of their names on the marble slabs warmed up with the rising of the early sun. The chilling shriek of the bugle playing Taps while the wreath was marched and laid on the memorial put a symbolic life to the rested works and capped the event. Now it will shine up in time, the blank spaces on the wall to be filled up with the names of those who will lead in the future.

The moment was lightened up right after with the launching of two books. One to depict the history of the area, entitled “The New Mountain Province”, it tells of the journey of the people to come to what we know now as the areas comprising the province. There was never a book published that tells its story, that focuses directly and extensively on the land as it is and how it was before without the inclusion of the other provinces that comprised the old Mt. Province. And those that has been written as references in the early days were made by foreigners. One was the Discovery of The Igorots by Scott (during the Spanish Period) and the other is the History of the Mountain province (during the American period to the 1960s) by Fry. Also there are no compiled history or reference materials ever made of and about the 10 municipalities. This book was made in response to the need, aptly sourced out and created with the prodding of Gov. Maximo Dalog and the unending research of the different authors to come up with an effort that signifies a mile on the history of the province. The second book was a translation of Kankanaey words into English. This book is of great help to those wanting to learn and know of the dialect known as kankanaey.

WREATH LAYING AT THE MEMORIAL. Gov. Maximo B. Dalog watches as a military bugle corps plays the Taps at the wreath laying. It commemorates the memories of the past (still living or those who already died) governors that served Mt. Province at one time or another.

Pride was the word of the day. Pride that a humble collection of people, all with his own culture and tradition, was embedded in the pages of a book to mark a distinct way of life, one that is truly igorot and culturally Mt. Province.

So the Lang-ay Fest went in a manner familiar to the regular visitors. The succession of events from the pre-pageant search of the Bangan Di Montanosa (Search for Ms. Mt. Province) to the coronation night was a teaser where 10 beautiful ladies representing each municipality concerted in an effort to project the best of the province.

Unconditional help from the Baguio General Hospital surgical team in coordination with the Provincial Health Office was extended to a number of needy patients who passed the screening to undergo surgery free of charge. This has given way to the assessment of illnesses and other health problems mostly prevailing in the area, a statistics for more health study and preventive or curative methods.

Not to forget the persistent and important issue of climate change, a Farmers’ technology Forum was organized to address the issue and educate those concerned of the trivialities accompanying the topic. The main event though happened on the 7th with the famous Street Paradealong the main thoroughfares of Bontoc and ended at Eyeb with the Cultural Show. Capping it was the Lang-ay by the Chico River where everybody was treated to an indigenous lunch prepared by the 10 municipalities comprising the province.

BOOK PRESENTATION. Traditionally garbed performers beat the gongs and carry the books atop their head to present it for launching. The books entitled “The New Mountain Province” and “kankanaey to English Dictionary” marks a milestone in the history writing and documentation of the Mountain Province since its historical division from the Old Mt. Province.

With the aim of creating the Lang-ay Festival to cater to all the different aspects of culture, tourism and trade, arts and thanksgiving, Gov. Maximo Dalog thanks everybody who attended and participated. Dalog continued to say that this affirmed the oneness, cooperation and brotherhood of everybody to make the event as memorable and enjoyable as possible.

LANG-AY 2010 PARADE. Gov. Maximo B. Dalog leads the Lang-ay parade and PGO entourage along the streets of Bontoc. This is the 5th celebration of the annual festival that was created to showcase the best of the Province in terms of culture, tourism, and governance.

OLD MEN OF SABANGAN. Even the elderly played their parts. Clothed in g-strings and modern scarves, they strutted their stuffs amid the applause of viewers.

UNVEILING OF MEMORIAL MARKER. The Governors Memorial Marker was unveiled by the few surviving past governors and their heirs. It immortalized the efforts and contributions of the past leaders to add up to the history of the Mt. Province.