[Vigan] Binatbatan Festival: A Festival of Cottons and Fabric


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"Binatbatan Festival traces it's roots from the abel weaving industry of Vigan which has been in existence even before the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines."

The streets were closed, people flocked in certain locations. Drums are beating loud and clear. Colorful costumes are being worn by the street dancers as they proudly proclaim "Viva Vigan!" Binatbatan festival has emerged to be one of the largest cultural gatherings up north the Philippine archipelago.

Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival 2012
Wearing clothes made from abel Iloko, a woven fabric endemic in the Ilocos Region, Binatbatan Festival is not merely just a festival. It depicts the rich culture and old industries of Vigan.

Binatbatan Festival traces it's roots from the abel weaving industry of Vigan which has been in existence even before the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines. It comes from the word batbat, a pair of bamboo stick used to separate cotton pods that come from a tall tree called kapas sanglay. The word "kapas" from kapas sanglay means "cotton" in Ilocano.

Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival
Street dancers of the Binatbatan Festival joyfully and cheerfully wave their "batbat," some simulate the method done by abel-weavers in separating the cottons as they gracefully perform the process artistically with the beat of the drums and lyres rolling around the historic streets of the heritage city of Vigan.

Binatbatan Street Dancers also carry with them a basket at their back where they place the cotton pods taken from the kapas sanglay tree. Kapas sanglay tree bears fruits that dries up at the branches of the tree itself then just falls off after the fruit splits by itself exposing the seed-filled cottons inside.

Viva Vigan Festival

Viva Vigan Festival

Viva Vigan Festival
The products of the "Binatbatan" process in abel-weaving is now seen at the clothes of the participants of the street dancing -- they are wearing the abel Iloko fabric.

The photo above are street dancers performing in front of Crisologo Museum along Liberation Boulevard in Vigan. Notice, the museum at the background. Abel Iloko fabric is placed hanging at the windows of the ancestral house as seen at the parade route.

Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts 2012

Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts 2012

Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts

Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts
It was undeniably a hot day but the street dancers continued to wear smile of pride with their rich culture and heritage. From Vigan's bustling Quezon Avenue, until the busy Liberation Boulevard to the peaceful and quiet Calle Crisologo, the street dancing becomes more exciting overtime.

Even little kids who join the street dancing gave their best shot without any mark of complain or exhaustion at their face.

I am overloading this post with photos and sorry for that :->

Binatbatan Festival



Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival



Viva Vigan Festival

Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival

Binatbatan Festival

This is Binatbatan Festival - a fusion of culture, arts, industry history and heritage under one colorful event.
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comment 6 #TownFolks Commented :

WANDER SHUGAH on May 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM said...

sana mkapunta ako ng vigan! ang rich ng culture dito no :) Its always nice to educate our self with our history..

Edmaration etc on May 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM said...

True:) Punta ka na soon! :)

Bonzenti on May 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM said...

Kapas Sanglay is the name of cotton, interesting.

I remember my Lolo had a plant in their yard called "sanglay". When we extracted the water inside, its equivalent is like the liquid in "visine". It relaxes the muscle of your eyes and it's our natural visine everytime we were inflicted with sore eyes. Because of this post, I now remember the name of that plant. Thanks nito edmar. :-).

In cebuano, "gapas" means cotton. It sounds the same, though with different spelling, it has of the same meaning.

Edmaration etc on May 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM said...

Whoa! Interesting sir Bonz! That medicinal plant "sanglay" is amazing!
Gapas = Kapas, hmmm. not far :)

ByahengBarok on May 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM said...

Great photos. I think i ought to go to more festivals, I'll probably have a great time shooting the colorful event. I should try this year...

Edmaration etc on May 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM said...

Audrey, I'm sure you'll do :)

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