I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care.
"I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care."

[BANGUED, ABRA, PHILIPPINES] ▬ The night was young. The festive ambiance continues to draw crowd. The Abra Gymnasium is the place to go this point of time. A lot of children and young people gathered around the gymnasium with their beautiful traditional costumes. Inside the gymnasium, spectators are waiting for the start of the cultural night. You will notice that this event was well-prepared. The stage is sophisticated. The event was shown live on the giant screens inside and outside the gymnasium.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ KIDS WEARING TINGUIAN TRADITIONAL COSTUME


Prior to the start of the cultural night I observed what's going on around. I am seeing many Tinguian people representing proudly their sub-tribes. I know how hard to reach some of their villages but they're all here with one purpose - to showcase their beautiful culture and heritage. 

Armed with dances and rites they inherited from their ancestors, I know this will penetrate my soul. I don't want to appear OA but whenever I see cultural rites and dances depicting the identity of the people, I have this tendency to cry because I treat traditional dances as a pure form of love of the people's culture and heritage whenever they do it.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ SOUVENIR PHOTO OUTSIDE THE GYMNASIUM PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SHOW


I took the opportunity to see the cultural dancers up close. They all looked beautiful. They have this batek placed on their heads. Some male performers are wearing the baag too. There are also Ilocano performers. You know, Abra is the land where both the Ilocanos and Itneg tribes live in harmony.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ A YOUNG GENERATION OF THE BEAUTIFUL ITNEG PEOPLE


I photographed them after asking permission. The female Itneg young people all looked beautiful with their costumes. I was somehow happy to see that the culture continues to be practiced by them. Kawayan Festival has become a medium to showcase this for the world to know.

I went inside the gymnasium and waited for the show. The first performers came. I thought it would just be an ordinary cultural show. It was extraordinary! How come I underestimated this? Shame on me!

The lights on the stage set the house on fire. Lively. Colorful. State-of-the-art production was revealed by the lights and sounds I was witnessing that time.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THE START EVEN GAVE ME GOOSEBUMPS

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ REPRESENTING THE ITNEG CULTURE

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ REPRESENTING THE ILOCANO CULTURE

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ INDUSTRIOUS ILOCANOS ILLUSTRATED THROUGH DANCE

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THIS IS THE SAKUTING RITE FROM DOLORES TOWN

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ SAKUTING DANCE ILLUSTRATES THE WAR OF FAITH BETWEEN THE ILOCANO AND ITNEG PEOPLE IN ABRA. THE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE EVENTUALLY ACHIEVED UNITY WHEN THE TRIBES WERE CHRISTIANIZED.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THIS GROUP PERFORMS ILOCANO CULTURAL DANCE.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THIS GROUP MADE THE STAGE COLORFUL.

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ AN ILOCANO COURTSHIP DANCE

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THIS GROUP USED PROPS VERY WELL

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ A TINGUIAN COURTING AN ILOCANA

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ LIFE IN THE FARM SHOWN IN ART

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ PERFORMERS FROM BUCAY TOWN

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ TINGUIAN DANCE MOVES

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ A TRIBAL RITE

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ TINGUIAN FEMALE DANCERS CARRYING EARTHEN JARS

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ GRACEFUL MOVES

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THEY DANCED WELL WITH THE JARS

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[BANGUED] ▬ THEY DANCED WELL WITH THE JARS


There are many groups who performed. Some came from Abra's far-flung municipalities. There are courtship dance, sakuting dance, tribal rite and dance in asking rain from the gods and many more.

I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care. ▬ to be continued...

[UP NEXT] ▬ WE WOKE UP VERY EARLY FOR THIS. WHAT'S THIS?


► ABRA MARCH 2015 TRAVEL SERIES

We woke up early because we heard that there is an interesting place in town that closes early too on the same day. So what we did here? Hang on for Part 7.
___________________________________________________
Part 1

[BANGUED] ▬ My First Midnight in the Hill of Cassamata via Oval Era

_________________
TEASER ► ...as the sun sets down with the silhouette of Mt Bullagao, west of the river valley, I leave the place. I never attempted to stay there after dark.
| Part 2

[BANGUED] ▬ Padaya Trade Fair: Abra Local Industries' Heart & Soul

_________________
TEASER ► I thought it would be another ordinary trade fair but I was wrong. The padaya gave me many answers on my search for truth and knowledge: reasons why I love traveling.
| Part 3

[LA PAZ] ▬ A Village of Abel (Loom) Weavers in Abra Called Bulbulala

_________________
TEASER ► Who would have thought that today, their pasture became greener by keeping the inheritance manifested through their weaving skills.
| Part 4

[BANGUED] ▬ Abra River Sunset in Calaba

_________________
TEASER ► Abra has no beach. This river serves as a summer getaway. The sunset here is unique. It represents Abra's distinct landscape.
| Part 5

[BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride

_________________
TEASER ► Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages.
| Part 6 | Part 7

[BANGUED] ▬ Brgy Patucannay: of Waking Up Early and a Soup Dish

_________________
TEASER ► I observed how they prepare this popular soup dish. They just prepare everything right before your eyes. I saw bones, mainly skulls, in a stainless basin.
| Part 8

[BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival: The Biggest Cultural Show in Abra

_________________
TEASER ► No million-dollar dance show can ever fathom the depth of the meaning of the dances their ancestors wanted them to execute.
| Part 9

[BANGUED] ▬ Bamboo Float Parade and the Cool Mountain Tribes

_________________
TEASER ► They have proven that the province of Abra is a sterling destination for mountain culture lovers.


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This experience was made possible through Vice Governor Chari Bersamin who invited us to witness the Abra Kawayan Festival. With me is fellow travel blogger Estan Cabigas of langyaw.com.

[2] The map I used below is courtesy of Eugene Villar on Wikipedia.

Source:
[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APh_locator_map_abra.png
[2] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ph_locator_abra_bangued.png
___________________________________________________
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[BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride

_________________
TEASER ► Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages.

[VIGAN] ▬ Abel House Decor, an Expression of Love

_________________
TEASER ► This time, the ancestral houses can not run from this fever. These houses need to be a medium of showing to the world the Bigueños' love for their city.

[VIGAN] ▬ World Costume Festival: Vigan Conquers the World

_________________
TEASER ► The heart and soul were poured to those costumes. Passion was indeed evident.

[BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival featuring Abra-inspired Terno Fashion Show

_________________
TEASER ► Kawayan Festival is Abra's greatest festival coinciding with the foundation day of the province.

[VIGAN] ▬ Longganisa Festival: A Colorful Vigan City Fiesta

_________________
TEASER ► The Longganisa Festival marks the opening of a year-long cultural celebration in Vigan.

[VIGAN] ▬ Glass Mosaic and Boklan Arts, and Some Revelations About Me

_________________
TEASER ► Yes I know, I am not perfect and I can never be the best example you might be looking for but I just feel the need to do my part and to start it.

[VIGAN] ▬ Abel Iloko Fabric as Decoration to Vigan Ancestral Houses

_________________
TEASER ► It is exposed to sun, air, rain and other elements but I tell you, Abel Iloko fabric is very durable.

[VIGAN] ▬ Calle Crisologo and the Calesa Parade

_________________
TEASER ► It was as breathtaking as seeing a natural wonder. They come in different colors, design and X-Factor...
SPEAK YOUR HEART OUT. C'MON! DON'T BE SHY. I PROMISE TO REPLY EXCEPT FOR TROLLS.

Axact

EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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