Begnas Di Bauko

>> Thursday, March 9, 2017

Alfred P. Dizon

(Arsenia Addon of the Bauko municipal government in Mountain Province writes this week’s column.)
BAUKO, Mountain Province -- Begnas is a culture of thanksgiving among the kankanaeys of Bauko. It is celebrated once a year to thank Kabunyan and the spirits of ancestors and at the same time to ask favors in relation to the socio-economic and political concerns of the community. It is a celebration that shall not only serve as merrymaking but a cord that binds the umili (community folks) into collective action.
Begnas di Bauko will be celebrated on March 9-11, at the municipal oval ground here at the Poblacion, Bauko. It’s theme “Gabay di esek, sikan di ipogaw, bikas di umili, katagtaguan di sasayangdan” will draw the 22 barangays into showcasing their own unique features and products during the celebration.
The first day will feature cultural presentations from Bauko’s 22 barangays. The agricultural and livelihood products of each barangay will also take center stage for promotion and marketing. Tours to Bauko’s tourism destination will also be conducted during the celebration.
A Bayo (pounding rice) challenge will also be sponsored with “sabeng “ (fermented corn) cooking contest  which shall take place during the first day dubbed barangay day. “Anap di bangan” will occupy the first night of the celebration.
The second day will feature folk dances, ballroom dancing, music with the children, parents and singing priests. The third day will be merry making with indigenous games and event with the Red Cross.
Prior to the Begnas celebration the municipality will be celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, with a parade and program at the municipal gymnasium followed by a mass at the municipal oval ground.
Earlier on Mar 1, Cordillera Tourism director Venus Q. Tan was toured by Mayor Abraham B. Akilit and members of the Sanggunian Bayan Ricky Samidan, Ashly Sili and Mario Gaoken to tourist destination here like in Barangay Bagnen here during the drizzling and foggy day. Tourism sites visited were Mount Polis, the 360 degree viewpoint of Mountain Province, including the sights viewed at the summit. These include Balew Rice Terraces, Magwed, Taakan, Mapanawil and Dap-ay Rice Terraces. 
Other sights Tan was treated to were Mount Nentingli, Mount Kalawitan where the magnificent sight of clouds kissing mountains could be seen. The vibrant director conquered Mount polis with 540 steps passing a foot trail. 
Part of the tour was seeing the tourism road leading to Sagada (via Taccong) and the Bagnen-Abatan-Ilocos road. It also included a rendezvous with the only homestay in Bauko and the “sinegtiman kiwet” (jojo fish with fermented tapuy).
Tan said in informal talks forest preservation and environmental conservation could sustain tourism in Bauko.  “It will bring tourism activities friendly to nature and inclusive of all sectors including the persons who are always on the trails whole year round,” she said. “Tourism development should be sustainable.”

Part of the team included DOT staff, municipal employees, Bauko tour guides and barangay officials of Bagnen Oriente and Bagnen Proper. 


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