Sagada church holds February 2 feast day with 10th Etag Festival

>> Monday, January 23, 2023

By Gina Dizon 

SAGADA Mountain Province -- The feast day of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin  (CSMV) on  Feb. 2  celebrates the  purification of the blessed Virgin and the presentation of Jesus Christ in the temple in conjunction with the conduct of the town’s 10th Etag festival.
    This with CSMV’s celebration of the Feb. 2 feast day with a community church mass, Bible quiz, essay writing contest and invitational ball games.  
    The Church reveres the humility and obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary “who subjected herself to purification though not subject to the law of Moses which required purification and presentation in the temple.”
    The Presentation of Jesus at the temple is celebrated as one of the twelve Great Feasts  and had long been celebrated by CSMV every Feb. 2. 
    The  CSMV belonging to the Episcopal Church in the Philippines recognizes the early episode in the life of Jesus Christ describing his presentation at the  Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after Christmas on Candlemas.
Described in Chapter 2 of the Gospel of  Luke in the New Testament within the account, "Luke's narration of the presentation in the temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn”.
    CSMV and its 14 mission stations celebrates Feb. 2 feast day with candle procession followed by vespers evening of Feb. 1.
    A church mass follows on Feb. 2 after the community parade on said day.     
CSMV sponsors an essay writing contest and Bible quiz among high school students aside from invitational ball games.
    Said essay writing is open to interested students of Grades 7 to 12 from national high schools of Sagada, Ankileng, Bangaan, Balugan, Antadao, and St Mary’s School and too, for out of school youth aged 13-18.
Students interested shall present their school ID upon entrance at the venue. They shall write on the theme which shall be announced during the competition itself.
    Prizes are at stake for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners and to consolation prizes.
    Ball games shall be played among invited Episcopalian churches at nearby Besao and Bontoc deaneries among members of the Brotherhood of St Andrew  (BSA) and  the Episcopal Church Women (ECSW.
    The CSMV feast day also starts the first day of the celebration of the 10th Etag Festival of this tourist town after an impasse of two years of Covid pandemic where the town fest was not observed. 
    The previous celebration of the town’s Etag fest includes Feb. 2 whether on the first, middle or last day of the event usually lasting for three to five days.
    Formerly called Sagada Town Fiesta, the town’s fest name was changed to Etag Festival by virtue of a Sangguniang Bayan resolution in 2011 to promote the town’s local products and place significance on the cultural “etag” (salted and smoked pork) used by townfolks as a way of life  and as ritual dish mixed with chicken meat in a delicacy called pinikpikan.
    The 10th Etag Festival to run from Feb. 2 to 5 participated by its 19 barangays shall be observed with a trail run, ball games, etag fusion cookfest, dance contest among youth and adults, literary and musical contests among elementary and high school students, zonal cultural presentations, concerts and search for Ms Sagada.    .
    Most of the activities shall be held in the CSMV’s sprawling Mission Compound.  


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