Festival of ‘native games’ in Mt. Province
abs-cbnNEWS.com | 06/23/2009 6:41 PM. Report by Harris Julio, ABS-CBN Northern Luzon.
MT. PROVINCE – To keep their own brand of Igorot culture alive, residents at Barlig municipality in the Mountain Province host a one-of-a-kind festival once a year, featuring all kinds of native sports, music, and traditions.
At the “Fortan Festival,” now on its fifth year, games like tug-of-war and arm wrestling are given local flavor, not only because they are christened with names like “eenat” and “sangkor” respectively, but because the participants, both men and women, don their traditional costumes of intricately woven G-strings or “bahag” in vibrant red, black, and white thread.
Children also participate in “fiawat,” “chinaray” or “sus-uwat” ball games.
Fortan, in Barlig language, means “inheritance” or “heritage,” a fitting description for a relatively young fiesta celebrating local tradition.
“Before we will forget our customs and traditions, we better celebrate it every year,” said Barlig Mayor Magdalena Lupoyon.
She said that the festival teaches young Igorots to love their culture.
Other highlights of the festival include the display of woven handicrafts like the “pasiquing” and the “bilao” or rice winnowing container, local dances and rituals that incorporate harvesting and hunting themes, as well as the “entom,” an indigenous way of cooking food by roasting fish or vegetables wrapped inside thick banana leaves.
Wath this related Video , men in G-string playing basketball in Kalinga.
ENTHRALLING MOSSY BARLIG
(From the Lang-ay Magazine 2005)
By Dionie Chungalan Sr.
Nowhere can you find the most preserved, cared for, and revered woodland in Mountain Province than in the mossy pine forests of Barlig town of more than 34,000 hectares. Barlig hosts the towering Mt. Amuyao, the country’s third highest mountain peak.
On a clear day while atop Mt. Amuyao, a trekker could see at a distance the provinces of Kalinga, Nueva Viscaya, Ifugao and Cagayan Valley. A trek to the mountains lets one enjoy the cool winds, chilled by dew and accented by chirping crickets in the evening.
A visitor would rather stay put by taking a bath at Allob Hot Springs than to swim the frozen Tanudan River in December. One prefers to look at the Tufob volcano crater of ancient times at Chatol while viewing at a distance the winding mountain ridges of Lias village. Three decades ago, Lias was known as the Valley of Eels but the entrance of unscrupulous fishers made use of chemicals and gadgets that wantonly reduced their existence.
With this bestial experience, Lias folks however adopted ordinances to enable these aquatic animals to increase at their own pace. With 14 thousand hectares of virgin forests, the local inhabitants described it as “am-amma ay mangan an pan” (The presence of hawk eagles testify to the wide habitat of wild games.)
Farther away from the slope of Mt Mao-woy is Kadaklan dubbed as “ Shangrila of the Edge” because of its magnificent beauty and grandeur. The stone – walled rice terraces of Barlig Poblacion plus the ladder like rice paddies of Lias are sceneries to behold. Yet, at the end of the trail is an added factor in eco-tourism bowl of tribal hamlets fortified by mighty green lush mountains. Awesome vistas of rice terraces are seen in various angles.
Kadaklan is the source of roaring Siffu River that flows to Natonin, Isabela, via Paracelis. Fourteen natural waterfalls are found, others watered by tributaries. One sacred burial cave is still used to date. One sees the rolling majestic mountains while sipping coffee at one of the view points of Kadaklan Tourists Homestay. As one continues to drink in more, he feels the breathtaking marvels of sunrise or moonrise which reminds one of the realities of God in every soul.
Demanding renewed panoramic gratification, he may pour extra cup of barako coffee to sit alone in the mini view park as the moon rises in full splendor. And upon the snoring of the natives, the tourist takes a rest to gain stamina to hike Kadaklan’s places of interest then to bath at Amfitayoc waterfalls the following morning.
Kadaklan’s bewitching annual Menaliyam Festival is loved by local folks as well as visitors. The festivity depicts social; practices, cultural values of the tribe shown in gongs, dances, native games and trade fair.
No wonder President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was fascinated by its elegance that satisfied her presidential visit in a place so poor, yet consoling and isolated and worth the travel to spur domestic tourism. The president’s visit highlighted Kadaklan to enter the tourism world.
By travel time, a visitor spends one and a half hours to reach Barlig, 40 minutes to Lias, and 50 minutes to the Shangrila on the Edge.
Welcome to Barlig, a perfect Eden on earth, unsullied by tourist!. It boasts of exotic waterfalls and adorned by rare ferns, forests resembling human formation, and mountain heights that offer scenic sights of the lowlands.