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MP celebrates as one people with one heritage, direction
Hanna C. Lacsamana
Life, 4-13-2014

BONTOC, Mountain Province – This province’s weeklong celebration of its 47th founding anniversary and 10th Lang-ay Festival played on unity and pride in showcasing the province’s unique heritage that culminated in a colorful cultural parade and presentation in this capital town last April 7.

Garbed in traditional costumes, tattoos, and headdresses, young sons and daughters joined their elders and other constituents and officials from the four districts of the province in depicting their being “one people who have one heritage and direction” through street dances along the town’s main thoroughfares and cultural performances at the Eyeb grounds.

The performers represented the province’s four clusters, namely the Eastern Mountain Province composed Barlig, Natonin, and Paracelis, represented by the Barlig street dancers; Western Mountain Province, composed of Bauko, Besao, Sabangan, Sagada, and Tadian represented by Tadian; Central Mountain Province composed of Bontoc and Sadanga, represented by the Bontoc street dancers; and the provincial government represented by the Mountain Province Cultural Group.

They performed age-old dances and recreated practices unique to the towns they represented.

Although scaled down this year, Gov. Leonard Mayaen said the provincial government is working on celebrating the Lang-ay Festival as a separate and independent event so that in the future, Lang-ay will already focus on the manifestation of culture and tradition in a festive mood.

He said if this materializes, the festival will be subsidized by the provincial government, similar to Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival.

Since its inception, the Lang-ay Festival, the local term for gathering of people associated with serving of food and wine, is celebrated annually along with the Mountain Province founding anniversary.

Rep. Maximo Dalog also acknowledged the participation of the constituents from the different towns of Mountain Province who gathered for the twin events, saying Lang-ay is a testimony of their heritage as people.

He reminded them of the importance of remembering their forebears who for more than 300 years protected the sacred mountains against foreign domination. He said because of them, Mountain Province is what it is today.

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