LUNA, Apayao – This province is celebrating the Say-am Festival with the theme, “Apayao @ 22: Unity amidst cultural diversity.”
Hosted by the municipality of Kabugao, the festival kicked off on Feb. 1 and with the highlights this weekend until Feb. 13.
This year is the celebration of the 22nd year anniversary of the separation of Apayao from Kalinga through Republic Act 7878 by the late Rep. Elias Bulut Sr.
A provincial motorcade is set on Feb. 12, starting from the Capitol grounds in Luna to Kabugao where the old capitol is located, passing through the newly opened Luna-Kabugao Road that interconnects the municipalities of Apayao without passing through Region 1 or 2 and connects the province to the rest of the Cordillera provinces.
The motorcade will be highlighted by the declaration ceremony of the creation of the Elias K. Bulut Sr. barangay in Buyucan, Kabugao. There will also be a ground breaking of the Elias K. Bulut Sr. Tourism Park at the barangay center.
Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. and Rep. Eleanor Begtang will lead the events. In the evening of the same day will be a fluvial reception, band show, and singing competitions at the Marquez Rivebank in Kabugao.
On Feb. 13, the grand celebration day, activities will kick off with the grand civic and float parade from the Balinawang to the Mayor Dionisio Agudelo Memorial Gymnasium in Poblacion, Kabugao where the field demo and program proper will be held.
Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director Elmo Francis Sarona will be the guest of honor and speaker during the program. Bulut andBegtang will also deliver their respective anniversary messages.
The program will be highlighted by the recognition of Iapayaos who brought recognition to the province in the “Dayaw ti Apayao.”
Other activities of the Say-am Festival are the agro industrial trade and tourism fair at the plaza grounds, free legal assistance and counseling at the Kabugao Municipal Hall, the panagga-angrad or indigenous games at the plaza grounds and Apayao River, and the coronation of the Dayag ti Apayao 2017.
Say-am is a celebration of the founding anniversary of the province and Isnags’ grandest feast or celebration. It is a feast featuring and ushering the traditional way of Isnags’ thanksgiving to the Higher Supreme unseen being called alawagan executed and commenced through rituals spiced with pep songs, native chants, and dances called the talip and tad-do.