February 22, 2024

TUBO, Abra – Tubo came alive with the sound of gongs and cheers following the Maeng ethnolinguistic group’s celebration of the 2023 Begnas Festival that highlights a thanksgiving.

Traditional dances, music, songs, and arts were featured in the various presentations, performances, and contested activities among the 10 barangays of the municipality.

Booths of the different barangays also showcased local products like vegetables, woven clothes and accessories, wood and metal crafts, honey, muscovado, and sugarcane wine, among others.

Mayor Liberty Ballangan La-os shared that this year’s theme “Nabaked ay ili, sarikedked di sumyaan di umili” was crafted based on the challenges that the municipality faced this year.

“We have to rise to the challenges to make progress. We experienced earthquakes, typhoons, sudden increase in prices of commodities like fertilizer and petroleum. There were unexpected events, so we have to be resilient and ready to face the challenges so that the improvement of Tubo continues,” she said.

The three-day celebration kicked-off with the Farmers’ Day that put in the spotlight the valuable contributions of farmers in the resiliency and development of the municipality.

Farmers and their families were treated to an amazing race contest, raffle draw, agricultural booths, and distribution of Noche Buena packages.

Philippine Information Agency-Abra Information Officer II Christian Allister Tubadeza, who served as guest speaker during the opening day, encouraged the community to continue celebrating the Begnas Festival that promotes and keeps the Maeng culture, traditions, and hospitality alive.

This Begnas Festival shows who you are. Be proud and sustain this celebration because this is one of the pillars of the continuing peace and progress in this town,” Tubadeza said.

Another highlight of the festival was the ribbon cutting and blessing of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Council Building and Operations Center with Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Albert Mogol as guest of honor and speaker.

Mogol, during the second day of the festival dubbed as Barangay Day, explained the importance of oneness and public cooperation in DRRM efforts and development initiatives for Tubo. He said achieving disaster resiliency requires a whole-of-a-society effort.

The thanksgiving festival closed with the Department of Education Day featuring the youth and educators of Tubo who presented dance and song performances and participated in various contests.

Vice Mayor Guilbert P. Ballangan said Begnas is a thanksgiving celebration of the Tubo community to thank the Almighty Kabunian for a bountiful harvest. The festival is also an avenue to foster Maeng culture, traditions, products, and identity. – Jam Malingan