December 7, 2023

LAGAWE, Ifugao – Residents of Barangay Poitan in Banaue recently celebrated their second “Ammungan ad Poitan” (gathering) showcasing their rich cultural practices.

Maricel Cango, a volunteer, together with Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Marcelino Immoliap, spearheaded the activity with support of municipal and barangay officials.

“This community gathering aims to sustain the transmission of our rich culture and traditions to the present generation including active community participation,” Cango said.

The cultural fiesta on Sept. 15 and 16  featured indigenous games including those related to the agricultural cycle of Ifugao such as batawer  (rice bundle ) relay where men carrying poles with bundles of palay at both ends race at the rice fields, munbayo (rice pounding),  and rice wine making.

Other activities include native dance, ethnic ensemble, binakle making, guyyuchan (tug-of-war), akkad (stilt race), hanggur (arm wrestling), and burtung (wrestling).

Guest of honor and speaker lawyer Cynthia Dogwe from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Ifugao lauded the community for initiating the festivity for the benefit of the next generation.

Mayor Joel Bungallon enjoined the barangay officials to legislate an ordinance putting or declaring the “Ammungan ad Poitan” as an annual barangay festival.

The mayor assured the support of the municipal government and officials to the community event that will also help promote the tourism industry of the municipality.

The event was first conducted last year as a community gathering for a cause that gained more than P169,000 for medical assistance for the beneficiary. – Marcelo B. Lihgawon