April 21, 2024

Ibaloys in Baguio and nearby towns are holding a festival that aims to bring them together for merry-making while tracing their ancestry and teaching the younger generation more about their rich culture and tradition.
The Ibaloy Festival that opened at the Ibaloy Heritage Garden at Burnham Park on Oct. 1 also aims to provide a platform for the original settlers of Baguio to reunite and enrich their culture.
Among the highlights of the month-long festivity is the “Tuntun ni Kaafuan” or genealogy sharing in which representatives of 22 clans will present their genealogies.
Festival Director Lynette Bibal said the genealogy sharing is a culmination of the series of tuntun or genealogy tracing conducted by the clans that initially responded to the call for them to participate in the tuntun process.
Representatives of the clans will present their genealogies in the tuntun booths for approval of their clan members or for refinement.
The tuntun booths set up at the Ibaloy Garden is a culmination of the attempt of the members to trace their Ibaloy lineage as far back as the 15th generation.
Maximo Edwin Bugnay, Jr. president of the Onjon ni Ivadoy Association, which is spearheading the festival, said the 22 clans are only the initial families that committed to participate and conducted their researches.
Bugnay said there will be more clans that are expected to also start tracing their genealogies.
Councilor Jose Molintas said the genealogy sharing is one of the Ibaloys’ ways of showing pride for being able to keep their identities intact as it shows they were not among the groups whose heritage were erased by the colonizers.
“That is what makes us Ibaloys unique, like the other indigenous peoples groups. We were able to keep our identities and did not allow the colonizers to erase our lineage,” he said.
Former Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso, who represented some of the 22 clans, said the festival also aims to provide the younger generation an avenue to trace their lineage and learn more about their culture as Ibaloys.
“It will allow us to learn more about ourselves so that we may be guided more on where we are headed to,” he said.
Among the other things to be showcased in the month-long festival are Ibaloy clothing, design, and their uses; indigenous tools and materials; indigenous plants; and bamboo crafts.
There will be workshops on Ibaloy dance and on how to use musical instruments, rice wine making and the use of yeast, and learning the Ibaloy language.
A showcase of traditional and contemporary Ibaloy attire is also set towards the end of the month.
Bugnay said the Ibaloy Festival is different from the Ibaloy Day held every Feb. 23, which is more a commemoration of the American Supreme Court decision that recognized the land rights of Ibaloy herdsman Mateo Cariño in 1909, which legitimized his Native Title over his pasture lands that is now the Camp John Hay.
The 22 clans that initially participated in the genealogy tracing are the Wakat Suello-Maria Angin Cando; Batil Bitnay and Dangeg; Amey-Matuday and Towao Garoy; Serapio Tumpao; Mat-an-Chamja; Kidit-Kadota; Amistad; Shuminkis-Bacjot; Clara Acop; Amey and Pocoen; Cofes; and Coljan, Anas, Pilay, and Ponoc.
The other clans are Mateo Carino; Tohto; Absan Carantes-Elen Sula; Avokay; Dugay, Agnay, Tadaha, Ing-ko, Biray, and Bugnay; Sungduan-Sepa; Donsokan-Cameray; Donsokan-Shepday; Shepday-Ungbos; Tomino-Kamos; Sonay-Basilogilong; and Tabano-Omang. – Jane B. Cadalig