An ethnic skills competition where participants showcased their mastery and creativity was one of the highlights of the Gotad ad Ifugao.
Also called the Mina’lin di Immipugo, the competition showcased indigenous skills and native practices, such as the munpa-ot hi bulul (bulul woodcarving), muntuknul hi otakyahitokan (weaving the handle of a small bolo with scabbard), mun-abol (weaving), muntalakid hi atag (rattan mat weaving), munhalikat hi butilya (bottle weaving), and munlaggakubi (chicken pen weaving).
The event gathered Ifugao culture bearers to showcase their indigenous skills and encourage the younger generations to learn, understand, and continue the practices to preserve the Ifugao culture and identity.
In the munpaot hi bulul, a round log and the design for the bulul was provided where each participant must come up with a 2.5 feet bulul in seven hours.
Mannuel Uyammi, a representative of Mayoyao shared said he joined the competition for the younger generation to appreciate and value these cultural practices so that it would not be gone and forgotten as only few are interested to pursue the paot practice.
The muntuknul is a process in which rattan straps are weaved around the handle of knives and bolo that serves as a cover and decoration of the tool.
Justine Ananayo, a youth participant from Hungduan said it is important for the younger generation to learn the skills and practices to preserve what their forefathers passed on to them.
Contestants for the muntalakid hi atag or rattan mat weaving were given a working time of four hours to create a rattan mat that is at least six feet long.
Fernando Bumalin, who represented Aguinaldo, said as a farmer, the rattan mats are usually seen and used in the fields but due to modernization, these are disappearing.
Munhalikat hi butilya or bottle weaving featured the creativity of the participants as they strategized and come up with their own creative designs.
In the munpaot hi bulul competition, the representative of Banaue garnered the first place, while Lamut bagged the second place followed by Alfonso Lista in third place.
Aguinaldo bagged the first place in the muntuknul hi otakyahitokan category, followed by Asipulo and Lagawe in the second and third places, respectively.
In the mun-abol, the winners are Banaue, Hingyon, and Hungduan in the first, second, and third places, respectively while Kiangan, Asipulo, and Lagawe were declared winners in the muntalakid hi atag.
In the munhalikat hi butilya contest, Lagawe won the first place while Asipulo and Hingyon ranked second and third places, respectively.
Hungduan was declared the first place winner in the munlaggakubi followed by Kiangan and Lamut in second and third places, respectively.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry-Ifugao, the province has 514 small medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged selling the products showcased during the skills competition such as weaving, woodcarving, and blacksmithing.
Engr. Francis D. Pacio, OIC Provincial Director, said the SMEs have an impact on the local economy as they provide livelihood opportunities. – Kate C. Cattiling