Young people from Kabayan, Benguet relearned the traditional games of their ancestors as part of the month-long celebration of the 14th Eco-tourism and Bindiyan Festival in the municipality.
Dubbed as “Amayo” (games in Ibaloy language), the activity held on April 18 at the Kabayan burial site grounds was participated in by 28 elementary pupils of Kabayan Central School.
Kabayan Tourism Officer Fernan Bangonan said the activity is in partnership with the National Museum to reintroduce to the younger generation the indigenous games played prior to the introduction of technology.
Bangonan said the activity, which was also mounted before the pandemic, aimed to develop the socialization skills of the students towards their schoolmates.
The activity would also help develop the cognitive and physical and emotional well-being of the children as they continue to play with the games introduced to them.
The Ibaloy traditional games performed were el-elbat, sekbal, beng-beng, sampilat and katig, which also have an equivalent with some nostalgic childhood Filipino games such as the pick-up sticks and Chinese garter.
The Bindiyan Festival is ongoing with the theme, “Kabayan: advancing as a renowned tourist destination”.
The host municipality organized a trek to Mt. Pulag on April 6 to 7, which was joined by participants from various places in the country as far as Lanao del Norte.
Mt. Pulag is the country’s third highest peak with an elevation of 2,926 meters above sea level and is considered one of the most sacred grounds of the Ibaloy and Kalanguya ethnic groups.
The national park is also the most visited destination in the municipality, which helped put Kabayan on the map as a “mystical” town aside from its rich culture and tradition.
Upcoming events are the Mr. and Ms. Kabayan 2023 on April 2, highlight will be the Bindiyan grand cañao on April 27, and will culminate on April 29. – Ofelia C. Empian