Benguet town eyes Aliwan crown anew

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Monday, April 28, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Benguet is preparing for another win in the prestigious Aliwan awards.

Provincial Tourism Officer Claire Prudencio said the Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe from Kamora National High School is gearing up for the annual event that gathers different cultural festivals of the Philippines.

Prudencio said the province, as well as the municipality of Kabayan, is backing the award winning dance group in their travels to Manila during the weekend.


The annual Aliwan Fiesta gathers top performers from all over the country for an exhibition and awards top winners a hefty P1 million cash prize.

The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe from Kamora National High School will again brandish Benguet folklore in a continuing presentation of celebration, the Adivay.

The multi awarded group recently topped the Baguio Flower Festival Street Dancing, bagging the grand slam for winning three successive years and will present the same piece during the Aliwan.

The storyline for Adivay revolves around the goddess of earth providing native inhabitants with vast greenery of natural resources and rich hunting grounds. As they celebrate their bountiful harvest with a ritual called “Bindiyan”, they forgot to invite “Bentawan”- the goddess of fire.

Bentawan felt so offended that she burned the whole forest surrounding their community. Having no more source of livelihood, the tribe chanted and prayed to “kabunian” for mercy and bounty.

Kabunian saw their sincerity and conveyed to “angban”- the goddess of water to provide them with enough rain.

When the soil became fertile again, the natives started to generate their forest by planting trees, crops and flowers. With the help of “Kabigat”- the goddess of wind, seeds were spread rapidly and the lush natural resources came to life.

Soon enough, Panagbenga, the season of blooming came with ecological balance finally restored in their community, they celebrated once again with a “canao” called “adivay”, a native term meaning “to come together and have fun.”

Last year, Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance performed “Adivay” revolving around a around a local folktale about Gadate, who helped save the Kintoman harvest and its people in Kabayan from a giant snake.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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