Sugarcane wine making in Mainit

>> 10/02/2009

It was nearing dusk when long time friend and agriculturist Hazel Fagyan and I reached the abuyuan here at Mainit. Abuyuan is the makeshift place where sugarcane is extracted and boiled into basi (sugar cane wine). We wanted to see how dapil or baliwes (the process of making basi) is being done. Dapil is lebek to people in some sugar cane producing areas of Besao municipality.

We found a carabao moving around some three meters away from an extractor placed at the middle of the field. The carabao was tied to a wooden plank tied to a sugarcane extractor. Children playfully pushed the wooden board urging the carabao to move faster and exert more pressure on the extractor. Pieces of sugarcane were thrust in the extractor. Sugarcane juice oozed to a waiting container. The sugarcane extract was then transferred to a waiting vat and boiled. It takes three hours boiling to make basi and eight hours to make sugar.

In commercial sugar making, the cane first goes through a washer, then is cut into small pieces by revolving knives. These cut pieces may then be shredded or may move to crushers directly. The crushers consist of two large grooved rollers mounted horizontally, one above the other. The crushed, macerated cane then goes through three or more roller mills which consist of grooved rollers with heavy hydrolic pressure maintained on the upper roller. Water, equal to about 20 percent, is added before the mixture is passed through each set of rollers. Efficient mills extract at least 90 percent of the sugar in the cane. The cane residue, called ‘bagasse’, can be used as feed.

Pending research, it is not exactly known how much of the sugar is extracted from sugar canes by the power of the carabao. Yet, judging by the outcome of the crushed canes, much of the sugar had already been extracted.

In dapil, the sugarcane sap without mixing water is boiled for eight hours to become sugar with loads of pine wood, fired. In the process, whitish residues called usab are spooned off every now and then from the surface of the vat and placed in another container. These collected fluids are locally used by the farmers as pesticides. The extract is further boiled which is eventually placed in coconut bowls which are left to cool off as sugar cakes called inti. Or these either may be spread out in a biga-o (winnower) and cut in sugar cakes preserved for everyday use, either mixed with rice, tea or coffee.

In making sugarcane wine, the boiled sugarcane extract after a three-hour boiling, is placed in the charay (jar) for fermentation. An herb preservative/flavoring called kallasang is mixed with the boiled sugarcane extract. Alcohol content of basi is ethyl alcohol not more than 12%.

John Lapaan, 58, said in the dialect, “We stay here whole day, whole night stirring the sugarcane extract to desired boiling.” While cooking, the men sing a chant called warsa-ey in between drinks of basi or San Miguel gin.

Pedro Lobchoy, in his 70s sits as the old man of the abuyuan and does not leave the place until dapil is done. December is Dapil month and will last as long until the last matured sugarcane is extracted and cooked into basi or sugar.

There are at least 10 dapil areas in Mainit with at least 20 household-members belonging to one group.

Where are the women? Sianen said women cut the sugarcane in the fields whilst young men carry the sugarcanes to the abuyuan. Women also bring food for the men at the abuyuan.

Depending on how many loads of sugarcane one has, one can have at least two to three burnay. There are at least 2 drums in one burnay. Twelve cans fill up one drum. One can makes up 17 liters. The fermented basi is a whole year supply used in weddings, wakes, and other celebrations.

Morris Sianen, 65, said, “basi is locally drank. It is rare that we sell basi to other places”.

Mainit which is located in upland Bontoc of Mountain Province finds the famous Mainit Hot Springs. One can see hot steam emitting from the sulfuric hot springs along the whole stretch of the village at any hour of the day.

There are two guest houses located in Mainit. One at Geston’s Guest House and at BenVic, both offering clean and comfy bedrooms and kitchen facilities. We stayed at Geston’s Guest House, a few minutes walk away from the abuyuan where we went.


Sharing the Linapet

By Bartolome Baldas Sr.

Adog has come when the Kiling(migratory) birds begin to chirp by September and signifies that there is no impending typhoon. Elder men of Gueday, Agawa in northern Besao gather at dap-ay Awaw to observe the rising of the sun at Ambaoan Bato langsayan located in the eastern horizon of Agawa. Adog is one of the 12 agricultural months of the year.

It would take about ten days to observe the surise. If the sun's rays are perfectly aligned between a towering rock called a Stone Calendar, it is time to announce the Feast of the Linapet or what is called Obayan di Linapet.

Linapet is ground rice with crushed peanuts or meat sandwiched in the middle and wrapped with banana leaves or squash leaves. In the early days however, people butcher pigs and chickens to share to elder relatives and neighbors.

During the feast, all households in northern Besao prepare linapet to share wth grandparents, parents in law, uncles, aunts, relatives and fiends. Natives of Agawa tribe always see to it that they have something to share during the feast of the Linapet.

It is at this time of the year when the northern tribes of Besao ceebrate the feast by gathering together and sharing linapet with friends and townmates who come home from any part of the word for the occasion.

The Linapet celebration is not merely sharing the indigenous food however. Along with the food sharing are principles to follow like hospitality, respect and bedience. Younger people are obliged to bring linapet to older folks especialy to parents, grandaprents, and parents-in-law.

It s also notherworthy to observe that the rich and poor, the proud and the humble, display the spirit of oneness and sincerity in accordance with the optimistic tribal celebration.

Just like any ohter Igorot community, agricuture is the main source of livelihood of the people.Their farm activities depend on the different phases of the moon, movement of the sun and strs, the onset of the rainy season and the arrival of migratory birds. Their dependence in the aforementioned occurences encourage them to search for the right time to farm, to fish, and hunt which is associated with the celebration of their cultural and spirtual practises.

Following Adog in September, Kiling in October starts the sowing of rice seeds.

(Lang-ay Magazine, 2006)


Besao shares Linapet

>> 8/11/2009

Besao is 28 kilometers from the capital town of Bontoc and accessible via Besao-Sagada Road and Besao-Tadian Road.

Endowed with verdant greeneries and spectacular viewpoints, Besao offers panoramic views of lush mountain slopes. The highest mountain peak is Mt Caman-ingel. Another famed attraction is the Besao Sunset. Its awesome view is soothing to the sight as the sun sets in to meet the evening dusk.

Of course, one will not forget the Begnas celebrated every 30th of September when the rays of the sun hits a towering rock called a stone calendar during the observance of Adog, one of the 12 agricultural months of the year in Besao. Adog in September precedes Kiling in October when the sowing of rice seeds start.

Elder men gather at dap-ay Awaw at the northern village of Agawa to observe the rising of the sun at Ambaon Bato of Langsayan and announce the Feast of the Linapet when the sun's rays hits the stone.

Linapet is ground rice with fillings of crushed peanuts and wrapped with banana leaves. Households cook this tasty delicacy and share it with relatives and friends to observe the September Festival, share good tidings and be reminded of respect and cultural camaraderie among the people.

Know more about Besao, its people, and its natural attractions here.


MP's caves, falls, and more

>> 8/01/2009

Mountain Province is rich in natural wonders to include the famed Sumaguing Cave of Sagada, Mainit Hot Springs of Bontoc, Mt Amuyao of Barlig, and more.

Link here


Livelihood projects benefit Mt. Province families

>> 7/18/2009

To support the flourishing of local industries, the Provincial government of Mountain Province gave P100,000 for livelihood projects on blacksmith and iron works for folks in Sadanga.

Read more of this in Northern Philippine Times .

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial government has allotted P875,508 for livelihood projects in this province with 290 households as original beneficiaries, 66 of which engaged in goat raising, 174 engaged in hog raising, 33 household engaged in duck raising and 17 in cattle raising.

Since not all members of the organizations benefited during the distribution, a re-dispersal scheme of the project shall be done by the organizations to the other members to have access of the program.

Evelyn Payacda of the Provincial Governor’s Office said some of the original beneficiaries re-dispersed to the second in line beneficiaries wherein 14 heads of goats were re-dispersed to 14 households; 30 heads of piglets to 30 households; and 104 heads of ducklings to 21 households, for a total of 88 households beneficiaries for the second in line.

Other livelihood projects funded were blacksmith and iron works in Sadanga town which received P100,000.

The organization is successfully operating and was able to produce various agricultural tools sold in and outside the province.

The Balangao Women’s organization of Natonin was given one sewing machine and one zigzag machine worth P10,000 each.

For vegetable production, the Bauko vegetable farmers were given P20,000 which they successfully implemented in 2007.

They were able to roll over to other seven farmers while Paracelis farmers who received P10,000 have implemented the project last December and winery production was given P40,000.

The successful implementation of these projects was due to the strict monitoring of the projects jointly being conducted by the staff of the Municipal Agriculturist where the project is implemented and Payacda, who is in-charge of the project. -- Juliet B. Saley


Lemon Pie in Sagada

>> 6/26/2009


Furniture and Handicrafts

>> 6/13/2009

Other locally made products of Mountain Province include finely crafted furniture-chairs, tables, cabinets, beds, cupboards and showcases-made of pinewood and narra. Other creations include metal works, hand-painted T-shirts, and handicrafts.

Furniture is made available from at least 60 furniture shops in Sagada, Besao, Bontoc, Barlig, Bauko, Paracelis, Sadanga,Tadian, and Sabangan.

At least nearly 10 metal work shops are especially made by craftsmen from Bauko, Tadian, and Bontoc. These are finely-made window grills, gates, and doors at reasonable costs.

Hand-painted T-shirts are done by home-based artists from Sagada and Bontoc. Original designs are mostly cultural motiffs such as lizards, gongs, and kalaleng (flute). These finely painted T-shirts are especially sold in souvenir shops in Sagada and Bontoc where tourists are the major buyers.

Handicrafts including hand-made woven bracelets, leather-made drums, seed-beads, clay beads, indigenous caps, are some of locally made souvenir items made in Sagada, Bontoc, Sabangan, and Tadian.

Grown wildly near rivers, the almost forgotten grayish bistak-aw plant is almost extinct. Thanks to Julia Bosaing of Sagada who found a way to make bistak-aw an ornament as bracelet or a necklace. Julia made bistak-aw beads interspersed with other commercial beads giving it a colorful and creative look. Bistak-aw is also made into curtains aside from bracelets. Julia also makes earings, bracelets, and necklaces out of hardened clay.

Hand-made paper is made out of local products like pine needles. William Pacyaya from Sagada has already made stacks of hand made paper needing market outlets.


Squash noodles, pickles and jams

>> 6/09/2009

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE is known for its processed foods including jams, jellies, peanut butter and squash noodles. These are processed by entrepreneurs spread out in the ten towns of the province mostly in Sagada, Besao, Bontoc, Bauko, Tadian, Sabangan and Sadanga. Pickles, honey and lemon pies are also especially produced by Sagada entrepreneurs. Processed foods are either marketed in souvenir and local stores or consumed in a number of café shops.

Squash noodles are produced by Montanosa Research and Development Center (MRDC) based in Sagada. The squash noodles are made of wheat flour, squash puree, lye, iodized salt and vegetable oil. At least 130 kilograms are produced everyday. Demand is high but production is low. MRDC supplies individual stores in Sagada, Besao and Bontoc with squash noodles. MRDC’s squash noodles are produced using a cutter and sheeter and manned by two production staff.


Patopat and Linapet

>> 5/10/2009

Mountain Province abounds with rice-producing municipalities in the plains of Paracelis and rice terraces of Bontoc,Sadanga,Sagada, Besao, Tadian, Sabangan,Natonin and Barlig. One of rice varieties planted is the glutinous malagkit and balatinao out of which patopat is made.

Patopat is sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves cooked in rice producing areas of the province. A more indigenous version in Bontoc and Sadanga is the tinufo. This is a compact rice cake contained in woven sugar cane leaves and mixed with peanut or black beans. Patopat is a favorite delicacy which is eaten during cultural celebrations like the am-among in Bontoc and during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Patopat is kin to the traditional Pangasinan kánen made by cooking glutinous rice, coconut cream and sinákob (molasses cakes) or brown sugar. Patopat is also favorite among Ilocanos. Patopat is inkaldít to Pangasinenses and is much like the Tagalog bíko. In lowland areas, the woven coconut leaf casing makes this delicacy handy.

Patopat has made its trademark being sold in bus terminals in Bontoc and placed in plastic bags. The recent introduction of a labeled box containing the delicacy shows an improvement in packaging the locally made rice cake.

Linapet is steamed rice cake of Besao. It is cooked from malagkit powder with chopped roasted peanuts as filling wrapped in banana leaves. It is traditionally served during the traditional thanksgiving celebration in Agawa, Besao. The time of this celebration happens when the rays of sunrise directly transcends from a stone on top of a mountain to a stone tip. Now, linapet is commercially sold in Besao and Sagada.


Sagada Pottery

>> 4/28/2009

One of potential local products of Mountain Province is pottery. Its gaining ground especially in Sagada, though earlier works had already been witnessed in Bila, Bauko.

Potter Lope Bosaing considers doing pottery as an art and should not be hurried. Talking with him at his residence with a display of ceramic products was a thoughtful reflection of what he had to say about pottery: Working with clay creates an integrated relationship with the potter where the material and the form of the ceramic product is an expression of the potter’s psyche. That is, it is not foremost an objective of getting financially rewarded, otherwise, the art, beauty and quality will not be reflected in the final product.

Mass production takes away the spiritual involvement and psyche of the potter from the product with the use of machine- operated molders such as a roller head machine. Commercial production also has the tendency to heavily exploit nature’s gifts.

Making clay products take at least three months from screening to throwing/molding to firing. Pottery includes jars, mugs, kettles, plates, bottles, bowls of all sizes, and even clay-made beads. Some of these finely worked clay products are cobalt glazed. Others, ash glazed and others brownish glazed with the natural clay of Sagada.

Decorative additives are worked into the clay body before formation. Coarse additives such as sand, ash, or grounded fired clay give the final product a required texture and decoration. Colorants like cobalt and copper oxides and carbonates are added singly or in combination. Banding or lining is also applied where a band of color is given to the edge of a jar, plate or cup. Lining is often carried out on a potter's wheel. The surface of pottery wares may also be burnished prior to firing by carefully rubbing with wood, steel or stone.

Lope says firing with wood is good as ash residues fly back to the clay formation giving the clay product a desired coarse look.

Pottery is made by forming a processed clay body into shaped objects and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln. Particular locations have their own unique properties of clays that induce reactions leading to the product’s durability and shape. Sagada has stoneware clay good for mugs, jars, and kitchen wares.

Firing hardens the wares. Earthenwares are normally fired at temperatures of about 1000 to 1200 degrees Celsius. Stonewares at the range of 1100 to 1300 degrees Celsius; and porcelains at between 1200 to 1400 degrees Celsius. (Wikipedia).

First of all, screening or wedging is done to remove trapped air within the clay body to get the clay body ready for shaping with the traditional use of hand or via the potter’s wheel and turntable. Other shaping tools include paddles, rolling tools such as slab rollers and cutting/piercing tools to include knives and wires and finishing tools to include burnishing stones and chamois.

Via handwork, wares can be constructed from coiled clays, slabs of clay, or from solid balls of clay. Parts of hand-built wares are often joined together with a runny mixture of clay and water. While hand building is slower than wheel-throwing, it gives the potter a high degree of control over the making of individual sizes and shapes of pottery. Identical pieces of hand-built pottery are usually done via wheel-throwing using the potter’s wheel.

Using the potter’s wheel, a ball of clay is placed in the center of a turntable. The potter rotates this with a stick or with foot power. During the throwing process, the wheel rotates rapidly while the solid ball of soft clay is squeezed, and pulled gently upwards and outwards into a hollow shape. Flooring follows by making a flat or rounded bottom inside the pot. Clay is then drawn up and shaped to an even thickness after which excess clay is trimmed to a refined shape.

While the potter’s wheel can be used for mass production, it is often employed to make individual pieces. Thrown pieces are modified via hand working techniques on handles, lids and spouts of fine pottery.

Pottery is a form of artistic expression to work with nature’s gifts while it is a source of additional source of income. While mass production is an enticing source of livelihood to venture in, apparently, the potters of Sagada are not fully inclined to venture into this. Just like the making of jams, pickles, honey, wine, and woven products in Sagada, pottery is done according to one’s pace and capacity without the extensive involvement of machines. Lope however says, the people might eventually go into mass production of ceramic wares in the near future, which remains to be seen.

Lope had been into pottery since the 1990s having initially worked and experimented with British artist and potter David Fowler and local potter Mike Say-awen. The three of them now have their own personal pottery workshops. Lope said he takes time to teach interested potters.

Earlier exhibits of Lope’s and Fowler’s ceramic products had been shown at Maryknoll Sanctuary with Baguio-based curator Erlyn Ruth Alcantara. The exhibit at Session Road’s Breathing Space showed clay works of Lope and other Sagada potters who came later – Sigrid Bangyay-Rogers and Tessie Baldo.

With Mike, Lope learned more of pottery from American potter Archie Stapleton in year 2000 along with other local potters Brenda Doco, Cora Degay, and Sigrid. The pottery workshop at Danonoy with Archie soon gave way to other interested potters, Alma Bagano, Jessie Degay, and Tessie with Lope’s guidance .

Sagada has stoneware clay unlike Bila, Bauko which has earthenware clay. Bila potters had long produced earthenware clay pots and water jars, having been an indigenous source of income for quite some time. This livelihood activity however stopped due to easy access to aluminum and metal pots and plastic water dispensers. Earthenware pots however are becoming a demand with the health consciousness of people towards naturally made products, Lope said.


Lang-ay Festival 2009

>> 4/15/2009

Really... I missed the Lang-ay Festival so was not able to get first-hand pics. But would like to post some pics I accessed on line. The pic (below) was sent by Dr. Andrew Tauli of KyE forum. Thanks Doc. In photo, holding the spear is Mountain Province Governor Maximo Dalog and to his left is Baguio Congressman Mauricio Domogan who traces his roots from Besao, Mountain Province.

Other pics are from Baguio -based photo-journalist Glo Tuazon sent through Northern Philippine Times. Thanks Glo.

Hope you all enjoyed the festival! See you next Lang-ay!


Abaka products make gains

>> 3/29/2009

Abaca is the One Town One Product (OTOP) of Natonin, Mountain Province. According to Benjamin Gayudan, DTI's Senior Trade and Development Specialist, people here did not know that the plant they call “fuwi” or what they call “saba chonggo” is abaca. There is also the belief that monkeys were responsible in spreading the abaca in the forests of Natonin.

People then made ropes out of the “saba chonggo” to tie cattle. It was in 1999 when an entrepreneur, Arnold Timmangao stripped fibers and made ropes for sale during the trade fair. DTI brought fibers to Fiber Industrial Development Authority (FIDA) for evaluation as a material for paper making. FIDA confirmed later that it is abaca.

Arang Multipurpose Cooperative initially consolidated the marketing of the abaca products in Natonin where government assistance was channeled. Eight years after, there are now four abaka stripping industries developed from members of Arang MPC.
Some 200 jobs were created with 78 direct workers and 15 indirect workers as abaca farmers, abaca converters, and handicraft producers. Workers are found in the barangays of Saliok, Banawel, Natonin Poblacion, Banao, Kadaklan, and Lunas. At least 40 workers from Bicol are employed where they also teach the art of abaka stripping to Natonin farmers and strippers.

Estimated production of abaka is at 150 tons planted in 900 hectares with current production capacity of 40.9 tons per year.

Abaka products including abaca fibers, twisted abaca fibers such as ropes, bags and fashion accessories generated sales at P1.35 million in 2007, Gayodan said. Abaka fiber sells at 70 per kilo. Natonin abaka farmers sell more of abaka fiber rather than bags and accessories. Making fine abaka by-products is a craft that Natonin craftsmen still have to learn, he said. Natonin Fiber Crafts and Trading is attempting to go into production of fashion accessories such as bags.

The municipal local government unit of Natonin provides sponsored product launching while the provincial LGU provided fund assistance for technology development.

Project coordination and marketing promotion is facilitated by DTI. Technology development is also extended by DTI, FIDA and Central Cordillera Agricultural Program (CECAP). CECAP provided a stripping machine and a warehouse for the Natonin abaka workers.

Nearby Barlig specializes in rattan made backpacks called pasiking or sangi.


Local woven products make gains

>> 3/22/2009

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE is a Weavers’ Paradise. Finely woven products include the traditional tapis for women’s apparel and the traditional wanes (G-string) for men. These products have designs of lizards, diamonds, and eyes. Other woven products are bags, purses, pouches, wallets, blazers, skirts, and wall decors. Weavers are found all over the ten towns of Mountain Province especially in Bontoc, Sagada, Besao, Sabangan, Sadanga, Barlig, Natonin, Paracelis, Tadian, Bauko with different designs and highlighted colors.

Paracelis has its unique Balladang woven materials resplendent in red and bright pinkish colors accompanied with small white beads. Sagada weaves, just like traditional Bontoc weaves have bright colors of red and green in their woven products including tapis, bags and wallets. Sadanga highlights the blue color. Sabangan and Bauko specialize in table linens with shades of orange, blue and white. Besao produces woven wall decors.

Sisters of the Immaculate Church of Mary taught women in Bauko and Sabangan how to do loom weaving. They produced table linens that were exported in the 70’s. Andrea Bondad who pioneered the famous Sagada Weaving also learned weaving skills from the Foster Family in Lepanto, Mankayan Benguet in the late 1960s. A number of weaving enterprises now flourished in Sagada to include Kamowan, Sagada Mountainside Arts and Crafts, Sagada Weaving and Souvenir Shop, Sagada Indigenous Handicraft, Sagada Kindasan Souvenirs, Tam-aw Madongo Handicrafts and Sagada View Souvenirs.

Other weaving small scale enterprises are Asudan Weaving in Bauko, Lourdes Loom Weaving in Besao, and Paracelis-based Baladang Handicraft, ATT’s Handicrafts and Paracelis Weaving.

Meantime, the faltering village weaving industries in Samoki and Can-eo in Bontoc, Sabangan, and Guinzadan in Bauko, Botigue in Paracelis, and Lama in Tadian were revived through skills development given by TESDA, DTI, and DOLE. Institutional development is specially provided for Guinzadan weavers with support from DTI, Cordnet and DOLE and additional set up financing from DOST.

There are now at least 17 firms including four weaving villages in Can-eo, Samoki, Guinzadan and Paracelis.

Weaving created at least 435 jobs as weavers and retailers.

A major patronizer of locally woven products is the people from Mountain Province themselves. Woven materials are especially worn as office uniforms. Other sales are generated during trade fairs and the Lang-ay Festival every April, aside from sales in souvenir shops in Sagada, Bontoc, Paracelis, and Sabangan. The sale of woven materials generated at least P27.8 million in 2007.

While this is so, DTI notes that one of the major problems of weavers is that they have difficulty in procuring raw materials. Design and product diversity is another thing.

Marie Aranduque, proprietor of Sagada Weaving notes that weavers need to come together in order to address their commonly felt concerns and meet the demands of consumers as a bigger volume.

Ms Cecilia Dalog, the provincial Governor’s spouse, promotes Weaves and Designs, an initiative to promote the province’s woven products, one way through fashion trends. This event will specially be highlighted during the Lang-ay 2009 Festival April this year.


Local wines make gains

>> 3/17/2009

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE farmers produce hectares of rice and corn; tons of vegetables including potatoes, cabbage, green onions, bell pepper, squash; baskets of fruits especially citrus and bananas; sacks of legumes; loads of sugarcane and sacks of coffee beans. Out of these agricultural produce, micro entrepreneurs make these into by- products including processed jams, jellies, butter, fruit and rice wines, lemon pies, pickles, noodles, patopat, linapet, roasted coffee and muscovado sugar.

Craftsmen also make creations such as pottery from clay, furniture from pine wood, woven products from weaving, hand made paper, and iron works. Other artistic creations include hand-painted T-shirts and video production.

Fruit,rice and sugarcane wines

The first Lang-ay festival in 2005 ushered the making of Lang-ay wines. Lang-ay wines are fruit wines initially produced by wine makers of Bauko led by Sister Shirley Agoo. About 60 women ventured in commercial wine making in Bauko and grouped themselves under Our Lady of Lourdes Cooperative. Today, there are nearly a hundred wine makers in the province from Bauko, Sagada, Besao, Sabangan, Tadian, and Bontoc. The wine brewers are organized as Mountain Province Wine Processors Association (MPWA) and branded their product as “lang-ay fruit wine”. There are now a number of lang-ay wines of varied flavors and labels sol d with prices at 120 per bottle. Wine products reach as far as Baguio and Manila.

Different labels include Gabay, Antina, Besao Sunset, Seeka, Gulibangbang, Carolina Sorrel,Gaefer’s,Club 35+, Maureen, Da mascene, Victorianne, Keba-asan, among others. These wines are processed from plums, bignay, wild berries, roselle, duhat, guavas, rice, and citrus fruits.

Wine is slowly brewed for a period of at least one year from fermentation to aging. The wine when bottled should reach at least a minimum at 11% to 13% alcohol by volume and is classified as red table wine.

Most lang-ay wines are processed at home and compose a special home activity of the housewife. Although there is a pending need for a collective stainless tank to process lang-ay wines to bring standard alcohol content and ensure clean, clear, and safe products. Quality control appraisal of locally made wines is one major function of the Department of Industry to ensure alcohol content, safety, and clarity of wine products who trained some winemakers to do the appraisal.

The provincial government initially gave P100, 000 for bottling wines to the MPWA. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also gave support amounting to one million pesos for a stainless tank, jars, and sugar to the winemakers association. Now, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is planning to build a science and technology center which includes wine processing among its features this coming year.

The traditional tapey of Sagada and Besao is also commercialized and packaged as rice wine like the Piitik of Sagada. Fvayash, the sugarcane wine from Sadanga is also sold commercially but of rare supply. Fvayash is called basi (sugarcane wine) in Guinaang and Mainit, Bontoc. Basi is also rarely sold as it is more locally used the whole year round in Guinaang and Mainit. (See separate articles on sugarcane wine making in separate articles)

Fruit wines are available in almost any souvenir shop in Sagada, Bontoc, and Bauko. Fruit wines are specially sold at the Pasalubong Centre at the second floor of the Multipurpose Building in Bontoc.

Culturally, wine is a vital component in agricultural and social ceremonies of people from the Mountain Province. Tapey is offered during ceremonies such as begnas (agricultural festival) in Sagada, Besao, Sabangan, and Bauko. Tapey is also a ceremonial wine drank in eastern Barlig and Natonin during weddings and other celebrations. Basi is a cultural wine in Bontoc especially in the sugarcane producing upland barangays of Mainit and Guinaang. It is drank during special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations.

There are now 65 registered small micro enterprises in wine making as of October 2007 from only two in 2000. The Department of Industry- Mountain Province lists that as of 2007, wine making created at least 450 jobs with 275 direct workers and 115 indirect jobs with work as fruit farmers, retailers, processors, laborers and label designers.

Total investments registered at P5.2 M generated P8.2 million from sales of lang-ay wine in 2007.

The Department of Industry provides technology research, quality control appraisal and marketing of lang-ay wine through trade fairs. Trade fairs include the recent Mountain Province Trade Fair sponsored by DTI last December 16-20, 2008 at the capital town of Bontoc. The Provincial Local Government Unit also provides referrals and marketing of products at the Pasalubong center aside from assistance on packaging and provision of planting materials.

DTI sees the need for further improvement and enhancement of labels, packaging and packing. Certification from the Bureau of Food Administration (BFAD) is needed for these wines to gain further acceptance and popularity.
Source: Lang-ay Magazine 2009


Making money from coffee

>> 3/08/2009

Coffee Arabica is one of the most promoted products of Mountain Province. This favorite drink found special promotion in the Lang-ay Festival 2008 and the up-coming Lang-ay 2009.

For the 3,000 coffee Arabica farmers of the province, coffee growing means additional source of money for the family.

Coffee parchment costs P105 to P120 a ganta. A ganta weighs 2 and half kilos. A ganta of coffee green beans costs P200 per ganta. A kilo of roasted and ground coffee powder costs P300 per kilo. What more, a kilogram of in takkin di mutit costs P700 a kilo.
Coffee plants can be grown in backyards and in mountains in between pine trees. With the Mountain Province being a mountainous place with a suitable elevation and temperature for coffee growing, coffee production is a potential source of livelihood.

Coffee is also a very good source of income for coffee shop owners.

Sagada for one is a tourist town which has a high demand for coffee with hot steaming coffee costing P15- P25.00 per cup.

Nearby Bontoc which is equally a tourist and business center, and the capital town of the province hosting government offices, thrives with a number of coffee shops. There are at least 21 coffee shops within the heart of Poblacion Bontoc alone.

With one mug of coffee costing P6.00 to P10.00 and an average of at least 1,714 coffee mugs consumed in a day, a coffee shop owner makes money. The Department of Industry-Mountain Province survey shows at least 12,000 cups are drank in one week translated to at least P120,000 income in a week to nearly half a million pesos in a month.

Survey shows one coffee shop owner makes use of at least 2 kilograms of coffee powder in a day.

With one kilogram producing at least 144 cups, this is translated to at least P1,440.00 income with one cup costing P10.00 each.

At least 120 kilograms of roasted coffee per week is consumed adding to some 6,300 kilograms of roasted coffee per year, DTI says. This means P1.89 million income for coffee producers and P9 million for coffee shop owners in a year.

Yet, with Mountain Province people being a coffee drinking community along with its visitors, its coffee produce is not enough to fill local consumption. Coffee shop owners buy coffee powder and coffee beans from Kalinga, Benguet, Baguio, and Batangas.

One major aim of coffee farmers in the province is to produce at least enough supply for Mountain Province, Ligaya Poled, High Value Commodity Crops (HVCC) Coordinator for the provincial agriculture office said. This observation was noted among farmers during the Coffee Training and Fair held February 2007 and Coffee Summit held recently this January 2009 in Sagada.

While this is the case, coffee traders enticed by the aroma of Sagada Coffee, come from Baguio and Manila. Demand is high for coffee Arabica but supply is small.

Coffee products are currently sold as ground coffee, as green beans, and as parchment coffee. Sales generated P2.3 million in 2007 and P .307 million in the form of roasted coffee, DTI records say.

For more info about Coffee Arabica in Mountain Province, read more of it in


Lang-ay Festivals spur sale of local products

>> 2/22/2009

The much awaited Lang-ay Festival annually celebrated every first week of April, promotes and sells local products. Lang-ay Festival is a week-long activity held first week of April beginning April 1st and ending April 7, the latter date marking the Foundation Day of the province.

An agro- industrial fair is one of the highlights of the annually held activity where the province’s agricultural and industrial produce are showcased. Mountain Province abounds with highland vegetables- potatoes, pechay, cabbage, onions, and bell pepper aside from rice, rootcrops, and fruits (citrus and bananas).

The seven-day activity also showcases the provinces by products of locally grown products including processed foods, coffee granules, jams, pickles, jellies, peanut butter, pottery, fruit wines, cookies, honey, hand paper, furniture, including woven products.

The Lang-ay Festival in 2007 generated P3.225 million cash sales with 83 local microenterprises which participated in the agro-industrial fair, DTI-Mountain Province records reveal.

For one, the Lang-ay festival in 2007 has an average of P2.5 Million worth of woven products sold in the form of costumes, props, uniforms and souvenirs sold from various weaving firms.

About 300 direct workers in loom weaving were benefited. Sales continued even after the Lang-ay festival.

The week-long activity promotes locally-woven products through street dancing and cultural competitions. Lang-ay festival is an event where colorful costumes of tapis (skirt from women), wanes (G-string), beads, and balaka (men’s head wear) are worn. The use of these locally made apparel are promoted for their use aside from appreciation. Woven products are used as
uniforms in most government offices of the province and even in the region.

The conduct of Lang-ay festivals also urged other wine makers to produce local wine aside from other microenterprises The Department of Trade and Industry noted an increase of production of Lang-ay wine to at least 300 percent.

More of Lang-ay in Northern Philippine Times (Lang-ay fest set once more)

Source: Northern Philippine Times, Lang-ay Magazine 2009


Lang-ay Festival 2009: Program of Activities (March 28-April 7)

>> 2/14/2009

March 28, 2009 (Saturday)
Pre Pageant Night , Multipurpose Hall
Intermission:Theater Performance by Sagada ensemble
Judging of essay writing entries

March 31 (Tuesday)
Booth Preparation/ Setting of Exhibits (beads, artifacts, products) , Provincial Plaza
Arrival of Guests and Participants
Coronation Night of Anap de Bangan di Montanosa , Multipurpose Hall
Intermission: Theater performance by Sabangan ensemble

April 1 (Wednesday)
Marathon Civic Parade Assembly Jumbo Bridge
Lang-ay Eucharistic Celebration , Provincial Plaza Grounds
Mountain Province showcase and exhibits
Opening of the Agro-Industrial Fair with Coffee Drinking
Judging of the “Pinaka” products and Best Booth
Destination, Events Awareness for Tourists
Photo Exhibit/ Photography Show, Multipurpose Hall Lobby

April 2 (Thursday)

Sports activities , Provincial Grounds
Skills Fair/ Jobs Fair/Passporting, Migration Issues & Concerns, Multipurpose Hall
Cultural Day for the Elderly and Differently- Abled Persons

April 3 (Friday)
Tourism Summit , Tourism Office
Cultural Workshop, Multipurpose Hall
Choral and Oratorical Competition, Multipurpose Hall
Turn over of books to SPED, and donations from Bayanihan Health Society International and other donors

April 4 (Saturday)

Governor’s Cup Culminating Activity
Lang-ay Weaves and Designs, Multipurpose Hall Frontage
Cooperative Advocacy
Surgical Mission

April 5( Monday)
Search for Lang-ay Lucky Visitor
Medical and Surgical Mission , Bontoc General Hospital
Quiz Bee
Free Magic Show
Theater Night
Battle of the Bands/Indigenous Musical Contest, Multipurpose Hall

April 6 ( Monday) Cultural Interlude and Recognition Day
Cultural Interlude Capitol to Multipurpose Frontage
RDC Meeting Teng-ab
Techno-Gabay Summit, Multipurpose Hall
Recognition of Individuals and Institutions , Multipurpose Bldg Frontage
Theater Night (Sinauliyan) and Socials , Multipurpose Hall
Raffle Draw in between activities

April 7 ( Tuesday) Culminating Activity
Street Dancing
Lang-ay Main Program, Eyeb Grounds
Lang-ay by Chico River
Free Magic Show Multipurpose Frontage
Continuation of Indigenous Games
Awarding Ceremonies , Provincial Plaza
Wining and Unwinding, Multipurpose Hall

Source: Lang-ay Magazine February 2009


Feel to belong: Ushering a more participative Lang-ay 2009 Festival

>> 2/11/2009

(An interview with Mountain Province Gov. Maximo Dalog by Gina Dizon
and Cesar Boguen.)

Q> How ready is the province in the staging of the 2009 Lang-ay Festival.
Governor Dalog> We have already launched the Lang-ay 2009 festival as early as October 2008. Committees are in place including the preliminaries to be undertaken. One of the activities was to consult some people including Prof. Dave Baradas of the University of the Philippines and other knowledgeable people. We invited Prof. Baradas to give his inputs and insights regarding the staging of the Lang-ay festival considering that he has witnessed the Lang-ay festival twice.

Youth and audience participation
Q> What is new in Lang-ay 2009 considering these suggestions?
Gov. Dalog>Basically, the Lang-ay festival is a cultural festival because we cannot depart from our culture, otherwise the Lang-ay festival will lose its meaning. It will showcase just the same our culture as a people.

The innovation is the participation of children. We hope the school children and all younger generation will have more intense participation during the festival in the street dancing, cultural program, games and other activities.

The suggestion of Prof Baradas is to make the audience and our visitors feel they are part of the festival by inviting them to join in the street dancing. They should also wear our woven materials and feel they belong. This was not much pronounced in the previous Lang-ay Festivals. How it will be done? There are designated places where participants invite the audience to participate.

Q> How many people are we expecting to join the festival?
Gov. Dalog> For participants on street dancing, the least is 6o for adults per municipality and 60 for the children’s category. So, for 10 towns in the community category, there are 600 adults and 600 children participants plus some from the 11th municipality, there are a thousand plus participants.

The audience last year was estimated to be about 30,000. We hope to increase that with the help of the media. We hope that people will be made more aware of the existence of the Lang-ay festival.

Q> How big is Bontoc to accommodate more than 30,000 people?
Gov. Dalog> We can accommodate. Some participants went to Sagada in the previous Lang-ay festivals. In Bontoc, we should encourage the homestay program at reasonable lodging fees.

Q> We are expecting 30,000 plus from the audience for this year’s festival. How do we manage to do that aside from the help of the press?
Gov Dalog> We hope to make it more through advocacy. We will do our traditional way of inviting guests and our people outside of the province especially those from Tabuk, Manila, Baguio and neighboring provinces. For this special sector of Mountain Province society living in the Philippines, it seems we have not given a serious effort to invite them to join the festivity.

Now, we are specially inviting their presence for this year’s Lang-ay festival. We feel our people should come back and be made more aware of their roots. In the past Lang-ay festivals, we noticed that those living abroad are more pronounced in their attendance than those living in different parts of the country.

The 11th municipality
Q>What is the participation of the 11th municipality during the festival?
Gov Dalog> We reserved a special slot for them. They occupy the number one slot after the drum and bugle corps in the line of the parade hoping that we will be able to let them join us as one group. In the previous Lang-ay festival, the 11th municipality had a special night.

Q>What is the significance of the 11th municipality in the festival?
Gov. Dalog> We want to make our people who are living outside of the province feel they still belong to Mountain Province. If there are people who went outside of their provinces, they are the people of Mountain Province. We are in Baguio City, Abra, Apayao, Isabela and other places.

There is no other province in the Cordillera where a certain barangay is named as one barangay in a certain city or province. In Ifugao, we have Tadian community. In Baguio, we have Maligcong Village, Mainit village. Especially in Baguio, it is estimated that people in Baguio make up 30% of the voting population that is why we can mount a campaign to bring about a mayor or a congressman.

It is to make our people come back and see for themselves what is happening in their own province where their roots are. And when they go back to the place where they are actually residing it is our hope that they look more kindly on us. They will not forget that they are from Mountain Province.

Q> Where they look more kindly on us, what do we expect from them?
Gov. Dalog> We expect them to be proud of their own culture and tradition. And the fact that even if they are living outside of the province, they are still part of the province. There is a great difference between the person who goes out and forgets his roots from a person who belongs to his roots. I think that fellow who belongs to a certain place, identify to a certain people and feel proud about it is happier than a wandering one. It is actually more of making our people feel that they belong to our province. We have existing traditions which we are proud of.

A person from Mountain Province who is living out outside of the province might want to come back, but what occasion is for him to come back? We are providing an opportunity for them to come back. Suppose there is no Lang-ay festival and we invite them, what for? They come during weddings, but only in a limited scale in their family circles only. What we are doing is an occasion for all our “kababayans” to renew family and community ties, make warmer our relationships and make them feel that they have culture that is still alive and vibrant which can be taught to their own children. It is an opportunity for our people even if only once a year and see for themselves the majestic mountains that we have.

Economic Benefits
Q>What economic benefits will the Lang-ay festival bring for the people of Mountain Province?
Gov. Dalog> The products of Mountain Province have been advertized and made known to the outside world like the woven products and Lang-ay wine. In fact, the Lang-ay wine alone is an industry that is helping our people make a little more income. Even the DTI recognize the impact of Lang-ay wine. They are happy that we did not only conceptualize, but even named Lang-ay wine from our own festival.

We promoted Sagada Arabica coffee last year and had free flowing coffee just to make people see the difference of our coffee Arabica. We are also promoting our handicrafts.

And so, the 30,000 who came and witnessed the Lang-ay festival last year let us say, might have spent 100 pesos in Bontoc. That is P3 million in one day. Would you think they spent 100 only? They might have spent one thousand pesos which is an added income to our people. Other establishments were saying we should have Lang-ay festival every month.

And what is inspiring is that even those people who already witnessed the Lang-ay festival make a point to come back. My daughter invited some of her friends from Manila to witness the Lang ay festival last year. She came back during the Christmas vacation saying that her friends who came over are telling her that they want to come back and even asked some of their friends to join. Those who witnessed the Lang-ay festival want to come back again not only for the Lang-ay festival, but also for the natural beauty of our province and want to see out tourists spots in Sagada and other places.

Q? What product do we specially promote for this year’s festival?
Gov. Dalog> We will continue to promote the Lang-ay wine and Arabica coffee, woven products, other handicrafts. We will ask the different departments what products to be promoted. We are hoping there will be more handicraft items to be produced to be sold as souvenir items.

Q>How ready are our entrepreneurs of Mountain Province to sell their products?
Gov. Dalog> It depends on our people to cash on the staging of the Lang-ay festival. Yet, there is a need for government to intervene. Like for instance, the people don’t readily accept the packaging of the patopat and feel it will just increase the rice. Government has to explain the need for packaging to attract more buyers. We asked DTI to contact a group of patopat producers in Bontoc Ili that government will give a small amount for packaging materials.

Another intervention is in the use of woven products as ethnic accents. I asked the Lang-ay Development Council to order materials that could be used as bedbed or lei, so that when people come, we can ask them to buy these. This is to extend to them a feeling of belonging by wearing the woven material which will be reasonably priced. We have already contacted Can-eo and Guinzadan weavers. We chose materials to be woven and hope the Committee will come up with a sample.

Another is the packaging of our Sagada coffee. Our Sagada Arabica coffee is only marketed in the Mountain Province Trade Center. The packaging is an intervention from the provincial government as requested from northern Sagada women where the provincial government gave support fund of P25, 000. After that, what I only am seeing in fact are only those packed coffee Arabica in the Trade center. Although I am happy that some of it is being sold but more packed coffee should be made.

What we need is a critical mass in our products, for one, our Sagada Arabica Coffee. A critical mass is needed wherein if one orders coffee, we can give many bags or packs, like how Lang-ay wine is being produced.

Government intervention
Q> Coffee farmers are expecting government intervention from your office. How about other offices?
Gov Dalog> It is in the fruit wine industry that government actually intervened. We provided initially P106, 000.00 for the purchase of bottles from Asia Brewery. The uniform bottles made Lang-ay wine more presentable and drinkable.

The situation now is that our producers actually don’t ask us to intervene. After that initial intervention, we are happy to see that they are working on their own. It seems they are independent. That is what is nice here. DOLE followed suit and provided support and so with DTI.

In coffee production, our farmers prefer to do it on their own. If they want, we can buy a roasting machine and grinding machine in one place but they prefer to roast coffee on their own. Each one wants to have his own distinctive brand. The way I look at it, the role of government’s intervention is to properly package coffee and pack this in aluminum foil so as not to lose its aroma.

Coffee Center
For Sagada Arabica coffee, the idea is to produce coffee powder in a roasting and packaging Center. We can promote just the same individual initiatives by making the producer bring to the Center the coffee beans for roasting and packing as Sagada Arabica coffee because Sagada is already advertized. The quality control here is that the beans are coffee Arabica. What we want is to keep the coffee here, process it in Mountain Province to enhance its value and get maximum advantage.

We can allot P50, 000 initial capital to come up with a packaging material. The producers will buy the materials. The money generated from these packs held will be held in trust by the group which they use in turn to buy more packing materials to have a continuous supply. Even in patopat producers, we buy cartoons.

Like Lang-ay wine, there are a lot of fruit wines but the Lang-ay wine is a signature product of the province so we have a special bottle for it. The wine is brought to the Center and tested for its alcohol content, poured in a Lang-ay bottle and sealed with the Lang-ay seal.

Some wine consumers prefer the Damascene wine. Some prefer the Gawani wine. We are encouraging individual initiatives. In Bila alone, we have no less than 20 fruit wine producers. What is beautiful here in the wine industry is that we can store the product. The longer it is stored, the better. It’s the same with coffee. It does not spoil. The longer it is stored, the more aromatic. Besides, coffee does not destroy the environment. It is environment friendly.

We have provided P150, 000 to Sagada Coffee Council for a greenhouse nursery. But I have not yet received any feedback as to the progress of the nursery if the Council already distributed coffee seedlings to farmers of Sagada. Their concept was to produce Typica coffee seedlings and give to households to plant in their backyards so I was very supportive because Arabica coffee grows in backyards. If that will be done in Sagada and10,000 Arabica coffee are planted, then it will be enough to sustain the coffee processing and packaging Center that we are thinking about.

I urge everyone to plant coffee Arabica. There are free seedlings given by the provincial government through its agriculture office. There are also seminars and trainings for the production of Arabica coffee. What is beautiful here is our province can grow coffee Arabica. Coffee plants do not need so much care like oranges. What it needs is only a little care. The moment it is already a matured tree, it can grow a hundred years that is why it is a century plant.

Q> In the up coming Lang-ay Festival, what do you tell our visitors?
Gov. Dalog> Here in Mountain Province, there is always a room for you. We will do our best to accommodate you.
We would like you to come and see how we live, be able to understand our people, be able to understand why we are still having this culture and was able to preserve it and realize that for 300 years, we have not been colonized by any outside foreign power.

Q> And the sponsors?
Gov. Dalog> We ask you to give more to the success of our Lang-ay festival and be more generous. And to those who would like to buy tickets, proceeds will go to the improvement of the SPED center for our special children who need it most.

Q>And specially, what would you like to tell our kakailian from the Mountain Province.
Gov. Dalog> It is our hope that Lang-ay 2009 will be the best. And we can make it the best if only our people are cooperative and take advantage of the event by producing their products and innovative souvenir items. It is our hope that our people will give their minds and hearts to it so that presentations will be very impressive and project their culture and traditions so that those who come will come back again. In celebrating Lang-ay festival , we renew our relationships, make warmer our friendship and feel more intensely the feeling to belong as one culture and one people. Gawis ay Mountain Province!

Source: Lang-ay Magazine February 2009


9 outstanding citizens recognized in Lang-ay 2007 festival; Chavit Singson as special guest and US-based anthropologist Bacdayan as guest

Lang-ay 2007 revisited

Philippine Information Agency reports nine most outstanding citizens in the province were awarded during the 3rd Lang-ay Festival held on April 9, 2007.

Leading the awardees were mayors Gabino Ganggangan of Sadanga and Jupiter Dominguez of Sabangan as the most outstanding mayors in Mt. Province.

Other awardees include Arsenio G. Lamiing of Bun-ayan, Sabangan as the most outstanding solo parent. A retired caminero with ten children who are now all professionals, he is a role model in the community.

Susan Lamtocon-Aminor of Barlig, was recognized as the most outstanding teacher for conducting extension classes on reading and literacy work with out-of-school youth to advance their education, promote folklore and culture through curriculum integration of Barlig folktales.

Amadita Padua- Wagayan of Sadanga, who rendered 36 years of dedicated service and one of the 10 most outstanding midwife of the Philippines in 2002, was adjudged as the most outstanding midwife in the province.

Also awarded as the most outstanding Barangay Health Workers were Rhoda Bomowey Besay of Sagada with 24 years in service; Patricia Balao-as of Santa Isabel, Natonin, 25 years in service; and Beatriz P. Waggay of Palitod, Paracelis

These health workers go beyond their call of duty to attend to the sick and to those giving birth. They are the frontlines in mother and child care and they also initiate/conduct programs on literacy, sanitation and livelihood.

Engineer Rufino Bomasang of Besao, was also awarded as the most outstanding engineer.A man who rose from humble beginnings, he was the first Igorot undersecretary of energy.

These awardees were given trophies, tokens and plaques in recognition of their unselfish contribution to the ideals of the Igorots. They were judged by their outstanding leadership and excellence in their contributions to the development of Mt. Province and the nation as a whole.

Meantime, Senatorial candidate Luis Chavit Singson was special guest during the 2007 Lang-ay Festival. During the event, United States-based anthropologist Dr Albert Bacdayan who comes from Tanulong, Sagada was guest speaker.

The affair kicked off with a street parade participated by the local government, schools and delegates from the ten municipalities of Mt. Province.

After the street parade around Bontoc’s main thoroughfares, cultural presentations were held at the quadrangle. Municipality residents showcased their town’s unique personalities in dances and rituals with their fabulous native costumes. Local residents and tourists from nearby towns and provinces were treated to a bounty of wine.

Lang-ay means a living culture, of feasting and communing with food and wine. It is to celebrate festivities, to share one's joy with others, to foster solidarity among families and gesture of hospitality and friendship.

The local government vowed to make Lang-ay festival a regular attraction of the province. Governor Maximo Dalog said that the Lang-ay festival is Mt. Province’s answer to Baguio’s Panagbenga festival. Officials intend to make the event even more magnificent in the coming years.

This year's theme was, "It is only in looking back in time do we prosper towards tomorrow".


Lang-ay 2008: Sen. Revilla, guest speaker, says “monitor Halsema”

Lang-ay 2008 Festival Revisited

The fourth staging of the Lang-ay Festival with theme, “Living tradition: We care and share” was observed with the rich culture of Mountain Province, a display of its abundant local products, and Senator Ramon Revilla as the guest of honor.

An agro-industrial fair kicked off the activity with a display of local products with a contest of Pinaka and the best booth. A farmers’ forum was also held. Coffee Arabica was served to the public.

Tribal sports on ‘Gimata’ race and pounding rice, indigenous games, cultural dance presentation combined with street dancing parade, indigenous sports, day-eng contest, and cultural fashion show highlighted cultural practices among the Balangao, Baliwon, Aplai, Kankana-ey and Bontoc tribes living in the Mountain Province. An indigenous worship and concert highlighted the event.

The street dancing was composed of two groups: the Children Street Dancing and the Mixed-age Group of all ages with a minimum of 60 to a maximum of 100 performers to include dancers, musicians and prop-bearers.

Lomban di amam-a ya inin-a (marathon for the elderly) was open to men with ages 50 years old and above for the 5km run and women 45 years old and above for the 3km run.

Other activities include mountain trekking, skills fair/showcase, search for Ms. Mountain Province, Lang-ay Theme song competition and oratorical contest with the theme “Gawis ay Mountain Province”

A medical/dental mission and a job fair also highlighted the event,
People from Mountain Province who came home from other places and categorized as 11th Municipality had a special Socials Night.

The Regional Development Council also held its meeting here.

Special guest Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. called on the people of Mountain Province to continuously monitor the multi- billion peso Halsema Highway. He bared the that the on-going improvement of the Halsema Highway is one of the infrastructure projects in the country being monitored by his committee, the Senate Committee on Public Works.

Revilla stressed that the rehabilitation of the 85- kilometer highway will shorten travel time and this will benefit the people of Mountain Province in terms of delivery of goods and tourism.
"Lang-ay means oneness. Let us also practice this spirit not only during the festival. We must all be onein ensuring that this road will last longer," he added.

From the P1.5 million allocation in 2007, the provincial government increased the Lang-ay allocation for 2008 to P2 million. Financial assistance of P50, 000 was given to each of the ten municipalities to defray cost of coordination, and rehearsal for street dancing, props and costumes, and honorarium of municipal coordinator/choreographer.

Source: Lang-ay Magazine 2009


Lang-ay 2006: Sen. Angara was guest of honor; Abeya was special guest from overseas; Starstruck Marky Cielo wows the crowd

Lang-ay 2006 revisited

Senator Eduardo Angara was the guest of honor during the 2006 Lang-ay celebration . He congratulated festival organizers in coming up with an original event.

United States- based Edwin Abeya, president of US-based Jacer Inc was guest speaker in the event’s AgroFair and Cultural Interlude. Abeya traces his roots from Sagada, Mountain Province. He urged everyone to make Mountain Province a Class One province not only in culture but in all categories.

Also, one of the event’s highlights was the visit of Marky Cielo, winner of Starstruck TV celebrity contest, who is proud of his Igorot roots. Marky Cielo traces his roots from Bauko and Besao, Mountain Province (May he rest in peace).

Lang-ay is generally defined as cultural and wine festivities to share happiness and promote solidarity. Relevant to the cultural event is an added attraction on this year’s celebration on the competition of fermenting jars called "gusi ' or "burnay" containing the local wine 'tapey' or 'basi', and paraded by the street dancers.

A cultural theater presentation on "Sinauliyan", was held. Sinauliyan is a story about tribal conflict over water ownership that ended in love and marriage and "Lumawig", the legendary Cordillera god.

Lang-ay in the Igorot dialect means fellowship. The folk ritual involves offering wine and animals such as pigs and chickens to the pagan gods. A cultural presentation and street dancing noted the efforts of the villagers to preserve the Igorot culture. Gov. Maximo Dalog hopes the event will foster unity and closer ties among his province mates.

Lang-ay event also include agro industrial fair which aims to boost the marketability of local products including tourism.


Lang-ay 2005: Lang-ay Festival kicks off with culture-rich event

Lang-ay 2005 revisited

The 38th Foundation Day of Mountain Province was observed with the first Lang-ay Festival beginning on the 1st day of April till April 7 which day marked the separation of the province from the old Mountain Province composed of Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao and Kalinga.

A culture-rich celebration was enthusiastically participated by delegates from the ten municipalities of the province. The ethnic tribes- Applai from Sagada, and Besao; Kankanaey from Bauko, Tadian, and Sabangan; Baliwon from Paracelis; Balangao from Barlig and Natonin; and the Bontoc tribe from Bontoc and Sadanga- performed their distinct dances , songs and rituals.

The Lang-ay Festival was born out of meetings with Governor Maximo Dalog and the Association of Provincial Executives (APEX) with discussions for a general term to mean a provincial festival till Lang-ay came about. Lang-ay, as it generally means among the tribes of the Mountain Province, is sharing the home brewed wine, tapey or basi or fayash, partaking of food and being in fellowship with each other.

Street dancing, cultural programs, and indigenous games showcased the peoples’ culture during the 7-day event. A marathon, Lumban di Gawis ay Mountain Province, highlighted the festival. An agro-fair started the festival on the first day and ended with the fabulous street dancing of the different tribes.


Lang-ay in Mountain Province

Lang-ay is a generic term in the Mountain Province which means to partake food and drink native wine in fellowship with family, relatives, friends, and community folks. It is from this cultural concept that the Lang-ay Festival came into being in 2005 with the leadership of Mountain Province Governor Maximo Dalog and Association of Provincial Executives (APEX) President Paulo Pagteilan. The 2005 Lang-ay Festival was the first Lang-ay event in conjunction with the Foundation Day of Mountain Province in April 7.

By virtue of House Bill No.1526, Mountain Province was separated from the old Mountain Province composed of Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao and Kalinga (BIBAK). The new Provincial Legislative passed the first resolution declaring the birth of a new district and separate Mountain Province in April 7, 1967. Eventually Proclamation No. 144 was signed by then President Fidel Ramos declaring April 7 as Mountain Province Day.

Landlocked Mountain Province is found in the central part of the Cordillera mountain ranges in northern Luzon of the Philippines. It is bounded on the north by the province of Kalinga, Apayao and Abra; on the south by Benguet; on the east by Ifugao and Isabela; and on the west by the province of Ilocos Sur.

Eighty three percent (83%) of the 229,231 hectares is mountainous with 10% of the area devoted to agriculture.

Towering mountain heights and sharp ridges characterize the central and western landscape of the province while gradually sloping and rolling foothills mark the eastern towns.

Land elevation reaches up as high as 2,582 masl in Mt Amuyao in Barlig. Climate is generally cool in the higher elevations of the municipalities of Sagada, Besao, Bauko, Natonin and Sadanga to prevalently warm in the low elevations of Bontoc, Paracelis and Sabangan owing to warm winds from Ilocos region from the west, and Isabela from the east.

Major headwaters include the mighty Chico River which irrigates agricultural lands of Bontoc, Sadanga, and Sabangan, aside from posing potential for white water rafting. Equally, mighty Siffu River irrigates the rice producing towns of Barlig, Natonin, and Paracelis in the eastern front.

Mountain Province with its virginal forests and mysterious lakes locates cool and soothing atmosphere for retreat and meditation. Up north in Sadanga where the mighty Chico River runs through, one finds Sadanga Hot Springs, 29 kilometers from Poblacion, Bontoc. The sulfuric water from the springs is medicinal in nature. Bathing ponds are constructed to trap the warm water for a comfortable dip.

Abysmal and enigmatic caves are a sight in western Mountain Province. The famous Sumaguing Cave among other small caves, are natural underground caves where many a tourist delights spelunking in. Waterfalls in this western side of the province locate the equally powerful and soothing Bomod-ok falls in Fidelisan, Sagada.

Take a 3o minute ride further up in Besao from Sagada for that spectacular view of the Besao sunset. Meditate on those glowing rays of the sun as dusk sets in to welcome the night.

The bustling capital town of Bontoc offers a wide array of natural spots- from woodland lanes along the Bontoc-Can-eo and Mainit- Maligcong routes to expansive viewpoints at Pagturaw- Maligcong, Mount Polis and Bagabag.

Adventurers would love white water rafting along the mighty Chico River which flows through Kalinga, Sadanga, Bontoc, and Sabangan. White water rafting is best in June to August when the rains come soft to forceful. Mountain climbing is best in Mt Amuyao in Barlig, Mt Kalawitan in Sabangan, Mt Ampakaw in Sagada, Mt Mogaw in Tadian and Mt Polis in Bontoc.

One also can’t miss buying delicately woven tapestries in this much visited province up north in the Cordillera. Tapestry weaving is popular as side occupation and source of income in almost all areas of the province where hand woven bags, knapsacks, purses are sold at reasonable prices.

Ceramics in southern vegetable producing municipalities of Bauko locate locally-made jars from Bila barangay where clay molds into naturally charred and glazed products. Pottery as an art and craft is becoming a favorite as it is popularized by resident ceramic artists in Sagada.

Mountain Province is predominantly inhabited by hard working indigenous peoples numbering around 150,000 including migrants from the provinces of Ilocos and Pangasinan.

A major bulk of the populace compose at least 80% of the farming occupation with the

Source: Up North in Mountain Province 2005


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