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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