Abrenian Kawayan Festival

Abra celebrates the bamboo on 98th Foundation Day

The bamboo, Abra's very versatile and abundant product is celebrated during its 98th Foundation Day with the Kawayan Festival. Here, the Ilocano and Itneg (Tinguian) cultures partake in songs and dances, food, crafts and cultural presentations that showcases the best of Abrenian identity

The bamboo, Abra’s very versatile and abundant product is celebrated during its 98th Foundation Day with the Kawayan Festival. Here, the Ilocano and Itneg (Tinguian) cultures partake in songs and dances, food, crafts and cultural presentations that showcases the best of Abrenian identity

Abra, on its 98th Foundation Day celebrated and paid homage to its most abundant and versatile product, the bamboo in a series of dances, colorful presentations of its rich Ilocano and Itneg (Tinguian) cultural identity as well as a several events during the 8th Abrenian Kawayan Festival held last 6-9 March 2015.

First introduced by current Governor Eustaquio Bersamin in 2009 to promote the bamboo as a top product of the province, the festival has been a venue of unity and celebration as well as a showcase of Abrenian identity. It’s a fun series of events held within four days culminating in the Foundation Day parade.

What I like most about this festival? The cultural presentations. Period. Primarily inhabited by Ilocanos and several sub tribes of the Itnegs (also called by the Spaniards as the Tinguiuans), it has a rich heritage and practices, crafts and dances as well as interesting weaves and traditional attire.

Being a Cebuano, the northern tribes are not so familiar to me and it’s always welcome to witness such rare displays of culture presented through dances based on the legends and myths of the tribe. Other than that, I finally learned that sakuting, a traditional dance with sticks originated in one of the towns, Dolores!

I first heard about this during my elementary years but didn’t know much about it. During the Pammadayaw, or cultural night, I finally witnessed this dance. It’s quite interesting with what they can do with the sticks, the rhythm and movements and hope to feature it soon in this blog.

One other event that should be mentioned is the Silnag Festival of Lights. It’s the first time to be held in the festival and it’s quite interesting based on the colorful, and bright floats interpreting the bamboo. Since its the first time, only a few municipalities joined but seeing the one from Bucay, Abra (photo below), next year should be interesting.

Perhaps, the most beautiful entry during the Silnag Festival of Lights event

Perhaps, the most beautiful entry during the Silnag Festival of Lights event. This is from the municipality of Bucay.

Other float entries from different municipalities for the Silnag

Other float entries from different municipalities for the Silnag

A dance troupe performing during the Pammadayaw, Ilocano and Itneg cultural night

A dance troupe performing during the Pammadayaw, Ilocano and Itneg cultural night

More dances and presentations based on the rich Ilocano and Itneg culture and legends during the Pammadayaw

More dances and presentations based on the rich Ilocano and Itneg culture and legends during the Pammadayaw

Colorful wear during the street dancing parade

Colorful wear during the street dancing parade

Other groups competing and presenting during the street dancing competition

Other groups competing and presenting during the street dancing competition

Men in traditional wear during the street dance competition

Men in traditional wear during the street dance competition

An Itneg (Tinguian) sub tribe performing a traditional dance during the Foundation Day parade

An Itneg (Tinguian) sub tribe performing a traditional dance during the Foundation Day parade

Foundation Day parade with beautiful ladies, traditional dances and interesting floats made primarily from bamboo

Foundation Day parade with beautiful ladies, traditional dances and interesting floats made primarily from bamboo

Thanx to Vice Governor Chari Bersamin for the invitation to witness this beautiful festival.

For more images of the festival, check Langyaw Media page by clicking on this LINK:

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    March 22, 2015 @ 22:12

    Abra celebrates the bamboo on 98th Foundation Day: The bamboo, Abra’s very versatile and abundant product is c… http://t.co/rADt2Ohpha

  2. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    March 23, 2015 @ 7:00

    Push mo yan te! Dancers during the Abrenian Kawayan #Festival 🙂

    http://t.co/IPT2pyTssQ #abra #dance #color #travel http://t.co/uVUS36SNVi

  3. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    March 23, 2015 @ 10:35

    Push mo yan te! Dancers during the Abrenian Kawayan #Festival 🙂

    http://t.co/WvIHT8CArv #abra #dance #color #travel http://t.co/ptjatSTJMR

  4. @mitchjeddah
    March 23, 2015 @ 20:07

    Abra celebrates the bamboo on 98th Foundation Day – langyaw http://t.co/OGeuMNSUQx

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