The rains that accompany the several typhoons we have had have finally given me enough time to make a post on the 2009 Bontoc Am-Among Festival. (Yes, I know it is 3 weeks behind.)
The day began with the parade, or street dancing. High school and college students from the 16 barangays that make up Bontoc danced their way along the parade route wearing traditional outfits: tapis for the ladies and g-strings for the guys. The route ended at the municipal plaza where each group performed a final dance before a well earned rest.
After the parade, we enjoyed an hour and half of Ilocano language exposure during the program. Various officials from the barangays gave speeches. We would have passed on this part of the experience, but the day before someone stopped Thomas on the street and told us we needed to be at the program, they had a surprise for us. At the conclusion of the speeches, Bontoc Mayor Odsey presented Lisa (Liza on the certificate - her Filippina name) and me with a certificate of appreciation for the work our family has done in the community. We were surprised.
In grateful appreciation for their outstanding dedicated service to the people of Bontoc, by providing free laboratory services and counseling on healthy lifestyle, and for donating various supplies and materials for the benefit of the people of Bontoc.
After lunch, there were the indigenous games. We arrived a little late, but we got to see some of the human tug-o-war. We never figured out the rules of another game that involved a tin can and flip-flops. The last of the games was a team competition involving coordination and rhythmic hopping. Photos are in the video at the top of the page. (A sample of the last game can be seen in an earlier post, click here.)
After the competition was over, we went to the playground at the provincial plaza.