Indigenous rituals highlight 2014 Tam-awan arts festival

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With the theme “Cordilleran Stories: Rituals and Beliefs,” the 5th Tam-Awan International Festival (TIAF) featured the rituals of several ethnic groups all over the Philippines as well as those of the indigenous groups of the Cordillera region.

The festival was at the Tam-awan Village, an artists’ village, art space and tourist attarction in Baguio City, supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). TIAF is part of the celerbation of the National Heritage Month of May every year, led by the NCCA.

Senga, a Mountain Province ritua, asking the gods for prosperity, was performed with a ceremonial tree planting at the Tam-awan Village trail. Ibaloi rituals were also performed as well as rituals of the Panay Bukidnon of the Visayas,  and the Higaonon of Mindanao, the panulakon. These were interspersed among the various activities and events of TIAF.

Also, the Tam-Awan Village Artists (TVA) hosted workshops on mask making, water color and coffee painting, mono print design, bamboo carving, and solar drawing instructional sessions.


Ayala Museum’s exhibit “Kisame: Visions of Heaven on Earth” was brought to the Tam-awan Village Gallery with curator Ken Esguerra and Fr. Harold Toralba.

Talks were delivered by United States Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer Kristin Kneedler on US heritage conservation projects in the Philippines; South African Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso on her country’s rituals and beliefs; former Benguet Vice Governor Wasing Sacla of Kibungan, Benguet, on Kankana-ey belief system and home rituals; Alfonso Aroco of Kabayan, Benguet, on Ibaloi oral tradition; Orlando Abinion of the National Museum on the saga of the mummy Apo Anno; Elsie Padernal on the different rituals of Panimu Sulod Bukidnon; Datu Linggi Inhagdan Modesto Pocol on Higaonon Beliefs in god, spirits, nature and man; Ifugao representative Teodoro Brawner Baguilat Jr. on the “Preservation of the Ifugao Culture and Heritage in the Modern Time,” and Ventura Bitot of Mountain Province on “Traditional Prayers in Relation to Literature towards Performing Arts.”

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