Lang-ay Festival opening

Bontoc, Mountain Province – The opening of the Mountain Province’s 52nd Founding Anniversary and 15th Lang-ay Festival celebration last Monday, April 1 marked the start of festivities for the province’s most awaited twin events.
With the theme “Nurturing Cultural Traditions Through Indigenous Peoples Education,” last Monday’s opening started with a civic parade that was attended by officials and personnel of the different LGUs, national line agencies, academe and people’s and non-government organizations.
According to Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr., the week-long celebrations will once again showcase the rich culture and tradition of the people of Mountain Province on the 6th of April and the celebration of Mountain Province Foundation Day which falls on April 7.
Various activities were lined-up by the provincial government with partner agencies like DTI, TESDA, etc. before the main events.
The opening rite was held at the Provincial Plaza with Vice-Gov. Francis O. Tauli opening the program while Governor Lacwasan joined the elders from the different cluster tribes of Mountain Province to perform the traditional opening rites, “Tekwab” and “Salibongbong.”
The morning was also the opening of the Agro-Industrial Trade Fair at the Skating Rink where booths for agricultural produce of the different towns were situated. Board Member Salvador K. Dalang, chair, Committee on Agriculture, led the ribbon cutting ceremony.
In the afternoon of the same day was the first part of the Lang-ay by the Street where native delicacies and coffee were freely offered to guests and locals at the main street of Central Bontoc while local bands and singers were invited to provide entertainment. The second part was held on the same venue last Friday, April 5.
The Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) spearheaded the battle of the bands in the evening to provide awareness on the dangers and ill-effects of using illegal drugs. The Up Young Band of Sagada was adjudged the winner while the Thearmuz Band of Tadian and the EBNAVHS Band of Barlig were second and third, respectively.
Last April 3 and 4, the Provincial Technical Education Skills and Development Council (PTESDC) spearheaded the opening of the Technical- Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Encounter.
Dubbed as “TESDAbot Lahat,” the two-day event was aimed to provide 100% employment for all qualifications. It offered services such as skills training, scholarship, assessment and certification, skills retraining and assessment for OFWs and program registration under the unified TVET program registration and accreditation system. It will also offer special services for special clients such as OSY youths, solo parents, solo parents’ children, senior citizens, farmers, micro entrepreneurs, disadvantaged, PWDs, OFW dependents and others.
Moreover, the Provincial Cooperatives Office spearheaded the conduct of a Cooperatives Solidarity Day last April 3 to provide a venue for coop folks to converge and share cooperative experiences, establish linkages and be updated with changes in the requirements for Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) accreditation and other cooperative related issuances.
In the evening of April 4, Ms. Maricar D. Togana of Bauko was crowned as Miss Mountain Province 2019 during the Search for Miss MP beauty pageant and coronation night at the Provincial Plaza. Ms. Erika Mae B. Lacwasan of Sabangan was 1st runner up while Ms. Quenne B. Bantiloc of Tadian came next. Other candidates who made it to the top 5 are Ms. Ruby Linggayo of Natonin (3rd runner up) and Ms. Viddah Ann D. Pacio of Sagada (4th runner up).
The following day, a medical, circumcision and dental mission was spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office at the Capitol Quadrangle. This is in partnership with the Philippine Medical Association – MP Chapter, Philippine Nurses Association – MP Chapter, BoGH, MPSPC Dental Section, DepEd – MP Health and Nutrition Section, Luis Hora Memorial and Regional Hospital and Bontoc, Bauko and Sadanga RHUs.
Services that were offered were risk assessment, laboratory examinations (random blood sugar, random blood cholesterol and blood typing), dental services, minor surgery (circumcision and cyst removal), health education and free essential medicines were also distributed.
Other activities before the twin festivals are the Red Cross variety show and raffle bonanza last April 3 and the Mountain Province History and Culture quiz bee last April 5.
Meanwhile, the mobile passport processing that was scheduled last April 5, 2019 was moved to April 27, 2019. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the adjustment was done to give ample time for applicants to prepare the requirements. With this, the submission of registration forms/applications was extended until April 22, 2019.** Erwin S. Batnag

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