Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pandayan Festival: A Celebration of Badiangan’s Backyard Industries

The celebration of Badiangan’s Pandayan Festival is to honor the town’s backyard traditions that had been the main sources of livelihood of its people. It is highlighted with the tribal performance of contesting clustered barangays showing informative presentations that normally focus on the town's local industries such as bolo-making, taho, and loom- weaving.

Most popular backyard industry is bolo-making. Bolos are used as an implement in farming and cutting materials. A number of people in the community are engaged “panday” or blacksmiths and have become experts in the trade using manual and improvised equipments. Baiangan is a popular source of fine crafted bolos in Iloilo, the Bingawan Bolo. It is preferred in local markets because of its durability and craftsmanship.

In fact, the town produces several kinds of bolo along with its specific uses: (1) Binakuko for chopping wood; (2) Sinuwak for carpentry and cutting shrubs and smaller trees; (3) Ginunting having the same function as the sinuwak; Pinuti for slicing meat; (4) Tangkap for kitchen use; (5) Linamay, Surot, and Balintawak are used in gardening; (6) Kayog is used to harvest rice; and (7) Wasay used to chop lumber and bigger trees.

Many hours are spent in producing a single bolo. Mostly the men in the community are doing the hard labor such as forming the metal, while the women, mostly their wives are the ones assisting by way of hasiwas---pumping two wooden implements to a metal pipe in order to produce the needed air continuously to produce the needed heat to the coal to be able to shape the metal for its distinct design or style and function.

Women in the area are also becoming active in weaving. The demand for hand-loomed fabrics such as hablon and patadyong in Iloilo is growing. This popular backyard industry is fast gaining a lucrative reputation among the women in this town.

Another backyard industry of the town that is getting much attention these days is taho-making. Taho or Ginger ale is a ginger flavored carbonated drink. Ginger has been used for centuries for medical purposes. This medicinal quality of ginger probably is the reason why it was made available as a consumable beverage.

Various government and other local agencies interventions introduced added livelihood projects in the area to augment the income of many Badianganons. Through the efforts of their very supportive municipal mayor, Hon. Suzette A. Mamon, trainings and seminars have been held for the purpose. The advantage in this livelihood programs is that they are easy with readily available raw materials common in the area where almost everyone in the family can help and benefit from it.

This year’s Pandayan Festival is On June 17-24 with the opening activity through their Foundation Day Parade, Flag-raising of all Barangays an the Opening of their Food Festival; June 18 is for Press and Farmers Day an the Search for Binibining Pandayan; June 19 is the Coronation of Fancy Ball Queen; June 20 will have a Tourism Summit; June 21 is the Kasadyahan sa Pandayan and LIGA Night; Cooperative Day is set for June 22; the First Badiangan Inter-town Amateur Boxing Tournament is on June 23; and the Municipal Fiesta caps the eight-day celebration.

The municipality is divided into 31 barangays extending over an area of 7,750 hectares and is located in the northwest central portion of Iloilo Province. It is about 40 kilometers from the city. It lies at the geographic and cultural towns belonging to the Third District, with borders on the north by the municipality of Dueñas; on the northwest by the municipality of Lambunao; the municipality of Pototan on the east; on the southwest by municipality of Janiuay; and the municipality of Mina on the southeast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adventure, Fun and Experience for the 6th Biray Paraw Festival in Leganes

Nowadays, popularity of boat races has grown tremendously, not only where it originated but throughout the world.

In the Philippines, for many years, local boat races using paraws or a double-outrigger dug-out, proved that it had also invaded even in its most remote barangays. Such were races organized by government agencies, students, professionals, businessmen, and military personnel that actively participated in this type of race, drawing spectators from all walks of life.

Paraw racing recognizes two types of racing activities: sport race which is practiced by members of sailing organizations and follows formal rules, and the festival race which is the more informal type, a typical sprint event requirement only certain number of meters as standard race distance.

Paraws are popular recreational vehicle present in almost all coastal towns throughout the country. In Iloilo, it has achieved unprecedented heights of popularity with Ilonggos.

In June, the coastal town of Leganes takes pride of its paraws as it take centerstage with the annual celebration of Biray Paraw Festival. The celebration calls attention to Leganes’ active involvement in the tourism promotional programs of Iloilo. The activity is seen as an important vehicle in strengthening friendly ties between the people of Leganes and its neighboring municipalities. This tourism event made its debut in 2006.

With this year’s theme, “Torismo sang Kumonidad Sakdagun, Ekonomiya Pasanyugon,” the celebration will open on June 22 with a Ceremonial Launching at the Leganes Municipal Hall Lobby; June 23 with a Photo Exhibit at the Leganes Tourism Center; a Coastal Clean-Up Drive is scheduled on June 25; June 26 opens with the Festival Proper through an Opening Program that will kick-off at 9 a.m., the Palumba Paraw, On-the-Spot Painting Contest, Biray-Biray, Awarding Ceremony and the Binayle sa Hunasan starts at 10 am. Considered as this year’s center of sailing activity are the waters off Rianne’s Beach Resort in Barangay Camangay, Leganes, one of the town’s tourism destinations.

Aside from the paraw race, the event also offers everyone with the biray or sailing experience. There are two very distinct activities in sailing: one can indulge into thoughts, self-reflection, enjoying sunsets and sunrises, the nature, etc. The other activity is when one gets a hand on being responsible for all of the functions that need to be performed in order for the vessel to move properly.

Central Philippine University junior tourism student tries the biray
for Tumandok 2007-Leganes group
One of the most important and interesting things during the biray-biray is the understanding of winds by the people using the paraw and especially the one manipulating the sail. Interaction between the wind and the sails is the main speed gear of the boat; the wind is the fuel and engine of the sailing ships.

For a minimal fee, visitors can pay for a ride to experience biray-biray or sailing along the scenic coastal area of Leganes. Life vests are provided to all who wish to join in the fun and adventure.

Leganes is one of the 19 coastal towns of Iloilo Province. Composed of 18 barangays, the town has successfully combined modern living and rural ambiance. Though it is host to residential villages and a number of tourism-related establishments, Leganes has preserved its rustic appeal especially on its coastal barangays.

The town is also known for its SAAD Festival, the ancient tradition of Palapak, popular age-old crafts such as rattan furniture making, as well as their salt industry.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eco Adventure at Tambaliza Eco-Park and Resort

the imposing Mt. Manaphag also known as Pan de Azucar at Barangay. Tambaliza, Concepcion, Iloilo

Endowed with bounties of nature; the municipality of Concepcion, represents one of the finest destinations. White-sand beaches and beautiful coral gardens linked with mangroves and tropical seas is the unique combination of this town. Concepcion has a prominent place in the tourism map of Iloilo and is also locally significant due to its rich biological diversity.

The town is known to have of the one of the best managed sustainable tourism program and presently becoming one of the best managed mangrove ecosystem in Iloilo too. It is also recognized for its outstanding conservation management of the rich and diverse of wildlife and habitats that thrive throughout the different islands in the area.

mangroves at Tambaliza ecopark, Concepcion, Iloilo, photo by Norman Posecion (USA-CAP)

In Concepcion key protected areas of Mangrove forest or Mangrove swamp occur in its various island communities. But there are also large areas of unprotected mangrove habitats.

Many think that mangroves are just small weedy plants along the shoreline. Mangroves are much more than that. It is a whole ecosystem acting as a buffer between land and sea. Mangroves are extensions of tropical and sub-tropical forests into the sea.

Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive and play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide. Mangroves provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and fauna. As they say, healthy mangrove forest is a key to healthy marine ecology.

In the past years there has been an increase in the awareness of the people in Concepcion. Communities are coming together to spread this awareness. They realize that the rapid destruction of their mangrove areas will have far-reaching effects. The local government unit is making efforts to highlight the issues like coastal regulation and illegal destruction of the mangrove areas through the interventions of the local government and local groups.

photo by Norman Pocesion (USA-CAP)
No trip to Concepcion would be complete without a visit to Tambaliza Eco-Park and Resort in Barangay Tambaliza. It is one of the most important areas and combined with the surrounding Island of Botlog and the imposing Mt. Manaphag popularly known as Pan de Azucar, the area is one the most scenic stretch of Concepcion.

For an ecological experience, visit Tambaliza, Concepcion Eco-Park and Resort. The whole family will enjoy this relaxing stroll along a boardwalk over a natural Mangrove preserve. The Eco Park and Resort opened in April 28, 2011 in time for their annual Tampisaw Festival celebration.

Tampisaw Festival is an annual event celebrated in the last week of April aimed at celebrating global day for positive environmental action. Through this celebration, the municipality of Concepcion is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

The eco-park has a considerable area of mangrove forest where most areas support larger mangrove trees. The structure and composition of the mangrove forest has been studied by DENR but is currently under the care of an active ecological group comprised of local municipal officials, volunteers and community leaders of the town. The wetland is state owned and is now open to public use. The park covers an area consisting of open water, rocky headlands and a relatively considerable proportion of mangrove area.

The area has become a major tourist attraction and the town realized income from parties of sightseers.

It offers two major board-walking or guided nature trail activities; (1) upon docking at the eco-park’s main entrance, and (2) going through the reserve area where one can get a full view of eco-park.

photo by Norman Pocesion (USA-CAP)
Amenities include three (3) cottages that can accommodate 25 persons per cottage; 1 pavilion; two (2) open cottages and two (2) floating cottages that can accommodate 10 persons each. Entrance fee is P20.00 for a whole day visit at the park.

Visiting the park is one better way to stimulate the conservation of the area so that we can contribute to the creation of an economy that will never flourish without these mangroves. As they say, after all, this is the idea of ecotourism and responsible travel.

Getting to the Tambaliza Eco-Park and Resort from Iloilo City, you have to head north via bus or van to Concepcion through Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. Once you reach the poblacion, take a motorized boat and head towards Barangay Tambaliza. 
For more information please contact Rolinda de Julian at 09395032408.

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