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.

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