Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tangyan Festival: Celebration and Recreation in Igbaras

photo courtesy of Igbaras Tourism Office

Igbaras, Iloilo comes alive with the annual celebration of Tangyan Festival highlighted by the street-dancing and tribe competition on May 15 (Friday) at 2 p.m. The theme explores the role of the river as a recreational treasure in Igbaras, an inspiration for art, habitat for wildlife, and as a major supplier of water for drinking and industry.

Aside from folk history and religious beliefs, performers take the issue of the environment on stage using highly expressive movements and prop that vividly lamented on the most dangerous threat to the Mother Earth. Interspersed with dialogues and monologues, the dance is visually stimulating and compelling as it reveals day to day “attacks” on the environment by people who appear completely oblivious of the consequences of their actions.

photo courtesy of Igbaras Tourism Office

The festival has been running since 2006, this year's festival will mark the 11th time the festival has been observed. The festival is celebrated to honor Tangyan, its contribution to history and economy and has been held on the 2nd week of May every year. Each year the festival provides a major boost for the local economy, bringing not only local people but people visiting Igbaras. In additional to the local economy, Tangyan Festival provides a major boost to its resorts and accommodation establishments.

The name Tangyan, with reference to the river, was based on local folk history. Orang Tangyan, father of Maniwangtiwang, the wife of Marikudo, the Ati Chieftain in Panay, once lived in the plains of Igtalongon, a settlement at the foot of Mount Napulak along the river. The river was named after him.

photo courtesy of Igbaras Tourism Office

Tangyan Festival provides the community with exciting opportunities to celebrate the many ways its river enrich their lives. This waterway provides irrigation, potable water, fish stocks and cheap transportation, supporting livelihoods in the area.  Its water is a basic natural resource, essential for various human activities. Tangyan is flooded with information especially when one is looking for stories, places to go in Igbaras.

Tangyan River traverses from the tipmost part up to the bottom area of the municipality and delineates into three major areas covering almost all of its barangays.

Tangyan is considered the major watershed area being the source of water for puroposes of domestic, agricultural and commercial activities. It is also a suitable site for encampment. Igabaras had hosted the Boys and Girls Scouts in several areas along the river in Barangays Jovellar, Igtalongon, Poblacion and Barasan. Temporary military camps and other religious encampments are also located along the river in the barangays of Pinaopawan, Poblacion and Passi. 

The river also play host to the Panihud sa Suba Tangyan, Obra Dum-ok sa Suba observed in the month of January and the Bungkag Dum-ok sa Suba (the local’s way of entrapping the area with nets to collect fresh water fish, crabs and shrimps) enjoyed during Lenten season. The annual Biray sa Suba Tangyan is celebrated every 24th day of June in honor of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the Igbaras parochial community.

photo courtesy of Igbaras Tourism Office

Igbaras is 40 kilometers away from the city. Politically subdivided into 46 barangays over a land area of 15,243 hectares, it is bordered in the north by the Municipality of San Remegio of  Antique Province; in the east by the Tubungan, Iloilo ; in the west by the Miagao, Iloilo; and the south by Guimbal, Iloilo. Napulak Mountain separates the province of Antique from Igbaras,

To get to the town, one can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo. Metered taxis are also available at the terminal. For more information, please contact Engr. Wilfredo “Boy” Delgado-Municipal Tourism Officer at (033) local 104- 5184022 or at 09209643404.

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