Whenever I hear old people talk about the times that they traveled by foot to Candon, I always thought that Candon is somewhere near the Cordillera mountains. You know, like the boundary towns of Cervantes in Ilocos Sur and Bagulin in La Union, so it won’t be a big deal if one goes there. It turns out that Candon, which is now a city, is way out west in the Ilocos coast. So our ancestors who walked all the way to Candon to trade their goods for a bag of salt must have really walked long and hard to get there. Mapapahiya ang mga bata ngayon na konti lang ang nilakad ay pagod na pagod na daw.
Anyway, Candon City has a significant number of Bago Igorots who, like Igorots just about anywhere, continue to celebrate their cultural roots. They have an annual tribal festival “aimed at enriching indigenous customs and traditions of the nine indigenous cultural communities of the Bago tribe .”
Danny Antalan has an interesting report on last year’s festival held in December: “Kas paset ti agmalmalem a tribal festival, naangay ti salip dagiti nagkauna nga ay-ayam kas iti sanggol, gabbo, torsi ken tug of war ken dadduma pay a paay-ayam dagiti Bago ken dadduma pay a tribu, salip iti dallot ken panagaramidan iti tapey, arak manipud iti diket a bagas.” (Message to Paulo Avelino: This is why you should at least learn to speak Ilokano. He he, biglang naiba ang topic. Don’t worry we will still vote for you.)
For non-Ilokano speakers, Danny’s report states that the festival showcased traditional competitive games (like tug o’ war, “torsi” and “sangol”), a dallot singing contest, and rice-wine making. Caveat: This may not be the exact translation, after all I’m not a native Ilokano speaker. And I don’t even know what “salip” means.
RELATED POST: Igorots in Bukidnon. INFO SOURCE:Candon City Website, Danny Antalan [Tawid News]. PHOTO CREDIT: Candon City Website.