By DELIA BAGNI
BAGUIO CITY — In commemoration of its 104th Foundation day; Bontoc, Mountain Province slates its 8th Am-among Festival on September 10 to 17.
Am-among, according to Bontoc Vice Mayor William Aspilan means a gathering, reunion and fellowship of a family or clan to thank the gods for a bountiful harvest. He said the practice of the Am-among was adopted in 2005 and was intitutionalized from a mere annual clan or family reunion to an annual get together of the sixteen barangays of Bontoc.
Am-among Festival 2012 carries the theme “Surviving Change Through the Promotion of Eco-Cultural Tourism” in support to the common vision of the municipality of Bontoc to make it as a favorite eco-cultural tourism destination in the Cordillera Region.
The municipal government of Bontoc envisions that Am-among festival2012 celebrations would help to preserve and promote the Bontoc culture to the community as well as local and foreign visitors/guests.
Aspilan further said the celebration is a strategy for the tourism development and promotion for the municipality. He expressed hopes that the activities would encourage tourists to keep coming back for the next Am-among festival.
Chairman of the Committee of Tourism in Bontoc Councilor Constantino Mirado added that, with tourism as among the municipality’s priority, they are improving tourists spots such as the Maligcong Rice Terraces, Mainit hotspring and trekking areas. “By doing so Bontoc will not just be a passage way of tourists going to the two famous destinations which are Sagada and Banaue but they will patronize the municipality’s attractive tourist spots and scenery,” he added.
Councilor Mirado announced that the municipality will be launching the Bontoc Tourism Promotion Website, the official website for the municipalities tourist destination on the day of the festival in cooperation with the Xigen College. He also said that they will be unveiling of the Bontoc Tourism Map. He explained that a more aggressive information and education drive would help increase tourist visits to Bontoc.
The festival is highlighted by the civic parade of local and national line agencies officials, employees and groups from the non-government organizations on September 15, followed by the street dancing competition of the sixteen barangays depicting their own respective cultural practices on September 17. After the street dancing and parade, government officials, guests/visitors and the participants from the sixteen barangays will be having lunch together.
An agro-industrial trade fair focusing on the native products of the municipality will take place along with the different activities such as interfolk dance competition portraying the Philippine Folk dances, search for Ms. Am-among 2012 , Ifontoc Got Talent, Indegenous games and photo exhibit on the cultural heritage and natures wonders, Bontoc Culture Book launching, Darts competition, Bike Fun Ride, Chorale competiton, tourist tournament and government Service Fare are scheduled for the whole duration of the festival. # nordis.net