ILAGAN, Isabela – The province of Isabela held its annual Bambanti Festival from January 22-28. This year’s festival theme, Isabela Kong Mahal (Isabela my beloved), saw each municipality and city of the province showing off their creativity in various forms. From the street dances, installations, ecotourism booths, and food contests, the Isabeleños proved that their festival can also be at par with the likes of the Ati-atihan and Sinulog festivals.
Selected members of the media and travel bloggers were treated to the hospitality of the people from the North. Bambanti, or scarecrow in Ilocano, highlights the provinces main produce – corn and rice.
The municipalities and cities showed guests and travelers their creativity through the booths and installations at the Bambanti village. They also got the opportunity to show their products, ranging from fans, red rice, vinegar, corn, and chicharon.
Another highlight of the festival is the Makan Ti and Mainum (the food and beverage contests). Each municipality and town has a representative who is tasked with cooking one dish and a drink, which was judged by well known chefs and restaurant owners from the country, headed by chef Sandy Daza.
The city of Echague won the grand prize for both competitions with their fried sweet and sour sdobo and a drink called Illuru.
Street dance showdown and chorale competition
One of the highlights of the festival was the street dance competition where, despite the rain, each group gave a lot of of energy during the competition, with judges such as premier danseur Nonoy Froilan watching intently. The town of Alicia won both the Best Dance Showdown Contingent and the Best Street Dance Contingent categories
You feel like joining the dance if you're there. pic.twitter.com/NfDkiJOIB0— alexa villano (@alexavillano) January 29, 2018
Filipino dance talent worth watching. pic.twitter.com/0MkqUgpV3Y— alexa villano (@alexavillano) January 29, 2018
Bigay todo. pic.twitter.com/CCH2IlTa6g— alexa villano (@alexavillano) January 29, 2018
The Hilada festival of Dinapigue pic.twitter.com/FBxrnK5gmg— alexa villano (@alexavillano) January 27, 2018
From yesterday's street dance – the Mammangi Festival pic.twitter.com/y5TfObyQeB— alexa villano (@alexavillano) January 27, 2018
A chorale competition was also held, where the Cauayan City took home first prize.
The festival closed with a concert led by Ogie Alcasid, 4th Impact, Jona, and the tandem of McCoy de Leon and Elisse Joson. A fireworks display capped the final night of the festival. – Rappler.com
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