The Municipality of San Vicente in the province of Palawan celebrate indigenous Peoples month last October 30 and 31, called as Tarabidan Ong Banwa, a Agutaynen word for “get together in the town” aims to unite three major tribes in a two day event, the said tribes are Agutaynen, Cuyunon, and Tagbanua or Tandulanen.
The program opens past 6 in the evening of Oct 30 with a symbolic Tiki torch parade headed by San Vicente Mayor Amy Roa Alvarez and all the tribal chieftains of the three tribes, they march in group bearing a burning torch that signifies their intention to be one in that evening, it was followed by boodle fight eating session and a cultural show showcasing different dance and songs of participating tribes.
The second day is full of fun-filled activity, as the three tribes compete in different traditional games such as Kadang-Kadang, palosebo, tulakan sa upuan and Lakad sa Bao, all of that happens in the middle of mud arena due to the fact that San Vicente is known for Malagnang (mud) Festival, the annual biggest festivity of the town honoring their rich soil. Craftsmanship contest is also held like Pawid making.
Winning tribes receive cash and gifts as prizes, awarded by Mayor Amy herself on the last day of the event.
“Itong event na to para sa aming mga Agutaynen ay importante, kasi parang reconcillation po, masaya kami na nandito sila, sobrang saya at nakakataba ng puso, kasi dati rin kaming magkakaibigan na mga tribu, sana mawala yung mga nabuong sama ng loob at simulan namin dito.” Pinky Leido Evio-Dela Cruz of Agutyanen Tribe said.
Preparation for Tarabidan Ong Banwa is only two weeks, Mayor Alvarez looks forward in making it a big and grand event for the coming years
“This is a momentous occasion, I want to revive culture here, I’ve been in Palawan for few years, and now I am living here in San Vicente permanently and there are four tribes pala here, and that’s amazing, I want to revive this and keep the culture alive, I even plan actually for the tourist to come and see them, I want to even build a sort of tribal village for them to visit, that’s actually my plan,” Alvarez said.
The said celebration is mandated under Presidential Proclamation No.1906 declaring October as Indigenous People’s month in the Philippines, it’s also a way of commemorating the passing of Republic Act 8271 also known as the Indigenous People’s Right Act (IPRA).
San Vicente is located in the North-Western part of the mainland Palawan, it is a first-class municipality where the famous Long Beach and Port Barton is their famous attraction.