Ogtonganons told to rally behind Katagman Festival

PIA Press Release 2005/05/04

Ogtonganons told to rally behind Katagman Festival

Iloilo City (4 May) -- Mayor Carina Flores urged Ogtonganon to rally behind the town’s cultural festival, the Katagman Festival in order to achieve the goals of raising the level of consciousness of our cultural values and rich historical or cultural heritage.

Flores said the celebration will also awaken “our sense of community” and bring about unity and cooperation among Ogtonganons.

The Katagman Festival launched four years ago was originally the Ogtonganon Festival. This year’s celebration coincides with the 433rd foundation day of the municipality of Oton, the oldest pueblo in Panay.

History tells us that on May 3, 1572, Fray Martin de Rada officially signed the acceptance of Oton as pueblo. It became the third pueblo after Manila and Cebu. It was a big pueblo which then included the present towns of Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel and part of Cabatuan.

Katagman is the old name of Brgy. San Antonio before the Spaniards came. It is the seat of the Madia-as Confederation in Panay under Datu Paiburong until 1226 A.D. It was also in this place where civilization in this part of the country first started, with Batiano River, then a flourishing Malay port, served as a gateway to Christianity.

Flores disclosed that efforts to improve the festival are being undertaken citing the help extended by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA).

“Young as it is, our festival, however, continues to undergo improvement and so, I am confident that a festival that is truly Ogtonganon will evolve. The helping hand in this aspect is the NCCA and also the major sponsor for this year’s festival”, said Flores.

Last year, as part of the town’s preparations, local talents composed of teachers and others concerned participated in a three-day workshop on dance, culture and choreography with resource persons from the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA).

Flores added that the municipality of Oton is the first town to be recipient of a grant from the NCCA.

It was learned that a P105,000 assistance was given for the prizes and travel and accommodation expenses of the judges during the festival.

The week-long festivity features interesting events, most awaited of which are the Tribe and Balangay Street Dancing competitions. The tribes contest is a competition of musical dance and theater presentations depicting the Ogtonganon history, customs, traditions and values that revolve around a central theme and performed in the plaza while the Balangay Street Dancing is presented in ethnic or cultural style such as involving ati-ati steps or binanog or participants wearing a replica of the gold mask perform in the main streets of the municipality where there are judging areas.

This year seven competing tribes joined in the said competitions. These are Tribu Mandaragat of the Barangays of Poblacion South, Poblacion East and Alegre; Tribu Nakatundan of Poblacion West, Tagbak Sur and Norte, Bita Sur, Tuburan, Mambog and Cabuluan Sur; Tribu Papulo Malaca of Lambuyao, Cagbang, Pulo Maestravita, Abilay Sur and Norte and Pakiad; Tribu Paraw of Trapeche, Botong ang Cabanbanan; Tribu Kanipaan of San Antonio and San Nicolas; Tribu Katamnan of Batuan Ilaya and Ilawod, Turog-turog, Calam-isan, Cadinglean and Sambaludan; Tribu Parayan of Sta. Rita, Sta Monica, Rizal, Sta. Clara, Galang, Salngan, Cabuluan Norte and Bita Norte.

Tribu Papulo Malaca was declared first place in the Tribe competition followed by Tribu Mandaragat, second place and Tribu Paraw, third place while in the Balangay Street Dancing competition Tribu Kanipaan emerged first followed by Tribu Papulo Malaca, second place and Tribu Mandaragat, third place. (PIA)

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