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Viva Vigan "Binatbatan" Festival of the Arts set from April 30 to May 5

VIGAN CITY, April 29 — All is set for this year’s celebration of the Viva Vigan “Binatbatan” Festival of the Arts in this world’s heritage city from April 30 to May 5.

Vigan City Mayor Eva Marie Singson-Medina said festival is another summer spectacle that would become one of the grandest cultural activities in the country over the past years, participated in by domestic and foreign visitors.

She said the Viva Vigan “Binatbatan” Festival was started in 1993 in an effort to nurture the pride of Biguenos (Natives of Vigan) on their identity as people of the historic city.

“With the collaboration of the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector, it metamorphosed into one of the biggest and most colorful attraction in the North, drawing crowd from all over the Philippines and abroad," she said.

“Be with the Biguenos as they celebrate in thanksgiving, the gains they have reaped in the field of heritage conservation and governance. Come and witness this religious Fiesta of Apo Lakay (Black Nazarene) which revolves the distinct mark of Vigan traditions,” she added.

Among the significant highlights of this year’s Viva Vigan Binatbatan Festival of the Arts are as follows: April 30 – Zarzuela at Plaza Burgos entitled “Walang Sugat;” May 1 – Labor Day celebration at Don Isabelo delos Reyes Marker at Crisologo Street, opening of exhibits, Carabao Painting and Boklan Art’s Contests, Free Dog anti- Rabies Vaccination and Heritage Singing Idol; May 2 – Tarayem Fun Run, Beach Volleyball, Bankathon, Binatbatan Street Dancing Contest and Showdown; May 3 – Holy Mass of Apo Lakay; Kalesa Parade and Contest; Santacruzan and Disco sa Kalye; May 4 – Traditional Games, Gay Parade and Cultural Show; May 5 – Abel – house décor contest, basketball exhibition of Gays and Abel Fashion Show.

“The "Binatbatan" street dancing will depict the traditional Ilocano way of beating the cotton pods with two bamboo sticks to separate the seeds from the fluff — the first process in making the "Iluko-Abel"- one of the well- known products and livelihoods of our residents,” Mayor Medina said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Medina also disclosed the presence of Vigan River Cruise along the historic Mestizo River could be another attraction for tourists this summer.

“The Vigan River Cruise is the exciting activity that we can offer to our domestic and foreign tourists,” Mayor Medina said.

The city government prepared four motorboats for the river cruising that can each accommodate 15 passengers. After its launching, the river cruise will open to public from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.to 5:00 p.m. with a fare of P100 per adult passenger; P70.00 per senior citizen passenger and P50.00 per child passenger.

“This is an educational river cruise because while cruising, there is a recorded voice telling the history and culture of Vigan,” she added.

To dramatize the history of Vigan City during river cruising, five tableau were installed in the strategic places along the river banks at both sides of the Mestizo River.

These tableau, which have standing images, depict the arrival of Captain Juan De Salcedo, the founder of Vigan City; the transfer of city diocese of Nueva Segovia from Lal-lo, Cagayan to Vigan; the traditional city’s industries like blacksmith, abel-weaving, jar-making and others; the native food delicacies like longganiza, empanada, "bagnet", "kakanin" and others; and the barter trade during the pre- colonial period.

The embarkation yard of the river cruising is located in Barangay Beddeng Laud, Vigan City. (PNA)

LDV/lvm/FGL/rma

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