PALANAN, Isabela, Feb. 27 — This coastal town celebrates Sabutan festival an annual event every March 20-22 to promote its products like mats, fans and bags made of locally grown grass.
The highlight of the celebration are showcased in native dances and band exhibition, sabutan float parades, which endorses its number one product, according to Mayor Angelo A. Bernardo.
Sabutan is also a celebration of Palaneños whose bodies are painted with black to imitate the black, small and slender Dumagats who are aborigines of Quezon province and Cagayan Valley.
The participants are dressed in fashionable and colorful Dumagat costumes and dance artistically and rhythmically with complicated formations along with the loud thrashing and sound of drums.
Tribes from the sitio, schools, and nearby barangays participate, a contest in terms of costumes, choreography, and sounds. Participating tribes learn to design artistically and originally using native materials like dried anahaw leaves, buri or coconut palm leaves, and husks and sabutan leaves.
During the celebration, people participate with the festivities are dressed in Dumagat costumes, paint their faces with black, put on colored artificial tattoos and wear other Dumagat ornaments.
Bernardo said sabutan is a plant that grows along the coastal area of the town, used by the women of Palanan in making mats, bags, hats, and fans as an additional source of income. (PNA) DCT/LAM/SCD/mba