Monday, November 17, 2014

Benguet Community In The United Kingdom Celebrates 7th Adivay London

By the Benguet Organization United Kingdom (BOUK) - Pentagon Hall in Southwark, East London played host to the Benguet Organisation UK's ADIVAY on the 8th of November 2014. As the heavens poured, the rain soaked guests didn't dampen the spirit of this Igorot Festival. And so the eBenguets in the UK gathered together in the midst of heavy rain and busy work life in the spirit of community and camaraderie to celebrate their culture .The rituals and customs practiced by their fore bearers came to life as the performers entertained with the traditional dances, beating of the gongs and the traditional chants .

Here in London, the Benguet Organisation United Kingdom (BOUK) aims to capture the very essence of ADIVAY. BOUK is one of the subgroups of IGOROT UK , the mother organisation of all Igorot tribes in the UK- the Mt Province Federation UK, United Kalinga Apayao Network and Ifugao Organisation, all of which hold their own cultural festivals in the UK.

On its 7th year, the theme is the Tribal Beat and Dances of Benguet and ADIVAY London attempted to bring back ancient Benguet beats via the play of gongs, Solibao, tiktik and the tallak. These Benguet dances are coupled with dances with different meanings depending on which occasion they are performed. Culture is important to the Igorots.

And Benguet in particular because of its proximity to Baguio City and other highly urbanised areas is in danger of a cultural set back as more and more young and middle aged ebenguets are not familiar with the rituals, dances and music of Benguet anymore. Thus, the BOUK made it their business to promote and preserve the Benguet culture so far away from home.

The New Generation Benguet danced the Tarektek, an Ibaloi Dance performed in honour of the colourful woodpeckers that once inhabit Benguet on the borders of Mountain province. It is a mimetic courtship dance, with one tarektek male manipulating a colorful tribal blanket representative of the birds's iridescent plumage while the other playfully beats on a brass gangsa representing impressive bird calls as they battle for the attention of three tarektek females.

Tallak Dance is a native dance accompanied with fine tuned wood instruments that produce a rhythm when played in harmony and which originated in Bakun, Benguet. The Tallak instruments used by the BOUK was lovingly prepared and crafted by Crispina Moresto.

The BOUK recreated the Taychek, the monumental dance of the culture-unique Karao Tribe in the Municipality of Bokod . It sounds like the Mt.Province’s because it is believed that the ikaraos’ origin is somewhere in Natonin, Mt Province. The dance may serve to honor or celebrate a battle won against the headhunters and it can also be performed as a harvest dance.

The “Ginalding” is an Ibaloi thanksgiving ritual for Kabunyan and specially performed by the Ibaloi group led by Mildred Ngaloy of Bokod and Jordan Ansen of Itogon. The Ginangsa is a faster and more snappy dance of the kankanaey. This was led by the newly formed Buguias Mankayan Group led by Jhun Bacquian and Conchita Marquez.

The Day-eng (kankanaey Chant ) was provided by the Gorgeous and talented Ms Conchita Marquez of Buguias Benguet and the Bahdew (Ibaloi Chant) was written by our very own special guest, Victor A. Cosalan of Kabayan, Benguet who’ve regaled us with a tayao and sadong. Mayor Jerry Dapilog of Banaue Ifugao was also a special guest, together with representatives of Philippine Tourism as they promote the Tourism owned Banaue Hotel in Ifugao.

The 7th Adivay also launched CADIEM ( Ibaloi for friend) the very first news letter of the BOUK and distributed free to its members and friends.

Headed by its President Archie Nabus and led by the creative work of Crispina Moresto, The BOUK provided a spectacle worthy of the Benguet culture’s unique qualities. Benguet’s premiere dance, the Bendian dance was performed to celebrate the guests, the members, the families and friends who have continuously provided their support. Come again and join us for Next year’s Adivay London. There is so much more to showcase-Adivay: Proudly Benguet, Proudly Igorot. OOOOWWWAAAYYY…….. ADIVAY.

Below are photos from the festivities. Photos courtesy of the Benguet Organization United Kingdom and Igorot Online.  For more pictures, visit the Igorot Online website at