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  • Writer's pictureAguinaldo LGU

Aguinaldo culture unfurled on Apar Fest 2023

Aguinaldo, Ifugao – Glorious heritage, traditions, and culture of Aguinaldo in the province of Ifugao were celebrated through the merry-making activities staged during the conduct of “Apar Ad Aguinaldo” Festival held from March 28 to 30, 2023.

Established through Batas Pambansa Bilang 86, approved on September 20, 1980, the town got its name from the country’s first President, Emilio Aguinaldo. It was said that he made a stopover in said place before heading to Palanan, Isabela to escape from the American invaders pursuing him.

The municipality’s festival called “Apar”, a local term for hunting camp for wild animals or fish, commemorates its population.

As earlier relayed by Municipal Tourism Officer Melissa Lapugan-Domingo, Aguinaldo and Alfonso Lista used to be a hunting ground of their forefather’s then residing in Mayoyao. During summer, their ancestors would set up their “apar” which they can own. They can use it during the next hunting season or they can bequeath it to their children.

As time passed, the hunting camps were developed as permanent residence thus, the population of Aguinaldo.

Since the first settlers in town were from Mayoyao, the people in Aguinaldo observed Mayoyao’s “Igkhumtad” or harvest festival during their summer fiesta, until the institutionalization of “Apar” Festival in 2011.

The annual celebration, however, was put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed in 2020 up to 2022.

This year, Apar Ad Aguinaldo returned with grander festivity. Local officials opened the event through a program that followed the cultural parade where the people of Aguinaldo showcased their ethnic attire.

In his talk, Mayor Gaspar Chilagan Jr. welcomed his constituents as he looked down the memory lane and reflected on the town’s progress. While they have already advanced, they have yet to achieve more sustainable developments laid out by the local government.

To celebrate their culture, traditional activities were prepared such as the 7-kilometer marathon (running in G-string) from Lupao Junction – Ta-ang – Bunhian – Galonogon, tug of war, kadang-kadang, hiwwo, hanggor (arm wrestling), await, karkalamet, horhortin, akkad (stilt walking), ag-agto/tapfa race, manglon (splitting wood), muntalaid hi chotar, munlakha (weaving), and mun-olot ja munpfaju.

Aside from the cultural parade, native dance contest as well as neo-ethnic choir and musical combo were held as part of the locality’s music and arts events.

For the contemporary-sports, contenders of each barangays competed volleyball (men and women) and basketball (men) games.

Further, the municipality conducted inter-school activities such as musical theater, debate, extemporaneous speech, and declamation.

Local cyclists and those from the neighboring provinces participated in the “Eagle of the Mountain – Fun Bike” from the Banana Processing Center in Posnaan, Aguinaldo to the Municipal Hall, while riders enjoyed the “Alab ng Aguinaldo Riders - Trail Blazing Challenge.”

Hikers, meanwhile, took the 7.5-kilometer eco-walk adventure from Saddle, Galonogon, Aguinaldo viewpoint to the Municipal Plaza.

Mayor Chilagan Jr. expressed gratitude to the all those who participated in various events, especially those who came all the way from other places. Also, he congratulated the winners, including the different departments of the municipal government and national line agencies – PNP and BFP, for contributing to the success of this year’s Apar Ad Aguinaldo.


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