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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Apayao’s Lapat fest draws attention on 2nd Cordillera's ‘Festival of Festivals’

Updated: Nov 15, 2023


Apayao, Philippines – Apayao’s ‘Lapat’, the newest festival in Cordillera, drew people’s attention during the region’s second ‘Festival of Festivals’ held at Rose Garden, Burnham Park, Baguio City over the weekend.


Calanasan town, along with the provincial officials, inaugurated the ‘Lapat’ festival alongside their 60th founding anniversary celebration on June 23, 2023.


The town decided to make 'Lapat' as one of its festivals to preserve a tradition. In the past, when a family member dies, a certain part of land or area will be put under restriction, untouched until after a year when it is lifted. A feast or 'Say-am' is celebrated by the family after the 'Lapat' is lifted.

‘Lapat’ is a method of the Isnag people where they demonstrate the regulation of natural resources to provide for the recovery, healing, and regeneration of forests and animals. The Lapat system of the Isnag, is one of the oldest practices of the province that was also credited for increasing the population of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle, stated the tourism agency in a press release.


After dominating Say-am's street dance contest in February, the street dancers of Calanasan represented Apayao in the first-ever ‘Festival of Festivals’ staged by the Department of Tourism – Cordillera to bring together the cultural delights and boost the tourism industry, while “establishing a platform to perpetuate the unique cultural heritage of the Cordillera region.”


For the second time, Calanasan dancers displayed pride in their ‘Lapat’ festival as they swayed their way to the venue where tourists and residents were treated to an awe-inspiring spectacle.


Other than Apayao’s ‘Lapat’, Benguet’s Adiyay Festival, Ifugao’s Gotad ad Ifugao, Kalinga’s Matagoan and Laga Festivals, Mountain Province’s Lang-ay Festival, and Baguio’s Panagbenga Festival were featured in said festivity which also serves as annual commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples’ Month being observed every October under Proclamation No. 1906-A, series of 2009.


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