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  • Writer's pictureKara Nodima Cawas

Benguet Adivay Festival celebrated in Canada

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

A Filipino Fest, “Adivay” of the Benguet Province, was once again celebrated in Canada with the theme: “Moving forward with hope and resilience” in August 2021 to honour the Igorot culture. It is the 6th time that the ‘Adivay’ Celebration was observed in Canada.

‘Adivay’ is an Agri-Tourism festival focused on rediscovering the rich history, culture, arts, trades, and industries of Benguet. This festival has become the bond that continuously creates unity and cooperation among the Benguet tribes, even if they are living overseas.

The participants were gathered at Foreshore Park Burnaby British Columbia, which is 20 minutes away from Vancouver. Most of them are the members and officers of the Benguet Society of British Columbia (BSBC) with other folks from Benguet living in Vancouver.

According to BSBC officer Phylyn Liyo-Tanas, the ‘Adivay’ celebration in Canada was made possible through the Benguet Society of British Columbia.

“It’s the 6th year the BSBC celebrated Adivay in Vancouver. Adivay was first celebrated in Nov. 2016 like in the Philippines, but after that they decided to move every August since its summer time here in Vancouver, to entice more Benguet folks to join,” she said.

In an interview with Guru Press, photographer and participant Johndel Matias said that it took the uncles and aunties of BSBC many days to organize and host the event.

“From making the very booths representing each municipality as well as the huge preparation of food fit to feed an army,” Matias jokingly said.

Matias added that the Adivay event harks back to the very ‘Adivay’ that the fellow Igorots hold back home in the Cordilleras. He said that is important for him because the heritage is a representation of who they are.

Furthermore, the yBenguet based in Canada commemorate it to feel at home and to promote traditions that must be preserved and pass on to the next generation.

The event is initially celebrated in the Philippines every year in the month of November, but the 16th Adivay festival celebration in the country this 2021 was suspended due to the ongoing pandemic. Fortunately, the 6th Adivay festival-Canada chapter made a way to celebrate it this year.

Canada Adivay Festival 2021

“Adivay” is an Ibaloi term that simply means coming together. In Canada, they showcased a celebration of unity and resilience within Igorots whose roots are from the province of Benguet; both Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Kalanguya, and other indigenous representations.

The event had displays featuring the 13 municipalities of Benguet, which are: Atok, Bakun, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, Kabayan, Kapangan, Kibungan, La Trinidad, Mankayan, Sablan, Tuba, Tublay. La Trinidad being the Capital City of Benguet and Baguio, being its chartered city.

The participants showcased various rituals, chants and cultural dances from Benguet.

The activities also include the singing of hymns, the Booth set-ups of per municipality, Band singing, Parlor games, Line Dancing and the Awarding of Best booth and best Pinikpikan with a twist.

Benguet Society of British Columbia (BSBC)

BSBC is an independent and non-profit organization composes of members who are Canadian citizens and residents who ascribe to be a descendant family from Benguet, Philippines, by virtue of blood, affinity, and birth.

The organization strives to honour its roots and is passionate about educating Igorots and non-Igorots about their traditions by displaying dances. It aims to share culture and showcase Igorot pride. 

Part of their mission and vision is supporting sustainable development needs in Benguet province through its own resources as well as broad partnerships.

Besides celebrating their culture and traditions abroad, the organization also accomplished projects that would benefit the Benguet Province, such as; Drumvatory Project, Balik Eskwela sa Pandemya, Binaddang Project, BSBC Christmas Carol, BSBC Annual Blood Donation Drive, and Fund Raisings to financially assist Benguet students.


Benguet Adivay Festival celebrated in Canada

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