Skip to main content »
Igorotage

Balbalan's First Binungol Festival: Celebrating Indigenous Food and Culture

Balbalan, Kalinga recently celebrated its inaugural Binungol Festival, showcasing the unique cooking and dining customs of the local subtribes.

 |  4 min read

The inaugural Binungol Festival in Balbalan, Kalinga, spotlighted the unique cooking and dining customs of the local subtribes, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Balbalan people.

In Balbalan, Kalinga, the town recently celebrated its very first Binungol Festival, shining a spotlight on the unique 'binungol' cooking and dining customs of the local subtribes, deeply rooted in Cordilleran cuisine. The event took place on October 25 at the Municipal Hall Compound in Balbalan Proper.

The festival offered a diverse range of activities, with the most eagerly awaited being the preparation and sharing of binungol dishes by various subtribes. Festival-goers relished the opportunity to savor this traditional meal during lunch, connecting with the heart of the culture. This festival marked the first step in preserving and promoting the unique traditions of not only Balbalan but also the broader Cordillera festivals, celebrating the rich heritage of the Igorot community.

The Binungol Festival highlighted the tantalizing flavors and cultural significance of binungol, a traditional dish made with freshwater mollusks, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and bird's eye chili.

The Essence of Binungol

Binungol, a well-known dish in Kalinga, is cherished for its bold and savory flavors. It's made using 'agurong,' a type of freshwater mollusk, mixed with indigenous ingredients such as bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and bird's eye chili. This local delicacy, with its roots in Balbalan, has now evolved into an annual town festival under the guidance of the Local Government Unit, led by Mayor Almar Malannag.

As the festival unfolded, the true essence of Binungol became apparent, with its tantalizing flavors and cultural significance taking center stage.

Festival Highlights

The festival offered a diverse range of activities, with the most eagerly awaited being the preparation and sharing of binungol dishes by various subtribes. Festival-goers relished the opportunity to savor this traditional meal during lunch, connecting with the heart of the culture.

Competitive Spirit

The festival also hosted a series of contests and traditional activities, fostering a competitive spirit that resonated with the crowd:

Manbayo

In the 'manbayo' competition, the Buaya subtribe emerged victorious, with Banao in second place and Dao-angan in third place. These contests showcased not only the skill but also the unity among the subtribes.

Man-Aba

The 'man-aba' contest presented a challenge: participants demonstrated the correct way to carry a child. The Dao-angan subtribe secured the top position, while the Banao subtribe claimed second place, reinforcing the connection between tradition and community.

Mangibed/Mangulili

Another intriguing competition involved creating fire without using matches or lighters. The Buaya subtribe excelled in the 'mangibed/mangulili' event, clinching first place, while Banao took second place, and Salegseg followed in third. This contest highlighted the practical skills passed down through generations.

Binungol Eating Challenge

The 'binungol eating challenge' tested participants' tolerance for spicy food. The Poswoy subtribe emerged victorious, with Salegseg and Banao subtribes as runners-up. It emphasized the bravery and culinary prowess of the subtribes.

The Binungol Festival marks a significant moment in Balbalan's history, celebrating its culture and culinary traditions while reinforcing the unity and shared history of the Balbalan people. Photo: Verlyn Tawacnig Tangdol

Expressing Gratitude

Regina Cruz, the Municipal Information Officer, extended her appreciation to all who contributed to the event and to those who attended the festival. She stated, "Thank you to everyone who helped and came to Balbalan. We are all part of the 1st Binungol Festival. We made history today." This event marked a significant moment in Balbalan's history, celebrating the culture and culinary traditions of its subtribes while reinforcing the unity and shared history of the Igorot people.

A Celebration of Unity and Heritage in Kalinga and Among Igorots

The inaugural Binungol Festival in Balbalan was more than a local celebration; it was a tribute to the cultural richness and unity among the Igorot people in Kalinga. This festival marked the first step in preserving and promoting the unique traditions of not only Balbalan but also the broader Igorot community.

As this festival becomes an annual tradition, it promises to strengthen the connections among the Igorot people, enabling them to share their distinct flavors and customs. In doing so, it enriches the vibrant cultural tapestry of Kalinga.

The success of the first Binungol Festival reminds us of the importance of celebrating and preserving indigenous traditions throughout the Igorot community. It sets the stage for more inclusive and comprehensive celebrations in the future, fostering unity and recognition of the diverse cultures within Kalinga and among the Igorot people as a whole. Balbalan's Binungol Festival stands as a testament to the enduring traditions and the strong bonds that tie the Igorot people together, not just in Balbalan but throughout Kalinga.

People wanna be rich, beautiful and famous. I just wanna be happy.


Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.


Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.

Comments

Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Festivals — or jump to a random article!

Festivals Surprise me

Elderly Couple Brutally Killed in Horrific Attack in Pinukpuk, Kalinga

Ruben and Apolonia Dangiwan, aged 65 and 64, were brutally murdered in Pinukpuk, Kalinga. The couple suffered a violent end, shocking the community.

May 17 · 1 min read

Lightning Strike Claims Lives of Philippine Army Soldiers in Kalinga

Lightning strike tragedy claims lives of two Philippine Army soldiers and injures four others in Kalinga.

May 13 · 2 min read

Six Kalinga Heritage Sites Now Protected in PRECUP: Securing Cultural Treasures

In a historic moment, 6 cherished heritage sites in Kalinga have been enrolled in PRECUP, securing protection from modification or demolition.

Mar 14 · 2 min read

Kalinga: Leading Palay Producer in the Cordillera Region

Kalinga province is top palay producer in the Cordillera region, according to data recently released by the PSA for the year 2023.

Feb 27 · 2 min read

Security Guard Shot in Bulanao, Kalinga by Unidentified Assailants

A security guard working at a fast food restaurant in Bulanao, Kalinga was shot by unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle.

Feb 24 · 2 min read

Young Researchers from Kalinga Shine at International Student Research Congress

Young Researchers from Kalinga shine at the International Student Research Congress, earning the Outstanding Research Award.

Jan 27 · 1 min read

Senator Bong Go's Impact on Kalinga Provincial Meet: Championing Sports Development

Discover how Senator Bong Go's support for sports programs elevates Kalinga's Provincial Meet, fostering youth empowerment and athletic excellence.

Jan 26 · 2 min read

Bodong Festival Dance Extravaganza in Kalinga: A Cultural Celebration

Experience the vibrancy of Kalinga's Bodong Festival with street dancing, cultural sensitivity, and star-studded guests in February.

Jan 17 · 4 min read

Kalinga Adopts NCIP Chair Jennifer Pia Sibug-las as "Dinayaw"

Jennifer Pia Sibug-las, Chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, was officially adopted as a daughter of the Kalinga Province.

Oct 24, 2023 · 2 min read

Government Troops Find Abandoned NPA Camp in Balbalan

Government troops found an abandoned NPA camp in Balbalan, a significant discovery. Get the details in this report.

Oct 17, 2023 · 1 min read