Saturday, May 11, 2013


Written by Wrachelle Cablog

It’s been Jef’s goal to document whatever is left of our traditional culture and translate them into his canvas. Here in the Cordillera, the different mountain tribes hold various cultural festivals, annually or once every 4 years in the case of Ifugao, which showcase their rich local history and culture. We didn’t want to miss these celebrations so we wanted to attend whenever possible. 

The Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc, Mountain province is a week long activity which is annually celebrated every first week of April and we’ve attended it since 2012. Just like the previous year, the 9th staging of the festival is highlighted by the street dancing and cultural dances performed by the young and the old but, this year there are more children and youth performers. The other respected community elders took part by ensuring that the cultural performances depicted the genuine cultural practices passed to them by their forefathers.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken from the street dancing and cultural performances. I hope to see these subjects translated in Jef’s canvases soon. 

A girl and a young woman of the Gaddang tribe from Paracelis, a municipality of Mountain Province. I can’t help but notice how intricately and carefully their clothes and bead ornaments are woven. The Gaddang is one of Jef’s favourite subjects.

 An elder from Natonin, a municipaltiy in Mountain Province

Men from Paracelis perform their cultural dance in the streets of Bontoc.
The Cordillera is famous for the rice terraces where rice cultivation and vegetable growing are the main source of living.

The annual Lang-ay festival also commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of the Mountain Province with theatrical performances, sporting events, and agricultural trade fair.