Begnas di Bauko Festival is the annual cultural festival in the municipality of Bauko, Mountain Province, Philippines every March 9. At times, the date is a holiday such as in 2018 by virtue of Proclamation No. 440.
The word begnas means thanksgiving in the mother tongue of the townsfolk. It refers to rituals and ceremonies dedicated to their Supreme Being called Kabunyan, and it often involves merry-making, drinking, and feasting.
History of Begnas di Bauko Festival
The town of Bauko is called the Salad Bowl of Mountain Province. In 2006, its municipal government explored the possibility of establishing a town festival every year and Begnas di Bauko was born. It was launched in 2007 as a celebration of their rich indigenous culture and a vehicle to proudly showcase their uniqueness as a people and community.
Another goal is to ensure old customs and traditions are preserved, thus activities are organized targeting the education of the youth on cherished cultural heritage. Likewise, it was mounted to promote tourism and environmental advocacy in the town.
Begnas is identified with the Kankanaey, an indigenous group who inhabit the town. It is performed as a way to thank Kabunyan as well as the spirits of deceased forebears for all the blessings and guidance received. It is also a community-wide way to resolve collective trauma from disasters, move forward towards recovery and healing, and to foster unity among villagers. Its highlights include rituals performed to express gratitude, ask favors, and request cleansing from untoward events affecting the entire community.
It became the town’s official festival after a legislative declaration by virtue of Municipal Ordinance No. 030-A in 2013.
Begnas di Bauko Festival Activities
The calendar of the festival generally starts on March 9 and has a duration of three days. Most often, a pre-festival event on March 8 is also held such as in the observance of the Women’s Month. In 2023, the fest’s schedule was extended and its opening activities began in March 8.
Among the many activities in Begnas di Bauko are the indigenous rituals that are showcased. These include an opening rite to ensure the success of the fest and offering of livestock. There are also
cultural shows, indigenous games, parade, and culminating events.
How to reach Bauko, Mountain Province
Regular schedule of buses are available from Metro Manila to Mountain Province daily.
- Begnas. Bauko Municipal Tourism. January 18, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2023
- Holidays–Bauko, Mountain Province. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved March 4, 2023
- Begnas di Bauko. ZigZag Weekly. March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2023
- Bauko. Tourism Mountain Province. Retrieved March 4, 2023
- Bauko invites all to Begnas 2014. Northern Dispatch. February 23, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2023