The Colos Festival  is a celebration, in Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet, it was defined as a celebration of culture, tradition, life and a thanksgiving of the I-Colos most likely the Ibaloi, Iwak and Kalanguya communities”.  It held every February.  A celebration of life, where they get together and share each other’s presence.

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Colos  is the ancient and indigenous terms for the Ibaloi communities along the stretch of  the banks of Agno River, in the Province of Benguet. I-Colos is the people belonging to Colos community.

The highlight of the festival is Keddot generally known as Cañao.  Keddot  was defined as a “Festival” or a ceremony, ritual, a service, or rite, and or an offering, that last for three days.  Keddot celebrates in a different reasons, as thanks giving, healing, during wedding, burial, voyages, birth of the new member of the family,  for bountiful harvest,  and among others, where prayer and offering of live animals is ,main part of the celebration.

The Keddot of Tinongdan  is a thank giving ritual for all blessing they have received for the whole year, including the productive livelihood, like  bounty of harvest, good health, good life and many others. There are many foods, that is shared to every member of the community.  Singing, dancing, are also a  part of the celebration.

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 The ceremony is called “Peltik” it includes the preparation of native cloth that is use for “Tayao” (native dance) and  Tapey (Rice Wine). When everything is prepared, the “Mambunong” (native priest/spiritual leader) say the “Madmad” (indigenous prayer/ prayer of the elder) to offer the celebration to Almighty then to the spirit of their forefathers.

After the madmad they perform the “Tayao” (indigenous dance of Ibaloi/Igorot).  Inviting the spirit of dead relatives to the festivity. The dance is  between two person, a man and a woman. The man hangs two indigenous blanket over his shoulders, while woman is wrapped  by  a piece of indigenous  blanket. After few round, the crowd says oooo oooway, adibay (God bless you / Be Happy)

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The ceremonial dance, repeated with different partners, preferably prominent member of the community, their especial guest and visitors.

The last dance performed by the Mambunong, then, saying another  prayer.

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During prayer, The folks are stay quiet / solemn, in respect to the Mambunong, and respect to God and their forefathers.

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 Through  prayers and offerings of healthy animals,when it burn, it appease with divine agency.

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 The “Owik” raised before a signal given by the highest leader of the community to begin the offering . (The Owik is a piece of wood, preferably strong and does not easily break out, like the wood from the branches of Guava tree).  This is the one use in killing the pig. The sacrifice pig killed  in less than a minute, quicker and faster compare to the traditional slaughtering of pig.

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 The practice are criticized by some people as cruelty to the animals without knowing the regulation and the exception.

  The United Nations “Declaration of the right of Indigenous Peoples” goes on to guarantee the right of Indigenous people to enjoy and practice their culture and customs.

In the Philippines, the republic act number 8485 an act to promote animal welfare in the Philippines otherwise known as “The animal Welfare act of 1998”  there are some unlawful killing of animal, except when it done as part of the religious ritual of an established  religion or sect or ritual required by ethnic custom of indigenous cultural communities.

The sacrifice of animals also appears in the  New Testament even after the death of Christ. Joseph and Mary the parents of Jesus Christ  offered a 2 dove in the book of Luke, Apostle Paul also performing an offering vow in the book of Acts.

Today, the animal sacrifice continue  in conjunction with church practices, other belief  and religion, all over the word.

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The owik is collected and keep it inside the house.  they believe that this give  protection to any, harm , or something that probably happens to them.

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The traditional slaughtering is burn it first to remove the hair of the pig.  But before they burn,  they remove the tail of the pig, which it means that the animal is an offering.

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There are a talahib or sapsap (saccharum spontaneum ), a kind of wild grass that remain even in summer,  where the bottom part of the grass is facing the east. before the pig  butchered or sliced into smaller pieces,

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The support within the community or the spirit of “Bayanihan” (Communal Work) are much observed from the preparation to the end of the ceremony. No one commanded or instruct someone what they do, every body are involved.

IMG_3644 When the first  food  cooked was served  there  is another prayer  with the Mambunong.

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Prayer for the dead. There is an offering which  is divided into two, the first offering is offering for those who died naturally and those who died in accident. It was observed that the offering for the people who died naturally are many than those who dies in accident.

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The most awaited part  is the eating time. Aside from the food(pig/pork) that cook in traditional Keddot, where it just boiled in water and salt, there is also some foods that cook, like Carabao and cow  and even they buy some additional foods in order feed the whole community as well as the visitors and guest.

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The occasion also serves as a reunion for friends, relatives and neighbors.  This is also the time to resolved some community issues, including political issues and rivalry.

The rhythm of gongs and cymbals open the heart of those who have conflicts for possibilities of resolution and reconciliation.

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After eating the the celebration continue. a showcase of ingenuity, music and richness of the culture.

For more details about Colos Festival Click  HERE

How to get:

By Public Transport

From Manila, there are numbers of Bus Company bound for Baguio City. From Baguio City proceed to Dangwa Terminal there is a jeepney terminal going to Tinongdan. . Unfortunately there are only one trip per day Tinondan- Baguio City. One in the morning from Tinongdan, and one in the afternoon from Baguio City. Travel time around 30 -45 minutes. Fare until Barangay Tinongdan is PHP 35.00.  For trip arrangement from Baguio City, you can call the following persons listed below.

By Own Car:

From Baguio to Pakdal Circle, follow the road going to Mansion House, few meters  to townhouse approaching the junction, follow the road going down to Itogon.

 

 

Contact Person:

  • 09102508492 Mr. Norberto Pacio – Municipal Councilor
  • 09282890886 Ms. Evelyn Balbines- Barangay Secretary
  • 09398345655 Ms. Terida Sanil
  • 09198073786 Mr. Rex (Taxi Driver)

 

Source of Information:

  • Tinongdan Tourism
  • People of Tinongdan
  • Wikipedia