Every February of the year, Barangay Tinongdan, celebrates the Colos Festival concurrent with their Barangay Foundation day.
Barangay Tinongdan is known to be the” Seat of Cultural Heritage and Natural Wonders” in the Municipality of Itogon, Province of Benguet, Aside from its spectacular sceneries, the barangay has been a prime tourist destination due to its preserved and practice culture and traditions. This is one of the places where one can find indigenous people being united by their culture considering its mountainous topographic situation and houses are mostly far from each other.
Colos is the ancient and indigenous term for the Ibaloi communities along the stretch of Agno River in the Province of Benguet. The celebration of Colos Festival is a way of preserving and reviving the Colos culture, where it was gradually vanishing brought by the influence of modernization, off-migration and intermarriages.
The introduction of the Colos Festival is a way of reviving and preserving the Colos’s culture and for appreciation of the present and future generation. This festival is defined by the community as“a celebration of culture, tradition, life and a thanksgiving of the I-Colos most likely, the Ibaloi, Iwakand Kalanguya communities.” It is also a get together (adivay) party of the residents of Barangay Tinongdan and other settlers along Agno River. Further, it serves as a reminder to the community including the young generations to preserve and to live out the culture and traditions handed down by the forefathers of the tribe as their legacy.
The Agno river is a legendary as it may called. this is basically because Agno River has always been a part of the lives of Ibaloi, Iwak and Kalanguya people, especially the ancestors of the people of Tinongdan, Itogon from countless generation of ascendancy. The river is one of the factors that sustained their livelihood. This is a tangible witness to the evolution of their lifestyle, folkways and practices.
The river has a length of 282 kilometers. It likewise hosts the three hydro-electric dams: The Ambuklao Dam, in the municipality of Bokod; The Binga Dam in the municipality of Itogon, and the San Roque Dam within the boundaries of of Itogon Benguet and San Manuel, Pangasinan.
The Colos Festival is a 3 days celebration, initiated by the Barangay Officials, and Indigenous People’s Group, The Tinondan Indigenous People Organization (TINPO) showcases the ingenuity of the community. A celebration of life, where they get together and share each other’s presence.
The three days celebrations are highlighted the richness of their culture through their music and dances with their gong and cymbals. They dance not only to congregate and socialize. They dance for bountiful harvest, they dance to please their forefathers and gods to cure their ailments, they dance to avoid bad luck and and natural calamities. They dance as thanks giving. They dance to revive and preserve their culture.
The first day,started with the traditional rites, the second day begins in a Holy Mass officiate by the Catholic Priest and the Cultural Day, the third is highlighting the Keddot
The Keddot is a socioreligious ceremony that is held for a variety of reasons— Keddot is defined as a “festival” or ceremony or liturgy, or service or rite/ritual or offering.
For more detail about Keddot, click HERE
Aside of the Camote (sweet potato) and native coffee offered to every visitors and guest. Another highlight in Colos and Keddot is of course is the eating time. Each will be served a plate filled with foods. They assured that all guest, visitors and the whole community enjoying the foods.
The foods makes delicious, because of helping hand, a total support within the community (Communal Work) are the best ingredients they put in every food they cook. no matter the only ingredient contains is only a few salt. But, there’s more, aside from the pig, they also slaughter a cow and buy more meat and cook in different ingredients.
From the very first day, everybody are involved . Each men and women are doing its task, no one commanded or instruct. everyone is involved..
A contest in a their own indigenous games is also part of the festival, like Tapey making (Rice Wine), folk dance, manual milling of rice, catching pig, horse racing, threading of needle, singing contest, a concert and many others.
The intention to promote the uniqueness of their values and cultures inherited in their forefathers is remarkable and admirable. The modern culture did not affect the practice in their traditions and belief of the ancestors as they continue it on the future generations and they proud of being born into the group of people as they referred as one root. Their responsibility to keep their history is intact for tomorrow children, so they have the same opportunities to learn about their fast.
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 distance to townhouse approaching the junction, follow the road going down to Itogon.
- 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