Bambanti Festival is Back: This Year Highlights “ISABELA KONG MAHAL”
The Bambanti Festival is back this 2018. For this year, the festival’s theme is “ISABELA KONG MAHAL” (Isabela, My Beloved Land) which portrays Isabeleños’ burning love for their motherland by showing them through different concepts and images. The Bambanti Festival is a third-time winner of the Aliw Awards. It brought home the title of Best Festival Practices and Performance for 2015 to 2017.
The week-long festival will be spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Isabela and will be celebrated from January 22 to 27, 2018. The festival centers the province’s rich cultural heritage, the flexibility of people, and the indigenous world-class lifestyle, products, and cuisines which are the pride of the place.
With the “ISABELA KONG MAHAL” theme, Isabeleños’ will showcase their strong commitment to their beloved land plus the outstanding virtue of hard work, showing proudly to everyone how the family inherited traits contribute to the fast growth of the economic and socio-cultural development of the province.
Isabeleños consider “bambanti” or the Ilocano word for scarecrow as protection despite the common knowledge that it wakes up fear in people. These bambanti are created with colorful straws and grasses wrapped in farmer’s clothing. It is considered as the icon and the mascot of the festival.
With the success of the festival last year, the theme “ISABELA KONG MAHAL” (Isabela for the World) focuses on Isabeleños’ universal love for mankind through performances, exhibits, and competitions, with the town of Roxas hailing as the overall Bambanti Grand Winner.
The Provincial Government of Isabela has also prepared another impressive array of festival fare that guests and locals can look forward to. Among the anticipated lineup of activities include the Bambanti Street Dance and Showdown Competition, Giant Bambanti Showcase, Musical Street Performances, Isabela’s Master Kusinero Cooking Contest, and the Search for Bambanti Festival King and Queen.