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Cagayan Valley and Northern Philippine Islands

Angadanan, Isabela Celebrates Vibrant Gakit Festival, Showcasing Culture and Community Spirit

The Municipality of Angadanan in Isabela recently hosted its annual Gakit Festival, a vibrant celebration that brought together culture, creativity, and community spirit. The festival, held from March 5-7, 2024, showcased the town’s rich heritage through various events, with the Gakit Fluvial Parade standing out as a symbol of local ingenuity and collaboration.

 

The Gakit Fluvial Parade, a highlight of the festival, featured 15 bamboo rafts adorned with intricate designs, reflecting the artistic talents of the participants and the cultural essence of Angadanan.

 

As the floats glided through the waters of the Cagayan River, adorned in vibrant mardi gras colors, they not only mesmerized spectators but also served as a testament to the town’s deep-rooted traditions and creativity.

 

A moment of profound significance during the festival was the Immuno Ritual, where an elder performed a traditional Gaddang chant. This ritual, steeped in cultural significance, served to highlight the community’s reverence for its heritage and the bond with nature. Symbolic animal offerings were made to cleanse negative energies, reaffirming the town’s commitment to harmony with the environment.

 

Mayor Joelle Mathea Panganiban, the Festival’s Director General, expressed gratitude to the community for their unwavering support. She also paid tribute to her father, former Mayor and Congressman Jose “Bengtot” Panganiban, whose vision and dedication to preserving Gaddang culture laid the foundation for the festival’s success.

The Gakit Festival not only celebrates Angadanan’s cultural legacy but also serves as a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving its traditions for future generations. Participants left the festival grounds filled with pride, eagerly anticipating next year’s celebration.

As outlined in the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, the Gakit Festival aligns with the goal of building a Philippine Tourism Industry deeply rooted in Filipino culture, heritage, and identity. By showcasing the rich tapestry of cultural heritage, festivals like Gakit contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Philippine tourism.

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