Batac revives traditional games, native ‘kakanin’ in farmers’ festival

photo from the City government of Batac

The five-day farmers’ festival in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, which has started, gets more playful this year with the revival of traditional games like trumpo (spinning top)-making and pal-siit (slingshot) competition.

Back in the old days, residents –young and old alike, would play trumpo, a native Filipino outdoor toy usually made of hardwood materials, and slingshot, usually made of wood from the guava tree or the madre de cacao.

“It’s so nice to see the participants having fun in the slingshot competition and trumpo-making. It brings back happy memories of our childhood,” Batac City agriculturist Mark Allan Abad told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday.

He said at least 22 adults joined the competition at the Imelda Cultural Center on Thursday, with cash prizes and freebies for the winners.

Women from the Rural Improvement Clubs of Batac City also displayed their prowess in the kakanin (native food) cook-off.

Native delicacies such as “lubi-lubi,” “suman,” “bibingka,” “bilo-bilo” and “dudol”, among others, center stage as the competition served as a platform for rural women to showcase their culinary skills and creativity in food preparation.

“We take pride and honor that we bring this up to you in recognition of our culinary heritage that we helped preserve through the years,” Mayor Albert Chua said in an interview, noting these all-time favorite Ilocano snacks are meant to be shared to guests, especially the first-time visitors.

Citing also Batac’s famous empanada, a fried crusty bread with filling, Chua said these native delicacies should also be promoted to generate more employment and livelihood.

In recognition of the farmers, considered as the backbone of the economy, the city government of Batac, through the City Agriculture Office, is staging the annual farmers’ festival from May 1 to 5, 2024.

Aside from fun-filled events celebrating the artistry and ingenuity of farmers, a grand parade of floats created by rural villages, each embodying this year’s theme: “15 Years of Batac’s Best Empowering Success Towards Agriculture”, will take the spotlight in downtown Batac on Friday.

This year’s festivities will culminate with the distribution of fertilizers, palay seeds and hybrid vegetable seeds to all its farming villages. (Leilanie Adriano)

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