Viva Vigan Binatbatan Street Dancing 2012

On a regular day, the UNESCO-listed heritage city of Vigan possesses an effortless charm of its own which never fades every time I visit. This quality, however, is heightened every first week of May during the Viva Vigan Binatbatan Festival of the Arts, established in 1993 by the Save Vigan Ancestral Homes Association, Inc. (SVAHAI) to showcase the historic city's artistic and cultural values. There are several activities lined up during the festival period, including street dancing, kalesa (horse carriage) parade, fishing competition, abel house decor contest, carabao painting contest, traditional games and a trade and food fair, where handicrafts and local delicacies are sold, such as Vigan longganisa (native sausages) and bagnet (fried pork) at competitive prices.

Culminating the festival is the Binatbatan street dancing, which started in front of the Vigan Cathedral, and ended along Crisologo Street, where old houses were festooned with abel iloco decor for the house decorating contest. The term binatbatan refers to the first step of the weaving process, wherein the cotton balls are separated from the seeds by beating them with the use of two bamboo sticks. Later on, binatbatan inspired an Ilocano folk dance.  Costumes and props were created with abel iloco and the choreography was inspired by the weaving process.

Resources: eazytraveler, Iomric R. Benzon and Christian Philip

ALSO READ: Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts 2012 features painted carabaos

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