One of the most awaited festivals in the Philippines can be found in the province of Isabela. Bambanti Festival is joined by thousands of its people every year making it a whole week of pure celebration, excitement, and fun. This year was a successful attempt for the Guinness World Record Title.
Bambanti Festival 2019
Bambanti is an Ilocano word for the scarecrow.
Bambanti Festival is the only festival in the Philippines that had won the Aliw Awards for three (3) consecutive years which the local government and people of Isabela are very proud of. Every year, a new theme is released and the one that I have attended for Bambanti Festival 2018 was “Isabela kong Mahal”. This year, the province is focusing on the victories that occurred in the province, hence the theme “Victory of Isabela Spirit” (Tagumpay ng Pusong Isabela). Bambanti Festival 2019
The Bambanti, first imagined to ignite the premier Isabela Festival torch in 1997 by Former Governor Benjamin Dy and his wife Cecil, is a proud symbol for the Isabela farmer’s diligence and resoluteness to earn his keep, feed his family and produce for his community. It is a reminder of his enduring spirit – the kind that is relentless amid the harshness of storms that often visit his province – and his creativity in his continuing vigilance to safeguard his treasure and the promises it holds.
For Isabela, the Bambanti’s towering presence is a reminder of the key that moved Isabeleños to self-sufficiency and national economic distinction. It serves likewise as a directional beacon pointing towards further greatness – Isabela’s dream future as a primary agro-industrial hub in the Pacific.
Agri-Ecotourism Exhibit and Sale
The festival was kicked off by the Agri-Ecotourism Exhibit and Sale featuring giant Bambantis made from each of town’s produce in Isabela and was on display all week long. The people also call it the Bambanti Village. It features handicrafts and products that the Isabeleños are totally proud of.
Makan ken Mainum
One of the festival events is a dish and drinks making contest initiated by Ms. Mary Ann Arcega Dy, the Isabela’s Master Kusinero Cooking Competition. This year features ‘longganisa’ as the main ingredient of every dish and a special beverage (alcoholic and or non-alcoholic) to be created/cooked by each town and city in Isabela. Bambanti Festival 2019
Streetdance and Dance Showdown Competition
The main highlight of the Bambanti Festival 2019 is the Streetdance and Dance Showdown Competition where all of the participants in every municipality in the province dance simultaneously together in one beat.
This year, the local government of Isabela attempted and invited a spokesperson/judge from the Guinness World Records who will announce if the attempt for the award was successful or a failure.
With 2,495 participants and over 30 mins of dancing simultaneously, the largest gathering of people dressed as scarecrows was awarded to the Provincial Government of Isabela on January 25, 2019. The participants shouted in joy as the Official Guinness World Record adjudicator Paulina Sapinska validated the victory and bestowed the certificate to Isabela Governor Faustino “Bojie” Dy III and Vice Governor Antonio “Tonypet” Albano. Bambanti Festival 2019
After celebrating another victorious event, a musical with the theme “Tagumpay ng Pusong Isabela” was held in combination with Gian Magdangal and local Isabeleño singers.
The municipality of Echague won the Festival King and Festival Queen, while Cauayan City brought home the Best Giant Bambanti Installation award. Cauayan City rose as the overall winner, succeeded by the municipalities of Echague and Alicia.
Bambanti Festival 2019 Concert Party
The concert was held on January 26 at the Isabela Sports Complex with invited guests and performers from the entertainment industry. Bambanti Festival 2019
Coco Martin, who is the main actor at the daily hit series “Ang Probinsyano”, was invited together with his other colleagues; Young JV; Bassilyo; Shernan; Zaito; Mark Lapid; and Yassi Pressman; to cheer the crowd with excitement and laughter at the festival’s concert party held at the Isabela Sports Complex.
The Bambanti Festival 2019 celebration ended with a fireworks display that kept people from leaving the sports complex as they gaze upon the night sky during the fireworks show.
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