Sagada elders, residents question Travel Factor bonfire for lack of FPIC, conflict with Babayas rituals

Elders and residents of Sagada are gathering on Facebook and in the ili to question the holding of the bonfire festival in Tangeb. Said activity did not secure a free and prior informed consent (FPIC) from the community.

Sagada is an indigenous people’s community where the IPRA law is observed.

According to sources, the bonfire, which is supposed to be held on the 28th, has secured separate permits from the mayor’s office, the municipal sanggunian and the SMS Mission, who owns the venue.

The organizers have yet to secure a barangay clearance from Dagdag or an FPIC from the central barangay cluster, which happens to compose the Sagada ili.

Several consultations have been conducted today regarding the matter. Another meeting will be made tomorrow at one in the afternoon.

Bonfire

Among others, the event is being questioned for playing gongs at a venue and time that disrupts the requirements set by elders for the holding of the Babayas, a traditional mass wedding celebration that is held after the rice planting season.

The Sagada Bonfire Fest is being promoted online by Travel Factor as “a yearly celebration of unique Igorot traditions and Cordillera culture.”

Based on the promotion materials, the event is co-organized by the Sagada Genuine Gudes Association, Ganduyan Bucks and the Local Government of Sagada. The event seems to be primarily a Travel Factor event.

Travel Factor is a travel agency based in Manila.

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