BEGNAS – a Sagada word for thanksgiving that is now being celebrated yearly by the National Cultural Minorities who are also under the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. The National Indigenous People’s Month is being celebrated worldwide during the month of October. The Muslims also do the same activity but they have a different term for it.
October 30, 2008 – Sison hosted the whole day BEGNAS celebration at the New Market where participants from as far as Baguio City and the towns of Laoac and Pozorrubio arrived. Those attended were the Bago, Kankanaeys, Ibalois and the Aplays.
This year’s theme: “TI PANNAKAPABILEG TI PANNAGIINAYAT, PANAGKAYKAYSA KEN PANAGTITINNULONG PARA ITI AMIN A TRIBU,” which means strengthening the love, oneness and cooperation among all tribes, is also what the entire nation need in combating the current crisis that we are in.
The whole activity commenced with a Grand Parade where all participants danced their way to the New Market. There were also tribal games and sports such as Slingshot (palsiit) Competition for Men and Women, Arm Wrestling (sanggul) Men and Women, Finger Wrestling (turse) Men and Women, Tug-of-War for Men and Women (8 per team) and Marathon.
Asked why this activity should be celebrated, the Pangasinan Tribal Federation Chieftain and the Honorary Chairman of this affair, Mr. Inocencio G. Carganilla, answered that celebrating such event has long been practiced by all tribes, although differ in dances and chants. “It is a part of their culture, tradition and belief. It was only merged into one occasion,” the Chieftain added.
The evening activity fascinated the crowd more as they continue to jam-pack the former marketplace. The sound of the gongs and ganzas drifted with the air as the Domogan dancers from Baguio City, seemingly in trances, swayed their bodies in rhythmic motion as they performed their Peace Pact dance presentation.
Among the special guests that graced the occasion were, Engr. Sancho S. Buquing, Region 1 NCIP Director, Mr. Inocencio G. Carganilla, Provincial Tribal Federation Chieftain, Mdm. Cesaria L. Pasiwen, DMO V / Provincial Officer, Apo Cornelio Domaloy, Bago Provincial Director and many others.