THE Adivay came back without much fanfare.
There will be no parades that will showcase the 13 towns in all their fine regalia. There will be no Mr. And Ms. Benguet. And none of the usual 13 tents with all the finest craft and agricultural products of each town at the BSU grounds.
But that is far from the problem.
Benguet’s decision to proceed with the Adivay is the spur that the whole region has actually been waiting for.
Starting from February 2020, all that the social calendar has announced was the cancellation of all the festivals in the Cordillera, including, of course, the Panagbenga.
We all know the reason: the pandemic has reached the region and we can not do anything but kowtow to the protocols made by the government.
La Trinidad, for example, went into the longest liquor ban it ever had in history.
Some of the towns literally sealed their roads, dumping rocks on their entrances.
If there were any community activities happening in most of the interior towns, it was the cleansing rituals like the tengao, te-er, to-or, sedey, far-e, tungro or obaya.
In these rituals, no one can get in or out of the village.
Were these successful?
The most popular was that in Sadanga which was the fodder for social media in the last months of 2020, mainly because its mayor said, ‘enough of the protocols.’ We just subsist on su-ob, kalamansi and social distancing as the houses are far apart anyway.
The IATF hemmed and hawed, the mayor said, ho ho ho. Many actually agreed with the mayor.
Until some of his relatives and even he got the COVID.
He quietly announced that the Sadanga experiment was a failure.
And so we waited for the inevitable and waited for the vaccines to arrive. Now Baguio has reached the minimum herd immunity and other towns have followed.
And this November, Benguet said, let’s have the Adivay.
Many were surprised, but in the end, many supported.
One of the projects in the festival is the Adivay vaccination booth.
The fair is spread throughout November and it is the best way to showcase the crafts and agricultural products of the province.
Baguio followed suit with the Ibagiw Festival set in different parts of the city.
And on November 23, there will be a simultaneous butchering of pigs at the Wangal Sports Center.
This will be the thanksgiving that the province would like to offer to the gods.
And we hope they will listen.