Ivatan joins Dinagyang to promote Batanes tourism
Being adjudged as the country's best tourism event, Dinagyang Festival has attracted even the northernmost province of Batanes to have their place promoted by joining the celebration.
Batanes Representative Carlo Diasnes said bringing Tribu Ivatan to Iloilo City as one of the competing tribes in the Dinagyang competition is the best "tourism vehicle" to promote the tourism industry of Batanes.
Tribu Ivatan is the only participating tribe that comes from outside the city and region. They will have their own interpretation of venerating the Sto. Niño with a touch of Ivatan's culture. They will be the first tribe to perform at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand on January 27, 2008.
Diasnes, whose father is the former vice mayor of Dumangas, Iloilo, said joining the festival that is in honor of Senior Sto. Niño is the best way to sell their place in terms of tourism after Dinagyang was adjudged as the Best Tourism Event in the country for two successive years.
Diasnes said foreign tourists who will witness the Dinagyang Festival would probably discover Batanes after seeing Tribu Ivatan perform.
Batanes is the smallest province in the country in terms of population and land area. It consists of islands and islets. It is located about 162 kilometers north of Luzon mainland. Its capital is Basco and it has six municipalities.
The Batanes Islands have been compared to New Zealand, Ireland and Scottish Highlands. The houses are built with stonewalls, whitened with lime and roofed in thatch. Some considered the place a little laid back. It takes three days to reach Batanes from Manila if one travels by land. Its far distance from Luzon hampers its tourism industry. Batanes is even nearer to Taiwan than in Manila.
The place could be reached thru an Asian Spirit plane since sea transportation from Manila to Batanes is only limited to cargoes. The airfare is expensive that it will take one more than P5,000 for a one-way ticket.
The name of the tribe derived from one of the languages spoken by the natives in the three major islands, Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. Batan island has a land area of 35 square kilometers. It is generally mountainous on the north and southeast and has basin in the interior.
Diasnes said Tribu Ivatan has 120 tribe performers and drummers. The name of the tribe was derived from one of the languages spoken by the natives, Ivatan. The two other languages in Batanes are Ichbayaten and Isamurongen.
The solon said, though they will be spending much in bringing their delegation to Iloilo for the Dinagyang festival it would be beneficial to their province as he believes, a lot of people don't know or heard about Batanes yet.
Through the presentation of Tribu Ivatan the people will be aware of our culture and as well as life in our place, Diasnes said.