Five years ago, our island-town introduced the Abaknon Festival as part of the celebrations for the feast of our patron saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Abaknon is the name that collectively embraces all the residents of the island of Capul, who share a unique dialect and a simple lifestyle.
Those who have participated in the frenetic, frenzied dancing in many of the festivals in the Philippines will be taken-aback by the slow, graceful steps of the Abaknon dancers. This is because the festival puts to fore the "Dos Amigos" a folkdance that has been recognized to be historically attached to the islanders.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this year's competing teams in the streetdancing competition. Having been indisposed for most of the recent fiestas, I have not realized just how artistic the participants have grown, and how committed they have become to the task of showcasing the town's cultural heritage. Apparently, my townmates have taken the challenge seriously. Despite the meager resources at their disposal, they were able to create costumes that ingenously incorporated local resources - rice stalks, coconut crowns, sea shells, fish cages and would you believe, live crabs!
Needless to say, I can't be any prouder. Congratulations my kababayans!