May 25, 2018, 8:29 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 397.78391 Sao Tome Dobra
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1 Philippine Peso = 433.30797 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03595 Vanuatu Vatu
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BAMBANTI FESTIVAL; Celebrating Isabela’s bounty

THE province of Isabela is considered the cradle of agriculture in the Philippines. It is the biggest producer of corn and the second largest producer of rice in the country. 

It comes as no surprise then that its biggest festival would draw inspiration from its agricultural roots.

The Bambanti Festival is the province’s annual feast where all the towns and cities of Isabela come together to celebrate the province’s history and culture. 

The bambanti is the scarecrow in local town – an ubiquitous sight in the province as it stands among the fields, a silent sentry of the crops that the province is known for.

The Bambanti, first conceived to ignite the premier Isabela Festival torch in 1997 by Former Governor Benjamin Dy and his wife Cecil, is a stately symbol for the Isabela farmer’s diligence and resoluteness to earn his keep, feed his family and produce for his community. It is a reminder of his enduring spirit – the kind that is relentless amid the harshness of storms that often visit his province - and his creativity in his untiring vigilance to safeguard his treasure and the promises it holds. 

For Isabela, the bambanti’s towering presence is a reminder of the key that propelled Isabeleños to self-sufficiency and national economic prominence.  It serves likewise as a directional sign pointing towards further greatness – Isabela’s dream future as a premier agro-industrial hub in the Pacific.

For this year, the provincial capitol became the center of festivities as all of the towns and cities erected booths which showcased tourism destinations and specialty products. 

From corn coffee, to rice wine, to hand-carved accessories, each booth had something that would catch the eye of any visitor.

Guarding the booths were towering effigies of different scarecrows of different types. 

From anthropomorphic livestock, to animatronic structures that move in tandem to the music being played from the booth, each giant bambanti was unique in both style and material.

The biggest event of the festival is the grand street parade. 

During the show, contingents representing each town, city, and municipality of the province wowed the crowd with their performances. 

The costumed performers danced to the beat of the Bambanti Festival anthem, drawing appreciative claps whenever a particularly flashy stunt or dance move was done.

Culture is the highlight of the festival and this is most apparent during the choral competition and the dance showdown. 

During the dance showdown, groups told of Isabela, from its history, to recent events, to the daily lives of its citizens. 

Meanwhile, the assembly hall was filled with harmonious voices as each choir dazzled the crowd with their vocal prowess.
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