– Ross Belle Balatbat
Last April 28, the Mountain Province Philippine Association (MPPA) organized the 9th Lang-ay Festival in Macau. In the Igorot dialect, “Lang-ay” means a fellowship where local folks gather to celebrate the harvest while at the same time transmitting the spirit of sharing among the tribes. It also commemorates the peaceful resolution of differences between previously warring tribes in the Mountain Province. Thus, the day began with prayers and songs, capped by lunch. In the afternoon came cultural presentations with chants to the rhythm of the gongs.
MPPA Chairman Generoso Doculan Jr. explained that the celebration was “an act of acknowledging God’s providence by offering Him first the product of our hands.” The community takes part in drinking the wine together “to symbolize sharing the bounty received from the Lord,” he added.
Guest speaker Ventura C Bitot exhorted the participants to pray for their employers. His wife, Beatrice, encouraged everyone to always try to do their best in any task given to them.
Ms. Imelda Gapla-ew, Chairwoman of the Macau Cordilleran Association in her solidarity message cited the contributions of each one. Ms. Elma Pangosfian of PANABA group reported that they gather every month to make sure that everyone gets the moral support needed for their stay in Macau. Bauko representative, Norma Paac Abeya said that they do the same in their monthly gathering to make everyone feel “at home.” Both associations act as support groups that help allay home sickness by providing a family away from home.