Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Viaje Sagada | Witnessing the Begnas Ritual

We were in the right place at the right time.

"LUCKY are those tourists who witness this kind of festival for there are no SET exact dates as to when will this happen." - SaGGAs

Day 4 - November 1, 2011

We were having our breakfast at George Guesthouse and about to leave for Bomod-ok Falls when the owner of the house told us that there will be a Begnas Ritual (Rice Ritual) by 9:00 am. First time to hear such ritual, we became curious about it. So we told our guide that we wanted to join this ritual before proceeding to the Big Falls.
| Begnas Ritual or the Rice Ritual is celebrated 3 to 4 times every year, depending on the agricultural cycle of the Sagadians. There's no definite date for this event so the tourists who will witness this kind of ritual are lucky indeed.
The site of the ritual is not too far from our place, so we again walked along the sidewalks of the rice terraces located at the back of George Guesthouse. Halfway, we saw from afar a cluster of Igorot men in their traditional bahag, they were about to start the ritual.

us on the way to the ritual site

We stayed a few meters away from the Dap-ay (ritual site) because we cannot afford to cause any trouble with the ritual. If it happens, that would cost us a whole chicken.

Moments later, we have heard loud chants from the Igorot men we saw earlier. They formed a single line and started to march along the sidewalks of the rice terraces.

Meanwhile, while waiting for the Igorots to reach the Dap-ay, my observant eye noticed a few things around. Rice balls wrapped in leaves along with tapey (Igorot rice wine) were prominently seen at the baskets of the old women. Others have bottled gin, match boxes, and 1.5 liters softdrinks for offering. Almost all of the Sagadians, both the old and young folks, were wearing their traditional costumes made from traditionally woven cloths. Old women also wear their special necklaces and ornaments made from colorful beads.    

the rice balls and tapey
Heiz and Nikki with the old Igorot women
Fascination was drawn before the faces of the spectating tourists when the marching Igorots came near before us. Sounds of shutter clicks competed with the Igorots' loud chant. One of the marching Igorots even snapped at us because we're watching too close to them.

Igorots with camera
not sure if he's the chieftain, but sure he has a rank because of his necklace
even the kids joined the Begnas Ritual
Some are with their spears, some are with their cameras and some were carrying cut parts of the freshly slaughtered pig to be offered to their rice gods and ancestors for giving them a bountiful harvest. 

cut pieces of pork
Soon after all the Igorot men reached the Dap-ay, the women, children and even some of the foreign tourists bring in to the Dap-ay their offers which includes bread, rice balls, tapey, match boxes and a lot more. All breads were placed in one basket, rice balls on another and so with the other offerings.

Igorots upon their arrival at Dap-ay
the younger Igorot women
long lines of offerings
The whole ritual ended up with the Sagadians offering goods at the Dap-ay. So by 10:00 pm, we headed next to one of Sagada's most famous attractions, the Big Falls aka Bomod-ok Falls.


Viaje Sagada-Baguio Series, Sagada-Baguio Trip for 7D6N (Oct 29-Nov 4, 2011)
Viaje Sagada | No Sun at Kiltepan - Part 2
Viaje Sagada | I Survived Cave Connection - Part 3
Viaje Sagada | Lost in Echo Valley - Part 4
Viaje Sagada | Pongas Falls and the Death-defying Trek - Part 5
Viaje Sagada | Witnessing the Begnas Ritual - Part 6
Viaje Sagada | The Might of Bomod-ok Falls - Part 7
Viaje Sagada | Blazing Rituals of Panag-apoy - Part 8
Viaje Sagada | Indigenous Flavors of Sagada - Part 9
Viaje Sagada | Soloing the Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley - Part 10
Viaje Sagada | Foodtrip in Sagada - Part 11

Itinerary | Sagada 



  1. Wow, you're lucky to witness the ritual indeed!

  2. Lucky group. I have not watched the ritual when I was there. In fact, we were prohibited to go to Bomod-ok Falls because of a ritual also.

  3. nagpalit lang ako ng URL sir. :)

  4. Perfect timing, this is one of those native rituals that I want to see/experience as well, it makes every trip more memorable for me.

  5. ang cool ng Igorot's with the camera :D

  6. Wow, swerte! I've been wanting to see that, too! Kakatuwa yung mga Igorot's in their traditional costume, but holding a digicam :)

  7. Tip ko, may Begnas every May sa isang part ng Sagada pero paiba-iba yung sitio nila. Depende kasi sa kung anung sition yung magsecelebrate ng Begnas. Same with other barangays.



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