A festival is any occasion for celebration, one which commemorates an anniversary or another significant event. The world celebrates a lot of festivals which shows the various culture, traditions and integrity among the people of the different countries. One, for example is the Philippines, Filipinos love festivals. Almost every region in it celebrates its’ own festival. Be it a cultural or religious, it gives everyone the opportunity to join and enjoy the festival. For Filipinos, festival is the time to rejoice and have fun according to their culture, religious wearing custom and rituals. One of these is the unique “PINIKPIKAN FESTIVAL”. It came from the word “PINIKPIKAN”, a soup dish prepared in a traditional way. It is a festival celebrated to commemorate and to show respect and gratitude to their rich culture which they have learned and adapted to their ancestors.
Pinikpikan Festival is the annual festivity of the municipality of Rizal, Kalinga. Depicting the traditional culture of indigenous which was done before as a ritual day during every birth of a child, construction of house or building, planting and harvesting, important family occasions, and the intermingling and marriage of different ethnic tribes migrated in the municipality. Pinikpikan festival was conceptualized as a form of thanksgiving rites for a bountiful harvest, good health, peace and order, and unity among the inhabitants. The ritual is performed by offering a cooked duck/chicken delicacy known as “PINIKPIKAN”.
The first launching of Pinikpikan festival was last March 24, 2007. It was conceptualized by Hon. Chris Mark S. Dela Cruz, who was then the mayor and presented it to the Sangguniang Bayan for enabling legislation. On july 23, 2009, the municipality of Rizal enacted an ordinance declaring the PINIKPIKAN FESTIVAL as the official festival of the municipality (Municipal Order 2009-004).
As we celebrated this festivity, a lot of activities are being exercised. One of these is the inter-school band exhibition, participated by the students to show their expertise and talents that highlighted a colourful ambiance minutes before the official declaration of the opening of the Pinikpikan Festival. As the band exhibition ended, the cook fest comes next while some participants visit the booths to see the different and unique products of every Barangay. Championships of the different ball games like basketball for men and volleyball for women among different Barangays is being witnessed too. We also have the search for Miss Rizal to showcase the beauty, brain, and talents.
But of course, the celebration will not be complete without the Pinikpikan Ritual. Wherein the main performer of the Pinikpikan riteswere the Igorot Tribe clothe in indigenous dress (men wearing Baag “G-String” and women in “Tapis”). The performers were chosen from the respected elders headed by the “Mansasapo” who formally starts the Pinikpikan ritual in a loud prayer of thanksgiving to the creator, traditionally known as “Kabunian”. The native dance “Tadek” is being danced by women accompanied with the beating of the gongs in the native musical tone. The Mansasapo then held a live duck then softly beating the fowl, that according to the belief, it droves devil spirit, followed by the roasting of the fowl on a fire until its feathers were totally burned. The Mansasapo then butchers the duck to determine the condition of the gall bladder (vile). The firm and full shape of the gall bladder is a manifestation of good health, abundant harvest and tranquillity of the whole year round coupled with hope for more blessing for the ensuing year. The rites performer eventually slice and cook the duck meat flavoured with an “Itag”, a preserved salted fatty pork used in flavouring native dishes. Part of the ritual is the offering of “Tapuy”, a rice wine made from yeasted fermentation. Another “Mansasapo” performs the offering of rice wine to “Kabunian” through the “Pitik” (Prayer) asking for good health and more progress, simultaneously the women in “Tapis” served a cup of rice wine to the municipal officials headed by the mayor attired in G-string. A toast of “Tapuy” by the mayor and the vice mayor is a semblance of unity among the Rizalians.
“PINIKPIKAN” is a RITUAL that is served only during special occasions but a SACRIFICE because of its’ fame, it has become a flourishing industry and was served anytime. A SACRIFICE, for Rizalians still value this concept of cooking to commemorate and respect their dearest ancestors. A PREPARATION, wherein the process must undergo serially, that would make the dish perfect and “taste to remember”. A DIVINATION that would tell what luck is due to the municipality for the ensuing years. A FEAST reserved in performing thanksgiving, for having long life posterity, and the wellbeing of the sick. These are the ingredient that makes “PINIKPIKAN” OF Rizal, Kalinga more savory.
It may be well-known In Cordillera, but too inimitable in the Philippines. This inimitability can lead our very own “PINIKPIKAN FESTIVAL” be known not just here in the Philippines but also to other countries. Let’s hold each other’s’ hands, develop, endorse and promote “PINIKPIKAN FESTIVAL”.
“Let RIZALIANS be UNITED…be ONE…be FAMILY!!!”