Residents of Barangay New Agutaya took to the streets to compete in a street dance competition during the opening of the 5th Ayeg Festival on February 21, 2024 in San Vicente.

Dancers representing different neighborhoods in Brgy. New Agutaya, San Vicente, illuminated the diverse aspects of their farming and fishing livelihoods through a vibrant street dance competition at the 5th Ayeg Festival this Wednesday.

The Ayeg Festival, derived from the Agutaynen term “Ayeg” signifying harvest, commenced this year in San Vicente from February 21-25, with an opening featuring street dancers of all ages honoring the town’s patron saint, San Isidore Labrador (St. Isidore the Farmer).

Participants adorned themselves in costumes reflecting different aspects of the harvest season—ranging from attire embellished with wheat and grain motifs, traditional woven palm leaf hats, to creative tulle skirts crafted from fishing nets dyed in gradient shades of green.

Crowd pleasers included a group of children dressed as maya (common house sparrows), diving for grain dropped by a previous purok on the cement, and a small boy from Purok Makabayan, dressed in a skirt, who swayed with a cardboard prop of a grain seed and performed a split at the finale.

This followed the year’s theme of “Matambek ang tanek yading patebat” (Fertile soil, abundant harvest). As the Agutaynen’s harvest celebration, each of the puroks was announced with a short introduction to their livelihood and specialty, which was immediately translated into Agutaynen as per the local law stating that public events should be held in their citizens’ mother tongue as well.

Barangay Captain Alex Baaco extended his gratitude to everyone at the event, including the guests, which included San Vicente Mayor Amy Roa Alvarez and San Vicente Tourism Officer Lucy Pagnasan.

He encouraged them to celebrate their bounty, and the workers who tirelessly worked behind the scenes that day, to “Magbaile nga tanan (Let us dance!)”, right after everybody feasted during the barangay-wide boodle fight, with food prepared by the barangay hall workers and arranged by the men in uniform who helped in the security of the event.