Bangenge Festival in Cavite:Where Paskuhan Pasiklaban is More Fun
Growing up in Cavite as a kid, Bangenge or Bondying as we call it, is one of the Christmas traditions (besides the gift giving and bibingka and puto bumbong) that I always look for during the said festivity. It is different from Angono’s Higantes Festival as the appearance of a bangenge is of free form, meaning you can build / design whichever character you have in mind. It can be an anime, Marvel, DC, celebrity, movie / TV / gaming character whereas the former looks more like native Filipinos. This just shows Caviteños’ creativity and ingenuity.
Before, the base was just made from kaing or fruit / vegetable baskets that were thrown out into the public market, but now, it is made from bamboo and metal wires (also newspaper, cooked gawgaw as glue and some paint) to appear much bigger, sturdier, and more pliable. It is also used during caroling as a mascot, dancing to the beat of tambol/s or snare drum/s made from tin cans, rubber bands, and used umbrella fabric (more of this next time). The drum stick is made of bbq stick, cigar butt and rubber bands. The bass drum is made of used water containers. The festival is celebrated during Mid-December.
Back in elementary school, my dad made me a bangenge in the form of Popeye the Sailor Man, which won the consolation prize in the contest that year. I was looking for the photo of it in our family photo album so I could post it in this article, but can’t find it anymore. Maybe it’s just lost somewhere. Anyway, also being paraded in the Bangenge Festival are giant parols made from recycled materials (one example is parol made from tahong or muzzle shells) and kunehos (made from wires and Japanese paper) with wheels as their base. Aside from the festival, you will also see native Caviteño delicacies like Samala Rice Cakes, Cacillo or white cheese made from carabao’s milk (best paired with a hot pandesal!) and some Baloy’s baked goodies in the video below.
Bangenge Festival in Cavite
I remember asking my co-workers if they also have a similar festivity. When I say bangenge festival what they have in mind is getting intoxicated or drunk asking me “Ano yun: parada ng mga lasing?” (What is that? a parade for drunkards?) lol then I just explained everything. Do you also a unique festivity in your hometown? Please share it with us!