The festival showcasing ‘ava’ (taro) as the municipality's one-town-one- product is a community celebration backed up by Municipal Ordinance 235 series 2014 which makes it an annual celebration.
Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan said the festival opens on Sept. 16 with Cordillera Regional Representative of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the Tabuk City Tourism Officer Arlene Odiem as the guest of honor.
The ava cultural dance competition will be staged that day. This is an attempt for the town to have cultural ava dance steps like the Bendian of Kabayan and the Grand March of Kapangan which they can call their own.The dance must depict the culture and tradition anchored on the importance of ava in the life of the community.
Other activities during the first day include a color fun run with minimal registration fee and opening of mini-agro fair which displays and sells ava produce and processed products along with other agricultural products.
As festivities are associated with food, two gastronomic innovations to savor are the ava ice cream and ava pie.
On September 17 would be an investment forum and training on ava production and processing.
On September 18 , activities include ava skills competition on “Do’- do ni Pising”( ava cleaning ), “Kiskis ni Pising”(ava slicing) and “Duto ni Pising” (ava cooking) and search for the biggest taro.
There will also be a lecture on swine production, and “Sekkel ni Butbutog” or pig catching competition.
The ava festival theme song competition will be held on September 19 participated in by barangays and high school students. The lyrics of the song must revolve around the importance of gabi/taro in the town’s culture and tradition.
The festival culminates with the search for Mister and Miss Tuba.
Taro used to be a staple food of the town along with camote or sweet potato, and also served in a “kedot” or cañao, according to Municipal Tourism Operations Officer II Anabel Solano.
Tuba is the gateway to the province and Baguio City with the historical Kennon Road and Marcos Highway. It is endowed with hot springs, resorts, falls, burial caves along with it arts and crafts products, among others. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)