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Bonbon Eco-Cultural Festival Hosted by Tanauan City 26-27 May 2017

Batangueños and non-Batangueños alike are invited to attend the third annual Bonbon Festival, an eco-cultural event that aims to provide artistic opportunities to local artists and at the same time create an environmental platform for the promotion and preservation of Taal Lake, the volcano and its environment.

Bonbon (also Bombon and Bongbong in various historical documents) was how Taal Lake and its surrounding communities used to be called in the pre-Hispanic and immediate Hispanic era.

The two-day event is scheduled to be held on 26-27 May and is hosted this year by Tanauan City, the official community partner for 2017, at the lake-shore barangay of Gonzales. The theme for this year is “Celebrating Arts, Celebrating Taal.”

The festival, which is spearheaded by the LTN Events and Lipa Actors Company, was first held in 2015. From its staging, organizers are poised to collect experiences from organizing, creating, studying and working with communities on lake-shore Taal. Bonbon is directed to complete its 10 year cycle in 2024 as a community work in progress. The community consists of thirteen municipalities and cities surrounding the lake basin.

On the first day, the 26th, the festival highlights community engagement activities such as street dancing, a bangka and dragon boat parade, traditional karakul and rondalla performances and the opening of the Food and Art Exhibits.

The following day focuses on artists’ engagement activities such as workshops, conferences and the festival performances on the evening. For inquiries, interested parties may visit the 2017 Bonbon Festival Facebook page or contact the BF17 Secretariat at (043) 7407112, 09976836131. Please ask for Ms. Justine Cantos.

One of the 7 pieces site-specific installation art using bangkas, bamboo, found objects by the lakeshore...

Below is the festival’s complete programming:

The 2017 Bonbon Festival opening highlights the participation of the community with the city spearheading the activities. The opening salvo traces back the history of the Bonbon community believed to be led by then Datu Balkasusa and Datu Dumangsil. A bangka and dragon boat parade with the opening of the art installation highlights the opening event.

An art and food exhibits participated by 13 towns and cities of Taal Lake. The exhibition highlights artistic expressions innate to Taal Lake, Volcano and even culinary traditions shared by Taal inhabitants up to this day.

Features local artists of Tanauan in an art work situated at the lake-shore. There are 25 cemented structures (2x5ft) beside the road that serve as the artists’ canvasses.

The workshop and conferences have two components for children and professionals alike. Kwentong Kubol is an art encounter for children that is made up of theater workshops and storytelling activities for kids. The conferences/panel meeting dubbed as “Huntahan sa Lawa,” on the other hand, will be participated in by tourism officers, educators, researchers and artists. This year’s huntahan theme is “Celebrating Arts, Celebrating Taal,” with guest panelist from the NCCA, the Provincial Tourism Council and the Batangas Artists Network.

One of the performances during the 2016 edition of the Bonbon Festival.

Bonbon is also becoming a safe space for artists to explore, experiment and develop their art. The festival provides spaces and even discourses to take up local artists’ challenges and achievements versus the socio-cultural environment and economic and political climates. In summary, Bonbon is about art and the environment and how these can co-exist in a dynamic ecosystem that includes function, its processes and even disturbances and succession.

The Hele sa Lawa is an art installation curated by multi-media artist Rogger Basco with the people of Tanauan City. The installation depicts Bonbon's heritage up to this day along with Bonbon’s struggle to penetrate the Batangan psyche. The installation will serve as the major background for BF17 activities situated at the beautiful lake view of Taal in barangay Gonzales.

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