Discover Bambanti Village: Home to Giant Scarecrows & Local Wonders

Isabela Province, found up north of Luzon is best known as the Corn Captial of the Philippines. With agriculture as a big part of the residents, their best celebrated festival is the Bambanti festival. This gives tribute to their protector of the fields and crops- the scarecrow.

I am super blessed to have been a part of the national media that covered the festival. One of the best highlights of this trip for me is the Bambanti Village. It is an eco-agricultural exhibit and sale held at the Capitol of Ilagan. Now, the best way to get a quick tour of what Isabela Province has to offer is by visiting the Bambanti Village that is up during the last week of January. 

The village features giant scarecrow figures along with a booth filled with local agriculture products and arts for people to buy or enjoy. The booths themselves are made from local and sustainable materials. 

Each booth embodies a municipality by showcasing not just their local products but also their famous landmarks or sometimes even their own festivals. These show off the skillful craftsmanship of Isabelenos as they only had a limited time to create these artful booths.

This can also double as your pasalubong center. You can find lots of things here from woven blouses and tops in the Quezon booth to Munggo Ice Cream, munggo coffee, different-flavored munggo chips, over in San Matteo

Alicia's booth features a giant scarecrow holding palay, and the most intriguing thing I found8 there was the Golden Eggs that are made from submerging duck eggs in turmeric for a set amount of days, much like a healthier version of the Itlog  na Maalat. It is not too salty for me, but is definitely filled with Umami.

 I am always up for an adventure, and San Mariano's booth definitely delivers via their Crispy Crawlings, as well as being the place to be if you want to see and help support the Philippine Crocodile Sanctuary.

All the while though, this is still a friendly competition with their neighboring municipalities. They opted for having two categories to make it fair to everyone, even the towns that don't have a big budget to play with making their art. While it looks awesome at morning, you should also see this during the night time, as the place is illuminated nicely.

Agri-Ecotourism Booth Winners:

Category A: 

    1st: Echague 

    2nd: Ilagan City

    3rd: Cauayan City

Category B: 

    1st: Cordon

    2nd: San Pablo

    3rd: Quirino

Giant Bambanti Winners: 

Category A: 

    1st: Ilagan City

    2nd: Echague

    3rd: San Mariano

Category B: 

    1st: Cordon

    2nd: Burgos

    3rd: Delfin Albano

After touring the Bambanti Village, you can also check out other activities in the area like Makan Ken Mainum (a Local  Cooking Masterchef Competition), Queen Isabela Pageant, Bambanti Dance Festival and the concerts held each night.

If you'd like a quick tour around Isabela, be sure to visit Bambanti Village during the next Bambanti Festival! Additionally, each town holds its own festival, so you can check out Isabela PIO for more info on the dates.

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