Hundreds of thousands, notably are foreigners with their big cameras and videocams, watched the annual Binatbatan Streetdancing Contest and Show during the 2009 Viva Vigan Binatbatan Fesitaval of the Arts lasts May 2, 2009
It was participated by 18 streetdancers from different municipalities and 2 cities of Ilocos Sur in two categories.
Around 3 pm, the streetdancers began their skills and ability to dance in two rhythms, a dance beat and soft beat.
The choreography includes the process of ‘panagbatbat’. You can see it the way they move their hands like they are weaving something.
Binatbatan is from root word ‘batbat’—batbat means the process of beating of the cotton pods with two bamboo sticks to separate the seeds from the fluff. In the olden days, the weaver used dried skin of cow where they place the cotton. There is also a technique on how to beat the pods. The rhythm may like this: 1-2-1-1-2.
Actually, the dancers wear an abel-iluko, a unique weave of Ilocanoes mostly made from the cotton pods.
The Binatbatan streetdancing is an expression and tribute to the Ilocanoes of Old. It is an Ilocano dance depicting the first step in the Abel-Iloko weaving process. The streetdancing honors the Abel-Iloko, the traditional craft that has sustained the economy, especially of Vigan, since then the Pre-Spanich Period to the Present.
The streetdancing started at Plaza Salcedo then marched at Quezon Avenue, passed at historical houses of Mena Crisologo street and stopped at Plaza Burgos. That night, the showdown was held at Plaza Burgos.
Thousands of local and foreign tourists gather at Vigan streets to watched graceful dancers of Binatbatan Festival that lasted for hours.