BANNA, Ilocos Norte, June 7 (PIA) – – Residents of this eastern town of the province have adopted “Panagabuos” as their annual festival every month of April.
“Panagabuos” is an Ilocano term for gathering the eggs of weaver ants from their hanged oval-shaped shelter made-out of the leaves of a tree that abundantly sprouts in the last quarter of the year until summer season.
The harvested eggs of the weaver ants is called in Ilocano term as “buos,” a protein-rich exotic food that can be cooked as adobo or sinigang and an ingredient for pizza and pinakbet cuisines.
However, buos food – dish should not be eaten by a person who has diabetes due to its high cholesterol content.
ometimes, the food can cause skin allergies. But the locals, especially the men, folks considered buos food as energizer as it boosts their strength upon eating it.
Although weaver ants are abundantly seen in other places in the province, Banna town’s tourism officer Richard Banquil said the town had chosen Panagabuos as the title of its annual festival due to its uniqueness that can attract tourists and visitors.
“The Panagabuos Festival is a mode of showcasing and preserving the distinct culture of the residents in collecting the eggs of weaver ants,” said Banquil.
The festival is highlighted with street dancing and a showdown by the students- participants portraying and interpreting the steps of getting and cooking the eggs of the weaver ants.
Farmer Danny Colubong, of Barangay Catagtaguen, Banna town, shared his long-time experience in panagabuos.
He said simply needed is a bamboo pole with attached bag at its tip. The bamboo pole is used in reaching – up the hanged weaver ants’ shelter while the bag is used in catching the eggs.
The shelter of the ants should be put first inside the bag before shaking it until the eggs drop. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte/ Izza Corazon C. Nacario, MMSU intern)