Isabela is the largest corn-producing region in the Philippines, so the symbol of the festival is bambanti (the local word for “scarecrow”) to emphasize how they help farmers protect their crops.

Bambanti was first organized by former Governor Benjamin Dy and his wife, Cecil, in 1997. It is organized to celebrate and represent the more than 34 municipalities in the city of Isabela.

In this festival, each participating municipality creates its own image of a giant Bambanti, creating a Bambanti Village. This way, the locals represent their resourcefulness and inventiveness in the creation of a giant figure. The scarecrow is usually built with materials from what crops they have produced in their municipality or region.

One of the highlights of the Bambanti festival includes the Agri-Ecotourism Exhibit where participants get to learn more about how agriculture and tourism are been blended to attract visitors. Other activities include food contests, the Festival Kings and Queens beauty pageant, a carnival street dance competition, a costume contest, the Isabela Choir Competition, and an epic fireworks display at the end of the festival.

The Bambanti Festival is a three-time winner of Aliw Awards, bringing home the title of Best Festival Practices and Performance for years 2015, 2016, and 2017.

According to AND