LAWAS: The annual Lun Bawang Festival, or more famously known as the Irau Aco Lun Bawang, was held here on June 3-4.
Organised by the Lun Bawang Association of Sarawak, the festival gathered more than 23,000 visitors which ran at several locations in Lawas including Gaya Baru, Long Tuma, Long Sebangang Baru, Tang Itong and Taman Awam Lawas.
This year, the festival made a comeback to Lawas town after it was held outside of the town in the last two years, namely at Ba Kelalan in 2014 and Long Tuan, Trusan, in 2015.
The centre of attraction was held along the Lawas Damit Road where sporting activities like futsal, volleyball, badminton and road run were held while the opening ceremony and cultural performances were held at the main stage in Lawas town.
The highlight of the festival was the annual search for the crowning of ‘Ruran Ulung’ and ‘Padan Liu Burung’, the beauty pageant and warrior contest. This year saw 40 delegates competing for the coveted title worth more than RM15,000. Prize sponsors included Stayfree, Zalora, Kiss Me, Moist Diane, Watsons, Ran & Nong Creations and Lepo Maria.
Angela Maria Frank from Gaya Baru representing Lawas Damit came out tops in the Ruran Ulung category while Octavien Pagag from Puneng Berayong representing Kuala Lumpur won the Padan Liu Burung category. Both winners received RM1,500 cash, trophy, certificate and product hampers from all sponsors.
More than 10 subsidiary titles were given out to deserving delegates. Miss Stayfree subsidiary title was given to the Ruran Ulung candidate who portrayed confidence throughout the competition, and this was awarded to Kaith Princess Reyes Jettle of Long Pasia representing Limbang. She received RM1,000 cash from Stayfree.
Other subsidiary awards include Miss and Mister Zalora, Miss and Mister Popular, Miss and Mister Talent, Miss and Mister Tourism, Miss and Mister Photogenic.
During the festival period, the 40 delegates for Ruran Ulung and Padan Liu Burung attended a motivational workshop led by Joshua O’neill from Federation University of Australia-Malaysia. The delegates also toured the Ceramic Beads Centre in Long Tuma where the Lun Bawang beads were produced since 1991 at the centre.
The Lun Bawang, well known for its rich culture and heritage, also held the annual bamboo band competition which saw Long Tuma emerging as winner. Second place went to the Long Sukang bamboo band while third place went to Trusan Tengah.
The festival was officially launched by Assistant Minister for Welfare and Community Wellbeing Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail.
Also present were Lawas MP Dato Henry Sum Agong, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, Lun Bawang Association Sarawak president Ipoi Datan and other community leaders.