Saturday, 14 April, 2012 Written by Florencio P. Narito
LEGAZPI CITY — Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Bicol tourism regional director Maria Ong Ravanilla and Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. on Tuesday awarded P500,000 to the UNOD Festival of Castilla, Sorsogon, grand champion, at rites held in Peñaranda Park here.
The same contingent received P50,000 for choreography and P50,000 for having the best costumes.
Penyahan Festival of Daet, Camarines Norte, won P300,000 and Cimarrones
Festival of Pili, Camarines Sur, got P200,000 as first and second runners up, respectively.
Bicol icon. Daragang Magayon joins the Parade of Giants on the streets of Legazpi City to depict the legend of Mayon Volcano in an ensemble of the province’s rich folk heritage. Abdon Balde Jr., president of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas, was commissioned by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to lead the research on the culture and tradition that gave rise to the festivals across the Bicol peninsula.
The judges were Maria Corazon Guerrero of Department of Tourism-Manila, Joseph Garcia of the National Museum joined by choreographers Douglas Nierras, Geleen Eugenio and Jhong Hilario of “It’s Showtime!”
Pitching in their talents were four non-competing entries: Magayon of Albay, Tinagba of Iriga City, Pantomina of Pilar, Sorsogon and the 100 ‘padyaks’ of Tabaco City.
The other contenders that faced up to UNOD were Sunflower of Ligao City, Ibalong of Legazpi City, Sorsogon Festival of Sorsogon City and Tig-aw of Tigaon, Camarines Sur.
In his keynote message during the opening of Magayon 2012 at Albay Astrodome, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the province should capitalize on the influx of visitors.
“Tourism is people’s business. It is planted, not abandoned in the streets,” he said as he rallied support for Salceda. “The tourists are at the doorsteps of Albay now. It’s up to us now to open that door.”
Former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros–Baraquel and Enrile, who are slated to run in next year’s midterm polls, likewise lauded Salceda for his programs on education, climate change and disaster risk mitigation.
(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/April/14)