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CAROLINE NAZARENO

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 10/15/2015 |




FESTIVALS OF THE NORTH: THE REINVENTION OF MODERN SOCIETY, CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND TOWNSPEOPLE EMPOWERMENT

This article had been written because I was inspired after reading a dissertation entitled   ‘’PANGASINAN FESTIVALS: INDICATORS OF PEOPLE’S CULTURE, ARTS  AND EMPOWERMENT’’, painstakingly researched and written by Dr. Cheryl L. Calimlim, a brilliant Social Science instructor at Pangasinan State University-Bayambang Campus.
Feasts and festivals have already been our ‘’showcase windows’’of hallmark events, local talents, cultural heritage, revitalization of our different languages, townspeople’s native products, and charting our solidarity and collective accountability.  These Philippine traditions were imbued and embedded in our lives for years that does not only cater merriment but also reinvention of our modern society, cultural transformation and townspeople empowerment. It echoes as an intangible celebration of our race and ‘’most potent symbol of national identity.’’

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, feast is an elaborate and usually abundant meal often accompanied by a ceremony or entertainment.

‘’Towns and city fiestas are being celebrated to promote the cultural background, products, performing arts and the people’s talents. Festivals are highlighted by street dancing rather than religious processions.’’ ( PANGASINAN, PINABLIN DALIN, History, Culture and Development, 423-424).

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts ( NCCA) Vision: The culture and arts community envisions the Filipino culture as the Wellspring of national and global well-being [Ang kalinangang Filipino ay bukal ng kagalingang pambansa at pandaigdig]. It has a mandate to develop and promote the Filipino culture and arts  and preserve Filipino cultural heritage.’’ According to Sections 8 and 12 of RA No. 7356, the NCCA is created and mandated to formulate and implement policies and plans in accordance with the principles stated in Title I of RA No. 7356:

To formulate policies for development of culture and the arts;
To implement these policies in coordination with affiliated cultural agencies;
To coordinate implementation of programs of these affiliated agencies;
To administer the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts (NEFCA);
To encourage artistic creation within a climate of artistic freedom;
To develop and promote the Filipino national culture and arts; and,
To preserve Filipino cultural heritage.(e-source: http://112.199.66.15/about-ncca/about-ncca/about-ncca-history-mandate.php)


(photo credit: Bryann R. Gabis)

Pangasinan history book entitled ‘’PANGASINAN Pinablin Dalin’’ ( Pangasinan, Our beloved Province, p. 423-424), have listed 19 contemporary FESTIVALS OF THE NORTH.  I admire how are these festivals bring honor, treasure of great magnitude, values of cooperation, peace and prosperity. I have chosen Best 10 Festivals that I have experienced and am proud of, these are:

PISTAY DAYAT – ‘’PISTA’Y DAYAT FESTIVAL (SEA FESTIVAL)

It is a thanksgiving festival observed every April    in Lingayen, Pangasinan. It celebrates the bountiful harvest and abundant fishing from the sea. The events feature mass offering on beautiful beaches and fluvial parade. At least a hundred boats participating in a fluvial parade commence the celebration. The festival also has an environmental preservation-related event, Konsyerto sa Gulpo, which allows young bands to further environmental awareness through their music. Other events include: the Grand Orchestra Showdown; the Pansasayawan, Panturugtugan dancesport fest; a solo vocal competition; the Zarzuela Tan Turbaan; the Panangidayaw Trade, Tourism, Food, and Garden Fairs; the Ating Yaman photo contest and artscape; the Tianggehan sa Pista’y Dayat; the Limgas na Dayat beauty contest; amateur boxing bouts; the Magpalipad Tayo kite-flying competition; the Ipahayag sa Layag boat painting competition; the Palaro sa Lahi concert and variety show; and the Buhay sa Buhangin sand-sculpting competition.’’
(Source :http://www.asensopangasinan.com/pistay-dayat-festival)

DAGUPAN CITY BANGUS FESTIVAL- ( MILKFISH FESTIVAL)

‘’The Bangus Festival is one of the country’s biggest and most colorful celebrations of local industry and culture. As Dagupan City is primarily known for its tasty bangus products, the annual affair has consistently drawn people from all over the Philippines to savor the native delicacy and to enjoy the many activities lined up for the whole festivity.’’
(Source : http://bangusfestival.ph/)

SAN CARLOS CITY MANGO-BAMBOO FESTIVAL-

A festival promoting San Carlos City as major trading center of bamboo based products/furniture and best producer of “carabao” mangoes and other mango variety in the country. San Carlos City is popular in bamboo industry, the city has its own bamboo market where produce from bamboo like nipa huts, baskets, lamp shades, furniture, cabinets, among others are on display and traded for three days, starting from Thursday to Saturday. Traders from other provinces come here to buy the produce and sell these to outside provinces.
(Source:http://www.asensopangasinan.com/mango-and-bamboo-festival-of-san-carlos-city/, and photo credit: Bryann R. Gabis )

URDANETA CITY DUMAYO FESTIVAL-

Urdaneta City, Pangasinan celebrates Dumayo Festival annually to give thanks for the blessings that the city has received throughout the years. Other activities that gave meaning to the celebration were: Basbas ng Pag-iisang Dibdib (free mass wedding), bloodletting activity, tree planting for environment preservation, jobs fair and fun run for a cause. Some of the highlight of this event are the grand parade where carabaos adorned with various ornaments were featured. And the street dancers from the city and street dancers (guests) from other municipality.
( source: asensopangasinan.com)

BALUNGAO GOAT FESTIVAL-

The highlight of this festival is youth from different villages of Balungao, Pangasinan participate in a street dancing competition along the town’s main road in celebration of Balungao’s Goat Festival in honor of the town’s patron St. Joseph the Carpenter fiesta.  ( Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/goat-festival/)

BAYAMBANG MALANGSI FISHTIVAL-

Part of the Quadricentennial celebration, On April 04, 2014 at 8pm, Bayambang was proclaimed as the new holder of the Guiness World Record for Longest Barbeque, mounting 8, 000 grills and 50, 000 kilograms of fish spanning over eight kilometres. Programs, events and influences that shaped Bayambang before and after its founding as a municipality 400 years ago were also featured such as unveiling of the new municipal seal and quadricentennial seal of Bayambang(formerly Malungey) which is now considered as one of the first class towns of the North, street dancing competition, Brain and Beauty Pageant, Little Mr. and Ms. Bayambang, 101 ways to cook ‘’Malangsi’’ ( freshwater fish ), and celebration of the feast of the patron saint, St. Vincent Ferrer.
(Reference: Bayambang Souvenir Book 2014, photo credit: Bryann R. Gabis)

BINMALEY SIGAY FESTIVAL

Binmaley ‘’Fish Harvest. It is a way  of celebrating the town’s rich aquaculture industry which serves as the main source of living of residents here. The fest promotes the town in the tourism map of the Philippines as the ‘’Seafood Capital of the North’’.
(e-source: asensobinmaleypangasinan.com)

CALASIAO PUTO FESTIVAL-

The Puto Festival is an annual event that celebrates  a native delicacy of white rice cake found in the Municipality of Calasiao. It’s monicker is ‘’white gold’’ which is famous for throughout the Philippines. The fruition of this idea was ignited by the desire to promote the ‘’puto’’ industry as well as to help puto manufacturers adverstise their product and thrive in their business.
(e-source: calasiao.gov.ph/putofestival)

MANAOAG GALICAYO FESTIVAL-

’Galicayo’’ means ‘’come here’’  while ‘’manaoag’’ means ‘’to call’’. Both words were derived from stories on the Virgin Mary’s apparition in Manaoag where she called on the people to come and build a  church.The weeklong festival is a unique celebration of faith, culture and arts in honor of Our Lady of Manaoag.
(source:www.asensomanaoagpangasinan/galicayofestival.com)

ANDA BINUNGEY FESTIVAL ( BAMBOO CAKE FESTIVAL )-

‘’Binungey’’ is a food made from mixture of ‘’malagkit’’ sticky rice, coconut milk, salt and placed inside the bamboo and cooked in a low  fire. It is the number one product of Andanian’s which they used to prepare and offer for the visitors during fiestas and special occasions.
(source:  Mendoza, Cheryl, Pangasinan Festivals: Indicators of Peoples Culture, Arts, and Empowerment,  April 2015, and photo googled )

As an Andanian, I am delighted that this yearly festival has entertained our townsfolk and visitors. My pride, my home!
Overall, festivals of the north uplift our community’s background, exhibit our nation’s legend, and strengthen our family ties. Mabuhay Pangasinan! ( Long live Pangasinan!)

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 [CAROLINE NAZARENO A.K.A. CERI NAZ, (AN AWID MEMBER), KNOWN AS A ‘POET OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP’, IS A MULTI-AWARDED POET, EDITOR, JOURNALIST, PUBLIC SPEAKER, LINGUIST, EDUCATOR, PEACE AND WOMEN’S ADVOCATE.]




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