The 72nd Catanduanes Foundation Anniversary, Catandungan Festival not only celebrated the island-province’s independence from the mainland Albay but also its rich culture and tradition with the theme, “Our Heritage, Our Pride.” Various events and activities depicting Catandunganons’ way of life highlighted the week-long celebration and likewise uplifted the locals’ faith and one’s own identity.
Local government officials, government employees, private organizations, and other sectors in the community showed support and actively participated in the festivity spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Catanduanes, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial Tourism Office in cooperation with the Department of Education, Center for Catanduangan Heritage, Inc. (CCHI),Department of Trade and Industry and other agencies.
A civic military parade in Virac Poblacion commenced the festival, followed by opening ceremonies at Virac Plaza Rizal wherein everyone was encouraged to take part in the celebration and to support the undertakings of the province in boosting its growth and development.
The opening of the Catandungan Trade Fair, which exhibits agricultural products, processed food, native delicacies, handicrafts and furniture skillfully made by locals,also took place on the same day. All eleven (11) municipalities of the province, other agencies such as DOLE, DAR, and DA and about twenty Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) participated in the trade fair.
On October 24-25, the Heritage Talk and Tour and “Kurit” (Heritage Visual Arts Workshop)conducted at Rhaj Inn/ Cultural and Historical Sites was participated by elementary and secondary students with Dr. Jualim Datiles Vela, Director for Center for Culture and Arts of Catanduanes State University (CSU), as the resource person. Aimed at enhancing the potentials and talents of the youth in arts, the two-day activity also increased their awareness about our culture and inculcated in them to be proud of our heritage.
As part of the celebration, there was also a “Sisay Kita” Cultural Quiz Bee for elementary and secondary level which tried the knowledge of the participants in Catanduanes history, culture, environment, facts and event.
Winners of the Quiz Bee for the elementary level are the following: 1st place – Carl Angelo P. Gil of Virac Pilot Elementary School (VPES/SSES), 2nd place – Christian Lloyd Z. Delante of Yocti Elementary School and 3rd place – Gillian Marie T. Tapia of Magnesia Elementary School. While in the secondary level, the winners are the following: 1st Place – Mc Kinley S. Tabor of San Andres Vocational School, 2nd place – Albert G. Clemente of Antipolo National High School and 3rd place – Russel S. Torres of Agban National High School. Winning participants and coaches received cash prize and a certificate of participation while non-winners received consolation prize and certificate of participation.
On the other hand, Hudaw Tres, a photo exhibit featuring the happy people of Catanduanes,were displayed at the second floor of the Capitol Building.
Binibining Nicole Clarence Magtangob of Virac and Ginoong Neil Bruce Isorena of Pandan were crowned Binibini and Ginoong Catandungan 2017 out of the nine (9) Ginooand 15Binibini candidates whovied for the title and crown of Binibini and Ginoong Catanduanes at Virac Sports Center on October 25.1st Runners Up were Ginoong Ron Aldrene Madrigal of Viga and Bb. Stephany Mae Chi of Bato, 2nd Runners Up were Ginoong Ryan Anthony Bruce of San Andres and Bb. Jennifer Laxamana of Bagamanoc, 3rd Runners Up were Ginoong Marcniel Alwin Agnes of Bato and Bb. Paula Villanueva of Viga and 4th Runners Up were Ginoong Kristian Taupa of Virac and Bb. Charisse Mae De Mesa of Bato.
Meanwhile, the Parade of Faith or “Parada ng mga Patron” featuring the patron saints of the eleven (11) municipalities and Our Blessed Mother of La Naval on October 26 signified the religiosity and solidarity of Catandunganons.
It was followed by the wreath laying in honor of Congressman Francisco A. Perfecto, the father of Catanduanes independence, led by the Philippine National Police (PNP) together with Governor Joseph C. Cuaand other local officials.
During the 72nd Foundation Day Program, Governor Cua expressed his gladness in seeing everyone actively participating in the celebration of the 72nd Foundation Day of the province.
“An satuyang selebrasyon ngonian gibuhon tang inspirasyon para mas mapamidbid pa niato bako lang sa bilog na Pilipinas kundi sa bilog na kinab-an na kitang mga Catandunganon may mga katangian na talagang dapat niatong ika-proud,” he remarked.
The local chief executive stressed that the culture our ancestors have passed down on us teaches us one thing, to be one with the community.
“Let us preserve it, because the traditions of the past will allow us to overcome many of the challenges that we face today,” Cua said. He also encouraged the cooperation of each Catandunganon to be able to attain all aspirations for the province.
Earlier in his message, Mr. Rudy Rojas, Chief of staff of the Congressional Office and representative of Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, said that through the celebration, everyone can express and share the unity and giving of importance to the province’s independence and our love for our culture giving us our own identity as Catandunganons.
For her part, Vice Governor Shirley Abundo stated that despite the changes and improvement we are experiencing in the island, there still a lot to be done.
Vice Governor Abundo emphasized that it is not only the responsibility of the local government officials to work for the development of the province, but it is everyone’s responsibility.
“Naniniwala po ako na it will always be the unwavering faith of the Catandunganons that will sustain us,” she underscored.
PBM Vincent Villaluna, SP Committee Chair on Tourism and this year’s Catandungan Festival, emphasized that as one nation and province, we should have one solid identity and that is being happy people.
Highlighting also the Foundation Day is the Padadyaw sa Tinampo featuring Pantomina Catanduanes which was competed by nine (9) municipalities: Bagamanoc, Panganiban, San Miguel, Bato, San Andres, Viga, Baras, Virac and Caramoran. The town of Virac was declared this year’s champion followed by San Andres (2nd place) and Baras (3rd place).
The Catandungan Festival was capped with the Tourism Ambassadors Awards Night at Regina Hall, Kemji Resort and Resto for the distinctive and remarkable individuals who have provided great support in the promotion and improvement of tourism and preservation of culture in Catanduanes.