heralds month long Manaragat Festival
By LAIMINH MABULAY
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The City Government officially opens the Manaragat Festival, the name
that Catbalogan’s month long fiesta celebration has come to be known
for, today August 2, 2010 as city employees gather for a holy mass at
7 in the morning followed by a foot parade thereafter.
Celebrated in honor of
the patron saint of fishermen, St. Bartholomew, whose feast falls on
the 24th of August, the Manaragat Festival was dubbed as such in
reference to the Maqueda Bay which has been a strong influence on the
Catbaloganons’ social and cultural heritage.
Ever since the first
Manaragat Festival was first conceptualized in 2007, the celebrations
have always been attached to a theme that best describes the people’s
sentiment at the time. This was to stress the need for reflection amid
the festivities taking place. The theme for this year is “Celebrating
Culture to Mend Differences Towards a Unified and Progressive
Catbalogan”, which is a call for reconciliation in the wake of a very
heated election season.
For the whole month of
August, the City Plaza shall serve as the hub of the celebrations.
Nightly activities – both organized by the City Government and this
year’s Hermano Mayor, Mr. Ponciano Rosales – shall provide
entertainment for interested spectators most of whom are customers of
the ongoing Agri-Trade Fair within the vicinity. The Agri-Trade Fair
is an income generating scheme of the City Government through the
P15,000-rental which entitles a concessionaire to a tent, space sized
12x12, kiosk and three coolers for their business.
Activities in the
fiesta calendar were made possible through the efforts of the Tourism
Council which is being chaired by City Mayor Coefredo T. Uy and the
City Council Committee on Tourism, Mass Media and Public Information
chaired by Honorable Councilor Stephany Uy-Tan. In the face of
budgetary constraints, the city government managed to attract
sponsorships from the private sector, including several local and
Coca Cola Incorporated
lent 7 tents and 20 coolers while San Miguel Beer lent 10 tents, 34
coolers, 17 kiosks, 34 beer buckets for the food fair. Both Coca Cola
Incorporated and San Miguel Beer are major sponsors along with Smart
Telecommunications which will also provide tents and freebies for
other activities. One of the most awaited events is the SMB night,
which is also a treat from San Miguel Beer. The said show will be
topbilled by the popular reggae act Brownman Revival and will also
feature three local bands.
At the heart of the
month long festivities is the Manaragat Festival participated in by 14
schools under the division of Catbalogan. Each performance colorfully
depicts the richness of Maqueda Bay and its significance in the lives
of Catbaloganons of old, making it the event that truly captures the
essence of the month long celebration: a tribute to a cultural
heritage that is deeply attached to the sea.