Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reunion and Snowtubing in Vancouver

From Letty’s house, where she took her son Liam with us, we went to Cristy Mari’s place in 49th and Arlington St in Vancouver for a dinner. We met Cristy and hubby Jerry who were busy cooking. We greeted and hugged each other. They prepared and cooked dinuguan, pinapaitan and menudo and other Pinoy foods.

Later Donna and family came by. It was a reunion of the four of us classmates in college and we have not seen each other for 14 long years. It was really a wonderful reunion since we didn’t expect to see each other in a foreign land. We reminisced some of the wonderful moments we had in college.

We met the kids of Cristy namely, Kyle, Kaye and Kirby and silbings Imelda, and Ronald and their mortgage helper Japanese Koji who is an international student. We had a good time where we had some wine and karaoke. Later we parted ways where Cristy and family took me to a lounge bar at Executive Hotel.

The following day, the four of us went to Canada Place and had a lunch of gyro lamb and Greek salad. Then Cristy drove for us to visit some places like Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, and to the Cypress Mountain. I had a wonderful time in Cypress where Cristy treated me with a snowtubing for two hours. It was such a great snow experience to be twisted along the slide with the rubber tube. I got a bit dizzy but it’s so enjoyable. Wow I really didn’t know that there’s a lot of activities that can be done during winter season.

I also watched hockey practice of Kyle in a rink nearby then a meeting with a family friend Madel Alipio who treated me, Kyle and her friends for a dinner at Flamingo Restaurant. I had also swimming and spa at Killarney Community Center with Cristy’s children.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tobogganing and Snow Experience in Burnaby

I met up with Letty James, a former college classmate, at the Broadway Station by taking a bus from Richmond. We greeted and hugged each other. She took me at the Burnaby Lake Regional Park where we had two hours brisk walk along the trails. It was a good exercise where I breathed in very cold breeze. I have seen many trees that were protected and first time to see and feel snow. I was happy to see some. They started to melt but pieces can be seen around. We had a good talk about nature. Letty related her life in Canada and she liked spending much of her time in communing with nature aside from work and family.

At the end point, we saw the lake and rested for a while. We saw some of the Canada geese and birds flew around. It was a nice sight to see with water and the trees at the bank. The air was refreshing. The temperature was around 6 degrees centigrade. It was sunny and bright.

Later we proceeded to the Burnaby Mountain where I saw much more snow. I got excited since it still so white with ice. I just jumped over the snow and Letty put out her toboggans where she asked me to try.

Toboggan is a simple sled. It is a traditional form of transport used by mountaineers of Northern Canada. But now it is used to carry persons to slide down a hill for recreation. It is made of fiberglass, plastic and the traditional toboggan is made up of bound, parallel wood slats all bent forward in the front to form the sideways J shape.

I was an exciting activity because she let me ride over and hold on to the edge then slid. Wow I was not able to control well where I went straight down. It was so much fun to really experience a snow activity in Canada.

Later she brought me Simon Fraser University where we had some sushi, tea and rest. We proceeded to her house in Coquitlam where I met her hubby Brian and children.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Arrival to Richmond

After two and a half hours flight via Westjet airline, we landed at the Vancouver International Airport at 1:30am. I was able to get to the lounge at 2am then waited for Donna Milan, a former college classmate. She arrived at 3am to pick me up. We greeted and hugged each other. We were so happy meeting up again . We have not seen each other since college. She introduced me to her hubby Ernie and drove us home.

Richmond is a coastal city in the province of British Columbia of Canada. It was incorporated as district municipality in the year 1879 and became a city in 1990. It is part of the Metro Vancouver. It is the location of the Vancouver International Airport.

With their daughters Arwen & Sigrid and her sister Ian, we went to visit the Steveston Historical Village where I have seen so many fishing boats at the harbour. It has over 600 boats. This is a historic salmon canning center. It is also branded as the Gateway to the Orca (killer whales) for the active whale watching industry making the harbor home.

There were Canada geese and other birds hovering around the port. It was very cold near the water area.I have seen also the Steveston Historial museum building and post office and the fisherman's wharf.

Vancouver is the venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics so we went to visit the Richmond Olympic Oval, an 8,000-seat speed skating oval close to the airport.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Trippin' in the Sin City

Las Vegas is called Sin City since it is the gambling capital of the world. Many casinos, hotels, shopping malls abound in this city. It is also billed as the Entertainment Capital of the World.

I arrived in the city at 4:15am by Greyhound Bus from San Diego. I was picked up by Nana Charing at past 5am upon the endorsement of Manong Edgar. We greeted each other as I introduced myself to her. Her daughter Madeline drove us home. We had breakfast as we chatted. She related her life story in Vegas. I rested and slept for three hours then they called me for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, we went to visit her husband confined at the Sumerlin Hospital. She asked her children Tony and Maui to tour me around in the Vegas Strip. It was amazing to see many casinos downtown. I get to see only these scenes from movies. They took me to Caesar Palace where we visited the indoor garden with a Chinese theme. Then later watched the fantastic watershow infront as I viewed the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on the background. Then we headed to Bellagio for some other shows. Another site to visit is downtown Las Vegas where we watched a spectacular show projected in the dome of the Fremont Street Experience. Tony bought us Corona beer to drink while watching.

Lastly, he treated us for a sumptous dinner at California Hotel and Casino with a T-bone steak and buffet salad and another round of Corona beer. We even met some Pinoys who work in the restaurant. We rushed to McCarran International Airport for my flight at 10:50pm via Westjet airline bound for Vancouver. I bade goodbye to my hosts and thanked them for that wonderful moment of trippin' in Vegas.

As we took off I have seen the whole of Las Vegas from the air. So full of lights. It was a fascinating sight. It is being said that as seen from the space, metropolitan Las Vegas is the brightest on Earth.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Taste of Mexico

Most of the people I asked from San Diego would say that its not safe to go to Tijuana since there were crime problems. This is attributed to drug and human trafficking issues.In 2008 alone the city reported 843 murders that resulted to drug vilolence.

I was really alarmed by those comments but I really wanted to visit Tijuana so I really made a way to go there. Tijuana is a city in the state of Baja California. It is the busiest city border of the world since there are about 75,000 people crossing the border everydady.

I checked online the tours for Tijuana. I was able to get a guided tour from at USD34 for about four hours visit. is another site but the same bus American Coach will be used for the clients on this trip. I took the morning tour at 9am where I joined some Australian and American tourists.

Abel was the funny driver cum tour guide of ours for that trip. He is a Mexican so he knew everything about Tijuana. He explained to us that its safe now in Tijuana. The government began to clean and improve the place. He took us to the Playas. Along the way we have seen the fence put up by the United States in the border up to the beach waters. It was totally different sides of the world.

There was also a place he showed us not safe to visit. We went around the city by bus. Then we all alighted at Avenida Revolucion, a tourist spot wherein one can do shopping and dining. I looked around and there were so many Mexican souvenir items on sale. I bought a Tijuana t-shirt as souvenir. I even had a try of the Mexican costume poncho with maracas and sombrero.

Definitely not to be missed is a taste of the popular margarita which costs USD2.50 and I have tried the food mulita at same price. It was such a good food trip. It rained so hard that I was not able to get around further. We went all back to the coach. The streets got flooded.

At theUS immigration, there were no questions asked of me but the officer only commented that I am a Filipino and Im Pacquiao. Same thing with the vendors I met that they recognize me as a Filipino and that we have similarities with Mexicans. It is said that Filipinos are sympatico.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Sojourn in San Diego

I was picked up by Manong Edgar from the greyhound bus terminal in San Diego when I arrived at 1:30AM. We greeted each other. It was a little cold with a temperature of 54F. When we reached their home in Meadowbrook Drive, they let me eat at once. They cooked chicken tinola with brocoli. Manang Remy woke up to see me. It was nice to see the couple in their home in San Diego. I stayed with them for 5 days.

I had a walk around the Big Bay on the afternoon of Friday the 13th. I have seen the Midway and other historic ships at the Maritime Museum. I walked up to the US Coast Guard then back again. I dropped by at Fish Market Restaurant. Took photos at the 25 foot statue of a sailor kissing a nurse. Then proceeded to the Seaport Village.

On Valentine’s Day, I was treated by the couple with their son Edsel to visit the Seaworld. We have watched spectacular shows of the dolphins, killer whales and other sea creatures. We spent almost a day in the park. Later in the evening we were invited to Tata Flor’s residence to have a dinner.

The following day Manong Edgar and Edsel took me to the Outlet, a commercial center with lots of stores. It is located in San Ysidro just near the border of Mexico where I saw its flag waving. Then in the afternoon, with Manang Remy, we all went to Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. Most of the museums were already closing because we were late.

A trip to Tijuana was my itinerary on the following day. It was another experience to treasure since i got a first hand try of the culture. Then I visited the Gaslamp Quarters back in San Diego. Later I took the trolley to the Old Town and hung out to Casa Guadalahara for a margarita, enchilada and nachos.

On my last day was just rest at the house and preparation for my trip to Las Vegas. Manang Remy and Edsel sent me off to the greyhound bus terminal. Manong Edgar was at work. We bade each other goodbye.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Arrival to the City of Angels

I went for a trip to North America and took the flight PR 102 of the Philippine Airlines at 10pm on February 12, 2009. It was a Boeing 747 aircraft. It was fully booked. Most of the passengers were Pinoy seniors who are now US citizens who had their vacation in their respective provinces. A Tolentino couple were my seatmates at 32 ABC. We had a talk about the life in America.

We touched down at LAX airport at 6:30pm and it was still February 12. It was a quick pass through the immigration since they don’t have much questions. It took long for me to wait for my luggages at the conveyor since numerous and extremely huge baggages were moving around the carousel. It took me a little more than an hour to wait for my bags.

I inquired from the information counter on how to get to the greyhound bus terminal since I am taking it bound for San Diego. I took the supershuttle which costs USD16 for a passenger. But it was a little expensive since the flyaway bus can get you to union station. I picked up my ticket at the counter of the bus terminal for USD17. It was 2 1/ 2 hours ride.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Pamulinawen Festival

Every 10th day of the month of February is usually the day for Pamulinawen Festival. The festival is now on its 13th year. Several activities and programs were lined up for all the people and guests of Laoag to see and enjoy.

The very highlight of the celebration was the street pageantry and the dance showdown. It was a showcase of the different festivals of the province and there was a sole entry from Caoayan Ilocos Sur. There were ten dance groups vied for the plum prize. There was a great cash prize of Php 100,000.00 for the winning group. That cash was captured by the first group Dinaklisan Festival as they showcased a wonderful presentation. A very nice choreagraphy, great music, fantastic costume and consistent presentation made them a grand winner.

The group was followep up by second place from Dingras group and the third place went to Binatbatan Festival.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pamulinawen Grand Parade

Several business establishments and organizations participated in the Pamulinawen Grand Parade. Most of the floats were decorated with flowers and other indigenous materials. Many creative designs were showcased during the parade. People enjoyed viewing them all.

There were two categories namely small and big floats where these entries competed in with each other. The unique float I have seen was the Pamulinawen Lady and the rest were just as beautiful.

A Balikbayan Night

Most of our kababayans usually return home during Christmas seasons and fiestas. This time the United Laoaguenos of Hawaii (ULOH) members came back home just to join in the celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival. They filed their leave of absence from work and spent money for their airfare just to see Laoag again and be with their relatives.

The city government of Laoag had scheduled and prepared for them a night to remember. A grand ball and coronation night was held on February 09, 2009 at the City Amphitheater. A wonderful grand march by the ULOH officers and members and the people of the city government was performed at the opening of the program. Speeches of Mayor Michael Farinas and Dwayne Bueno, president of ULOH were delivered. The Tawid Cultural Troupe had also performed upon the invitation of liaiason officer Stan Ramos. Rigodon was performed by the INCAT dancers.

The very highlight of the ball was the grand coronation of the Queen of Queens Mrs ULOH Maryrose Borromeo, Teen Miss ULOH Florelei Baris and Junior Miss ULOH Crystal Palisba.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Playing Ay-Ayam

Ay-ayam refers to the traditional games played in Ilocos. There are various types and forms of it. However there were only few games which were featured in the celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival of Laoag City.

These were the games palo-sebo, sack race, kadang-kadang, tug-of-war, juego de anillo and 40m spring hurdle. There were two categories namely elementary and secondary division participated in by the students of the schools in Laoag City.

I was just disappointed to observe that there was only one group who fielded an entry for the kadang-kadang. Some groups attempted to challenge and play it but cannot balance well. I have tried this and did balance well. I remember that when we went to visit an elementary school in Japan they were equipped with this game tool, tried it and the pupils were amazed to see me balance and walk with it.

The reason that kids nowadays don’t play much these traditional games is that they do all the time the virtual games just sit on the couch and play alone. With all the proliferation of techno games such as play stations, wii, computer games and cell phones. So no more interaction and group dynamics and definitely no more physical work out.

It would be better to promote these games to young children and at least conduct an olympics of traditional games or more periodically not only to preserve it but to let young people appreciate the value of playing real games.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ragrag-o Festival of Ilocos Norte

In commemoration of the 191st foundation anniversary of the province of Ilocos Norte, Ragrag-o Festival takes the center stage where all the festivals of the towns of the province were showcased. It’s a big treat for the locals to watch all of it in just one venue and time.

This is a historical celebration. Ilocos Norte was a former part of a province called Ylocos until it became independent 191 years ago. It is composed of 21 municipalities and 2 cities with Laoag City as its capital. It is where the capitol located.

A parade took place where each municipality has its own representation.A speech was delivered by Governor Michael Marcos Keon. It was followed by the presentation of the fetival dances of each municipalities including the tribal rituals of the municipalities of Carasi, Dumalneg, Nueva Era, Adams. They presented the burial rites and the wedding and courthship rites.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Afternoon of Sayaw Pinoy

After the calesa parade, the audience was treated with dance presentations from the members of the Halili Cruz School of Ballet in Quezon City and dance group from the Philippine Normal University.

This is in consonance with the celebration of the Art’s Month Festival this February under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts or NCCA.

Calesa Festival of Laoag

There is a total of 283 calesas in the city and 58 of them were decorated to parade around town. They were decorated mostly with indigenous materials such as leaves, flowers dried and fresh. Some of the calesas were sponsored by some business establishments and showcased their product. One local product I have seen was the sukang iloco. As I approached their calesa I was given and tried their suka with some slice turnips. The vinegar was so pure and strong. It was made from the fermented sugarcane juice mixed with samak fruit and leaves.

Another calesa was decorated with mango leaves and fruits. The ripe and the green ones placed in baskets. So tempting to eat but that was just for display. Longganisa and garlic were also showcased being hanged in one of the calesas. The sinking bell tower was also showcased in one of the decorations. It’s the emblem of Laoag City. One of the horses was dressed up and another has put on wings. The wheels were decorated with flowers and the symbol sunshine. The parade was just amazing. I even got a free ride since I interviewed the kutsero.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Zarzuela Ilocana In Competition

Zarzuela is a form of art where actors stage a drama. It can be described as an opera since the players alternately sing lines and deliver dialogues. Dance moves and humour were also present in this form entertainment. Usually, this has a romantic form of scene while the other one is the baroque zarzuela.

This is the result of the influence of Spaniards to its colonies such as the Latin America where they call it swarswela and the Philippines sometimes referred to it as zarzuelta. The name was derived from a Royal hunting lodge and later became the official residence of King Juan Carlos of Spain and his family which was called Palacio de la Zarzuela. It is located on the outskirts of Madrid. This type of entertainment was initially presented to the court in Spain.

In the Ilocos region, it is called the Zarzuela Ilocana where it is delivered in the Ilocano dialect. It is highly commendable the efforts exerted by the people of Department of Education in Laoag City for staging this show. They have opened it to competition of the different schools. There were 12 groups competed in the elementary division and five groups for secondary level. Some of the groups showed splendid performances. They made their audience laugh with their humour and amaze them for their performances. The champion couple in the elementary division even kissed each other lips to lips.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some Exotic Foods

When I went to Solsona, I initially visited their public market. I landed at the second floor. There I saw vendors who sell some exotic foods. It was fun talking to most of them. They warmly showed me the food products they sell. I have seen the dried venison or daing nga ugsa. A bundle of it costs Php350.00. The deer’s antler or horn for display cost Php500.00. Birabid, a salted shellfood taken from the riverbeds costs Php150 per small bottle while if its unshelled cost Php300. Amled is a type of small fish which was also salted sold it for Php300. This originates from the town of Carasi and taken from the river.

As I went around the area I was surprised to see ararawan or crickets which are not yet in season. These are taken from the ricefields. Usually they appear during rainy season. It is a little expensive when not in season. Another exotic food I saw was the red ant’s eggs or itlog ti abuos. They sell it in pure eggs or mixed with some ants. I have seen dried meat of wild pig or alingo and the dried eel or daing nga igat from the gameng village.

I have first tried the venison cooked as lauya in the same town in the same first visit. I love the taste. Whereas my first try of the wild pig or alingo was in Adams cooked as adobo. It was much tastier than the ordinary pork. I use to cook itlog ti abuos since many of it are sold at the Laoag market on Sundays of summer where I buy just a small portion. I just sautee it in garlic, onions and tomatoes and presto. I cook it also as an omellete where I beat a chicken egg and add this ant’s eggs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dulang Food Fest Goes Global

Dulang Food Festival is a prelude to the celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Traditionally, Ilocano folks don’t prepare and serve foods at homes during fiesta unlike people of southern Philippines. However, they came up with the idea of putting up this food festival. It is a way to exhibit best tasting foods and to let the public try these foods.

Dulang means table. A wide array of foods were served ranging from American, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Singaporean, Chinese and the not to be missed traditional Ilocano foods. They have featured the global busi, a native delicacy made of popped rice mixed in mollasses then formed into balls. They made use of wire to form a shape of globe then placed many busi balls into it. Still under it were numerous busi balls arranged nicely. Most of the hotels, restaurants and organizations were tapped to participate in this event. They even received a certain amount from the local government to cook these foods.

I arrived at the venue on time immdediately after the cutting of the ribbon, but a large number of people went in and cannot stop them from taking their foods. There was a large number of people who attended this affair. Making it difficult for me to cover and document this event. Nevertheless, I have tried some spicy foods from the Korean section, sandwiches from American, sugarcane juice and busi from the Ilocano foods.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Laoag’s Little Muses

The coronation of Little Mr & Ms Laoag City was held on February 3, 2009 at the City Amphitheater. This program was held under the auspices of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

I was able to catch up with the farewell walk of Little Ms Laoag City 2008 Noreen Ann Corpuz, daughter of Dr. & Mrs Nonilone Corpuz. She was crowned based on a pageant of 21 little girls. She was in kindergarten then. She turned over her crown to the new Ms Little Laoag 2009 Rosheena Jamel with her escort Rodney Clark. I was surprised to see a lot of little girls clad in their long gowns as well as their escorts, the little boys donned in barong. It was like Santacruzan. It was a very long presentation of the knights, muses and the royal court. The royal court was composed of the queen, six princesses and their escorts.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Solsona: Cleanest and Greenest Philippine Town

I am glad that I was able to visit again the town of Solsona in their recently concluded fiesta after a long time. In the 90’s, we frequent this town just to visit and enjoy the Karingking River. We take our interns from the universities of Naga City, Angeles City, Baguio City and Ilocos Norte for picnics and swimming in this beautiful town. I have tried once the galong-galong or wooden cable car that sway from one side to the other. That was simply amazing.

I clearly remember in 1998 that I was tasked to be one of the judges in the search for the Clean and Green Program of the national government. The town of Solsona was my number one for it has a good, workable and sustainable solid waste management. They were equipped with shredders to transform their waste into fertilizers. Children in schools were taught how to manage their own trash. They were trained to place candy wrappers in a pillow case where they can use it as cushion for their seat. They employ the scheme of three R’s: reuse, reduce and recycle. What I love to see in Solsona is the thoroughfare which was lined up with acacia aury and other trees that made it green aside from the ricefields and the mountains.

However, Solsona lost for just a few points in that year. The following year in 1999, they have proven their worth to be number one in the province then to the region as well. A big blessing was that they emerged as the national winner receiving the presidential trophy plus a big sum of money. A million bucks if Im not mistaken was the cash reward. Solsona became a winner for three consecutive years making herself as hall of famer.

As I observed, Solsona still maintained to be as clean and green as ever. Truly she is a treasure of Ilocandia.

The Gameng Village

The Gameng Village was a byproduct of the Solsona’s town fiesta. They conceptualized and came up with this wonderful idea and attraction. This is where they showcased the wealth and treasures of their municipality. Mrs Espiritu a teacher in the town graciously toured me around the village.

I have seen the dried meat of deer or venison, wild pig and eel hanging in one of the huts. Some other food items exhibited were balayba weeds, daludal, other vegetables and the kasama noodles made from kamote, saluyot and malunggay vegetables. There were many items being exhibited such as the old mortar and pestle or armilis, old lamps or kingki, candle holder or kandelabra, chest or lakasa, pitcher or kafitera, flat iron with charcoal or plantsa, durduri, salakot, talao (tabungaw), food keeper, sagat, lampa, tangguyob or trumpet made of carabao’s horn which I tried but it did not work, sakupit or backpack, baki or chicken’s nest, kuribot, dulang or table, abel cloth and so much more.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Solsona’s Newest Hym

The municipality of Solsona, Ilocos Norte recently came out with their newest hym entitled Biag Iti Leleggakan. This was composed by Professor Felipe M. De Leon Jr & the people of Solsona. This was purposely composed in time for the town’s fiesta and Mayor Joseph Delara with other municipal officials led the singing of the said anthem during the program. They all sang it with some action. Following is the lyrics:

Iti deppaarna’t daya
Lumgac init ti agsapa
Masaracan ili’t Solsona
Ingget sudi ken tarnaw na

Nasin-aw a carcarayan
Nalawa pagtatalunan
Puon man cabanbantayan
Libonos ti biag masaracan

Cinadalus nga aglawlaw
Muymuyong a calalangtuan
Naurnos a cagimungan
Pagsarmingan sancailian

Panagayat ti namarsua
Isu ti ipangpangruna
Urnos linac ken talna
Sanggir talged ken namnama

Salucag bagi ken cararua
Capututan tawidenda
Solsona utang mi kenka
Sica’t gameng ken namnama mi
Solsona utang mi kenca
Sica’t gameng ken namnama mi

Solsona’s Gameng Festival

A day before the fiesta in Solsona, I called up the mayor’s office to inquire from them about the program of activities. I was able to talk to administrator Willie Marquez and he was jubilant to relate to me the past activities they had. One is the putting up of the Gameng Village infront of the municipal hall with a few nipa huts to exhibit their products. They showcased the preparation of exotic foods and they served it to guests in coconut shell and ate with their barehands. It was really interesting. The hym was also a surprise being presented during this fiesta. It was composed in a matter of few hours by Professor Felipe De Leon Jr. in collaboration with the people of Solsona.

With my attendance to the said festival, I have proven that it was really full of surprises. There were so much to see as what they have exhibited and paraded those treasures or gameng that their town takes pride of.

Gameng refers to treasure. It may refer to a wide array of wealth ranging from the people, their values and traits, the heritage and culture, to their natural resources and many others. The people of Solsona have showcased them all. This is the second year in a row where it became much more organized. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts has helped and assisted the people of Solsona to do the cultural mapping and they came out to depict their subtheme flora and fauna. A respresentative was taken from each with daludal for flora while ugsa or deer for the fauna. From the movements of these two species, they adopted their steps and moves into their dance numbers.

I arrived in the place at around 8:30am. And it was the only town I observed to have celebrated so early as in the morning just to signify the rising sun. I was even told that at the opening ceremony, it was started at dawn for the people to experience sunrise.

On the fiesta day itself, it was started with street pageantry where Solsona beauties were paraded in carison or cow-drawn carriages but it was pulled by men. They have decorated with daludal plants, rice, leaves and other indigenous materials. They missed to at least parade some live animals since the subtheme for this year’s celebration was flora and fauna. I have only seen a monkey from one of the floats. It would have been better to parade a live deer and other animals.

Later, the 21 villages paraded their dances with vibrant costumes and themes. Contingent members wore masks of a deer, put some deer’s horns, place daludal leaves. I was seen by teacher Lloyd Rosquita who then asked me join him judge the dance showdown. Baranggay Catangraran went home with the grand prize.

The people went to the auditorium for a ceremony with the speeches from Mayor Joseph Delara and guest speaker Board Member Robert Castro. Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr was also present as special guest. It was a non-stop celebration. They did not take a break since it was followed by the presentation of occupational dances. Then in the evening was the coronation of Ms Solsona.