A grander Naliyagan Fest for Agusan Sur’s 50th year

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Chris V. Panganiban

2016’s tribal street dancers in the Naliyagan Festival. Organizers are offering a grander celebration this year to pay tribute to the province's 50th anniversary and Naliyagan's 25th anniversary.

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur -- Organizers of this year’s Naliyagan Festival are offering a grander celebration with lots of fanfare in the eight-day event especially that the province is commemorating its 50th founding anniversary and 25th year of lumad-inspired socio-cultural festivities.

The bigger celebration, which will start on Saturday (June 10), however is coupled with extra tight security with the deployment of hundreds of police and Army soldiers who will secure the four-hectare Datu Lipus Makapandong Cultural Center. This is apart from CCTV cameras, K9 dogs and aerial drones that will be used to thwart any attempt of violence in the wake of the imposition of martial rule in Mindanao.

Provincial board member Santiago Cane, chair of the Naliyagan Festival executive committee, said festival goers will be entertained with new and improved activities to make the celebration more special as a fitting tribute to the province’s golden anniversary and Naliyagan Festival’s silver year.

“This year’s celebration has been extended to eight days from the traditional six days due to the insistent public demand asking for more exciting and enjoyable events,” Cane said.

He said new highlighted events like the traditional tribal wedding, horse show competition, pintahusay (on-the-spot painting contest, barn dance competition , outstanding Agusanon awards will add more excitement to the previous year’s crowd drawers like the bauto (banca) race, BMX bridge crossing challenge and the Naliyagan tribal street dancing competition.

The trade fair featuring local agricultural products, homemade delicacies and the inauguration of the provincial minimuseum are also significant events to showcase the province’s achievements .

Another come-on of the celebration is the Bai Naliyagan beauty contest which will parade the best bets from the 13 towns and the city of Bayugan to the coveted crown with former Miss Universe 2011 third runner up Shamcey Supsup-Lee hosting the pageant night.

The provincial government will give special treatment to the leaders of the different tribes in the province who will kick off the celebration with the traditional panawagtawag (calling of the gods) ritual.

Governor Adolph Edward Plaza will deliver his State-ofthe-Province Address on the foundation day of Agusan del Sur on June 17 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.

Manny Rosaut, president and CEO of Naliyagan Festival Stakeholders Foundation which is running the whole event, said at least 12 rock bands from Manila and several other popular show business personalities will perform the nightly concert before the spectacular fireworks display.

Among those who will perform will be Bamboo, Gloc 9, songstress Imelda Papin, homegrown popular folk singer Bayang Barrios and many others.

Supt. Bonifacio Estrella, overall security supervisor, said they will be very stringent on the entry of festival goers that they will require them to present valid IDs while checkpoints, choke points and plainclothes security personnel will be securing the entire vicinity in 24 hours.

PROVINCIAL PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE-AGUSAN DEL SUR.

CONTRIBUTED PROVINCIAL PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE-AGUSAN DEL SUR.

Last year's tribal street dancers in the Naliyagan Festival.

The 14 beauties from the 13 towns and the city of Bayugan who will vie for the Bai Naliyagan 2017 beauty pageant.

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