Festival showcases ‘samhod’ as Lagonoy’s market leader
By Sonny Malate
LAGONOY, Camarines Sur --- Lagonoy’s Samhod Festival, which is now on its 14th year, continues to be a big boost in the achievement of the town’s agenda to further strengthen its tourism industry and economic development thrusts.
First held on April 25, 2008, the widely recognized festival was an offshoot of the innovative mindset of former Mayor Delfin Pilapil, Jr., which is now being appropriately pursued by his namesake and son, Mayor Delfin (JB) Pilapil III. This year, the festival will be celebrated on April 25 to May 1.
Except for the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the LGU, thru the Samhod Festival, was able to come up with selling initiatives and engagements that led to giving the walis tambo with a lot of exposures in domestic and foreign markets, thereby making it a profit-making business for the locals and additional revenues on the part of the local government unit.
Walis tambo (soft broom) is registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as Lagonoy’s entry for One Town, One Product (OTOP). The product is made out of tiger grass, locally known as “sugbo,” which grows abundantly in this town’s highland areas.
OTOP is a program of the government that aims to manufacture, promote, and market distinctive products that use indigenous raw materials and local skills and talents of towns, cities, and regions, and provides funding for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
The local chief executives of each city and municipality take the lead in identifying, developing and promoting a specific product or service, which has a competitive advantage.
The iconic giant soft broom prominently displayed at the municipal plaza of Lagonoy town.
Ariel Nitullano, public information officer of LGU Lagonoy, said that the local government unit through Mayor Pilapil extends financial assistance to tiger grass growers for them to be able to continuously sustain their farm produce.
Nitullano said that through the Lagonoy Samhod Festival, walis tambo from this town has steadily gained popularity and increased demand in both the domestic and foreign markets.
Further, through participations and sales exposures in DTI-assisted trade fairs, local entrepreneurs have established business linkages and posted orders for export purposes.
Mayor Pilapil said that the Lagonoy Samhod Festival 2023 promises to be a fun-filled and colorful celebration not only for the locals but also to the town’s guests and tourists as well.
Nitullano said that among the activities to be conducted in this year’s festival include: the MAPEH/CAT Street Parade Competition, Samhod Car Show and Motor Show, Airsoft Practical Shooting Competition, and the art exhibit of an internationally-acclaimed artist Pancho Piano, who hails from Barangay Mangogon, this municipality.
Among the highlights of the festival: Samhod-making contest, kite-flying competition, Feria de Nuevos Productos Trade Fair, Salampati Race, region-wide Search for Binibining Samhod 2023 and other fun-filled activities/contest.
For added spectacular attractions, on opening night, April 25, a variety show cum cultural presentation will be showcased with guest celebrity Ms. Ara Mina, a Filipino actress, singer, endorser, and entrepreneur. Recognized as the “Millennium Goddess.” Ara is a recipient of a FAMAS Award for Best Actress, 3 Golden Screen Awards including the ‘Dekada Award’ and an Asia’s Golden Icons Award.
On bisperas (April 30) or the day before the fiesta, a celebrity show/street concert will surely captivate the younger set as rapper Humprey Lopranco and Gerald Anderson will mingle and rumble with the crowd. The featured band, ‘Imago’ will also treat the audience with lovely and lively musical fare.