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Masbate bags P1-M in Kasanggayahan fest

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

The Isla Rancho Festival from Masbate emerged as the grand champion, securing a substantial cash prize of P1 million at the Bicol’s grandest Festival of Festivals competition, hosted by the Department of Tourism. This remarkable event took place in Sorsogon, known as the land of Kasanggayahan.

Clad in vibrant costumes crafted from indigenous materials, 11 contingents from across Bicol showcased their unique cultural heritage during this regional festival, marking its return after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Herbie Aguas, the DOT Bicol regional director, highlighted the significance of preserving Bicolanos’ cultural heritage through this competition, expressing gratitude to Governor Edwin Boboy Hamor for his unwavering support.

The Kasanggayahan Festival, a celebration of prosperity, united the festival of festivals from Bicol provinces, demonstrating rich heritage through graceful and rhythmic performances in Sorsogon.

This year’s festival is particularly special as it celebrates Sorsogon’s 129th anniversary and the 454th commemoration of the first mass at the historic Gibalon shrine in Magallanes, marking the beginning of Christianity in Luzon.

In a highly anticipated competition, 11 contingents from the six Bicol provinces showcased their diverse cultures, heritage, and traditions.

The Festival of Festivals features elaborate costumes, celebrating cultural identity, trade, and local products from each province. For example, Tiwi town in Albay presented the Coron Festival, known for its pottery and geothermal energy. Catanduanes showcased the Abaca Festival, highlighting eco-friendly attire.

The Tinagba Festival from Iriga City honored a pre-Hispanic thanksgiving ritual, and Masbate’s Isla Rancho Festival depicted the Rodeo Festival and the island’s ranching way of life.

The Isla Rancho Festival of Masbate claimed the grand champion title, earning a P1 million cash prize. Gayon Ciudad Festival of Sorsogon City secured the first runner-up position with a P500,000 prize, and the second runner-up was the Bantayog Festival of Santa Elena town in Camarines Norte.

Notably, special awards were presented, with Isla Rancho Festival winning the best of musicality and best props and costumes, receiving P50,000 for each category and an additional P100,000 bonus from Governor Boboy Hamor. The best moving choreography award went to Sorsogon City’s Gayon Ciudad Festival, with a P50,000 cash prize and an extra P50,000 bonus from Hamor.

The regional festival queen title was secured by Coron Festival of Tiwi town in Albay, earning P100,000. Tiwi also won the best festival queen costume, with a P20,000 prize. Camarines Sur claimed the first runner-up title with a P60,000 prize, and Kamuy-an Festival received P40,000 as the second runner-up.

Governor Boboy Hamor generously awarded all 11 contingents P25,000 each, along with an additional P200,000 as consolation.


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