top of page

The significance of Daet’s Bantayog Festival

By Rosalita Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte --- The Bantayog Festival is named after the first Jose Rizal monument, also known as “Unang Bantayog ni Rizal,” which was built in Daet, Camarines Norte on December 30, 1898.

This monument was constructed by Filipino revolutionaries led by Lt. Col. Antonio Sanz and Ildefonso Alegre to honor Rizal, the greatest of Filipino heroes.

It can be found on Justo Lukban Street and Jose Rizal Street in the capital town of Daet and predates the present monument at Rizal Park in Manila by 14 years.

To celebrate Jose Rizal’s legacy, the people of Camarines Norte hold a festival every year in his honor.

This year marks the 20th Bantayog Festival, which runs from April 12 to May 10 and coincides with the 104th anniversary of Camarines Norte’s provincial status.

During the opening ceremony of the festival, Herbie Aguas, the director of the Department of Tourism for the Bicol region, emphasized the need to popularize the Bantayog Festival to make it known to the whole country that the world’s first Rizal monument was built in Daet.

He also highlighted the festival’s emerging status and its potential to become a popular tourist destination, just like other famous festivals in the country.

“Bantayog Festival is an emerging festivity, that is why we need to highlight and popularize to be known in the whole country that the World’s First Rizal Monument is built in Daet,” Aguas said.

The availability of airlines will open new opportunities for the Bantayog Festival to attract more visitors and put Camarines Norte on the map of festivals in the country, according to Camarines Norte Gov. Ricarte Padilla.

“We will put the Bantayog Festival of Camarines Norte on the map of festivals in the country,” he said.

Provincial Tourism Officer Mariano Palma announced that some activities in the Bantayog Festival will promote tourism in the province, as they will be attended by participants from various regions and provinces of the country.

One of the events that will attract tourists is the Bantayog Surfing Cup Regional Competition, which will take place on April 19-20. This competition aims to promote Bagasbas Beach in Daet as one of the top surfing destinations in the country.

Palma also shared that the Bantayog Film Festival, now in its third year, aims to promote all the sites and attractions in Camarines Norte. The films to be showcased will feature various tourist spots in the province.

The Bantayog Film Festival Premiere Showing will take place on April 18, followed by the regular showing on April 20-21 at Central Plaza Cinema in Daet.

Another event that will boost tourism is the Talisay Triathlon Year 3, happening on April 28 at Cory Aquino Boulevard and Bagasbas Beach.

Cory Aquino Boulevard is the longest boulevard in the Philippines, spanning 8.5 kilometers and passing through the towns of Mercedes, Daet, Talisay, and Vinzons. All triathlon activities such as swimming, cycling, and running can be done in the areas, Palma added.

Moreover, the Bantayog Arnis International Festival and Competition will take place on April 22-24, promoting the skills in Arnis. The Bantayog Music Festival will also feature Ben & Ben on April 27.

The opening salvo, which included the flag raising, interfaith thanksgiving, and flower offering to the first Rizal monument was held on April 15 at the Capitol grounds of Camarines Norte.

The opening ceremonies of the Agri-Tourism, Trade and Artisan Fair 2024, Socio-Civic Military Fellowship Parade and Parada Kontra Droga were also held on the same day.

Various activities are scheduled from April 12 to May 10, 2024, for the Bantayog Festival celebrations. (PIA 5/Camarines Norte)

Governor Ricarte Padilla leads the opening ceremony of the 20th Bantayog Festival and 104th Founding Anniversary of Camarines Norte. Standing behind him is DOT Regional Director Herbie Aguas. (PIA 5/Camarines Norte)


bottom of page