Bangus fest 2009 preparations underway

With less than two months away, preparations are underway for this year’s celebration of the Bangus Festival.

Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, chairman of the festival, said the event will kick off on April 15 to May 1 with daily activities and happenings.

The Vice Mayor called for public and private support even as she encouraged all Dagupenos to invite their relatives and friends abroad or from other parts of the country to participate in the festival especially during the main events – Festivals of the North, Gilon! Gilon! Ed Dalan street dancing competitions and Bangusan Street Party.

During the festivals of the north, spectators will get the rare chance to see the battle of the best festivals of Pangasinan, Ilocos, Tarlac, Pampanga and Cordillera all in one event.

“We in the city government will work hard to equal if not surpass last year’s success. We’ll try to set an example in the province on what a real festival should be,” she said.

In an interview with the media after the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod on February 16, Fernandez bared that the much-awaited “Festivals of the North” street dancing competition will be giving away bigger cash prizes for the winning entries in each category – cities and municipalities.

First, second and third placers will receive P200, 000, P100, 000 and P50, 000, respectively.
As early as February, the roster of entries had reached the maximum number set by the organizers – solid proof of how keenly anticipated the festival is. From only 17 participants last year, 20 cities and 10 municipalities have already confirmed their participation in the competition.

“We will get the best and winning street dancers from all festivals in the region to perform in Dagupan City this year so don’t miss this opportunity,” she quips.

Another highlight of the festivity is the grandest street party called Bangusan Street Party that will feature famous celebrities and rock bands in the country today. A simultaneous display of colorful fireworks will wow the crowd in the midst of the party.

The Vice Mayor noted that the members of the events committee decided to transfer the venue of the party to De Venecia Extension Highway to accommodate a larger audience and to avoid stampede incidents.

As to financial support, Fernandez said there have been numerous sponsorships from big businesses and giant TV networks. She added that the earnings from the festival shall redound to civic and charity projects of the city government. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)

Experiencing Indonesia

Indonesia may not have Europe’s high class and sophisticated charm, nor America’s fast-paced life, but behind the cover of practiced humility most Asian nations have taken to, Indonesia is a country that, given time, could easily be at par with the highly industrialized nations of today.

Jakarta, as the heart of the archipelago, hums with the busy bustle of a rapidly developing city. Jakarta alone can already give you a dash of Indonesia’s culture, through their world-renowned wayang kulit (shadow puppets), incomparable batik, and spicy foods.

Indonesians are friendly, although generally cautious to foreigners, especially fellow Asians. They rarely intermarry so the individuality of their physical features has been preserved.

The famous Borobudur Temple which is in the province of Yogyakarta is a mere 25 minutes flight from Jakarta. Its every bit as wondrous as it must have been to archaeologists in the past, when they considered naming it as one of the seven wonders of the world. The temple also depicts the life of Buddha, through the intricate stone carvings on its walls. You have to walk around the entire temple to finish it. At the topmost level, you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of mountains, including the range they call Sleeping Giant because it resembles, well, a sleeping giant.

Tagged as the Paradise Island, the island of Bali is a place i truly dream of. The usual tourists here are those from Europe or America, with a few Asians drifting in and out. A vacation atmosphere hangs heavily in the air and you can detect it simply by looking at people.

Bali is a weird, totally cool place. Its like one very big house. You can wear anything you want (or nothing at all), and get away with it. And the beaches are really something, although I have some reservations of calling it the “second heaven.” Its just miles and miles of unspoiled beach, with the softest sand you ever stepped on. You can go in for as far as thirty feet, and not get anything but your knees wet.       

Jovial events lined up for fiesta celeb

Jovial and momentous activities have been lined up for year’s celebration of the Dagupan City fiesta on December 1 to 30 carrying the theme “Celebrate Life.”

 City fiesta executive committee chair Maria Librada Reyna stressed that all fiesta activities organized by the city government and some private sectors are in line with the city’s vision to make it bigger and better for Dagupeños and Pangasineses here and abroad.

 Fiesta-goers will be feted with street parties, concerts, social activities, art exhibits, trade expo, costume and lantern parades, cultural shows, drum and bugle exhibitions, fireworks display, various talent competitions, among others.

 To contribute to the festive mood and colorful theme of the fiesta, a search for the best Dagupan fiesta PUJ, tricycle and calesa will be launched on December 7. The entries will parade the entire stretch of the downtown area during the Lim-mewawa caravan, a citywide fiesta motorcade, on December 16.

 On the same day, the multi-awarded University of Luzon drum and bugle corp will have its exhibition.

A grand fiesta parade dubbed “Pakislapan” featuring the participants of the lantern and costume competition will enthrall the crowd on December 22.

 Free concert performances by the country’s hottest rock bands Sponge Cola and Calla Lily will entertain Dagupeños on December 14, 7pm, at the People’s Astrodome.

 On December 19, high school students from public and private schools will outperform each other during the Inter high school cheerdance competition at the Malimgas Market.


A dance festival and cultural show is slated on December 22 at the People’s Astrodome followed by Himig Pasko, a grand choral competition, on the 23rd at the city plaza.

 On the other hand, Dagupan fiesta is not just about pleasure but it also serves as a venue for reunions among various clans and organizations in the city, such as: Patrima Night (Dec.17), Barangay Health Workers Day (Dec17), Banker’s Night (Dec. 19), Senior Citizens Night (Dec.20), MADAVFE Night (Dec21), SK Night (Dec.21), Educator’s Night (Dec. 22), Pankakasakey na Sangkakanayon (Dec.23), Barangay Night (Dec. 27), DCNHS Alumni Homecoming Night (Dec. 28), Pawil Dagupan Night (December 29), Dalton Clan Night (Dec. 29), and Rotary Night (Dec. 30).

 The celebration of the annual fiesta is in honor of St. John the Evangelist, the city’s patron saint whose feast day is December 26. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)

Dagupan rated one of the most competitive cities in the country

Dagupan City’s competitiveness and performance continue to improve over the years based on the overall rating given by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center during its roadshow presentation on the city’s state of competitiveness on October 5.

 Out of the ten most competitive small-sized cities, Dagupan scored the highest in quality of human resources and third in infrastructure.

 From a 5.80 rating in 2003, the AIM team said that the city has increased its level of competitiveness to a 6.25 rating based on its 2005 Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project (PCCRP).

 ”With the participation of our citizenry, Dagupan City will become even more competitive in the years to come,” said Mayor Lim in his welcome remarks.

 The AIM team, led by program manager of AIM policy center Leah Umali, presented the 10 strongest indicators that contributed to the city’s high level of competitiveness, as: average rent of commercial space, number of tertiary educational institutions, number of vocational institutions, number of banks and lending institutions, incidence of theft per 100,000 population, hospital beds per 100,000 population, adequate phone signals, connecting to telephone lines from other service providers is easy, rest and recreational activities are adequate and internet service providers are adequate.

 Umali also cited Dagupan as one of the best implementors of participative governance where the local government unit, non-government organizations and the private sector adhere to a common vision.

 However, Lim said that the city government is more concerned with the factors that pulled the ratings of the city because it ranked 12th in both dynamism of local economy and responsiveness of local government, 16th in quality of life, 19th in linkages and accessibility, and 31st in the cost of doing business.

 ”We shall dig deeper into these factors in order to improve our rating,” Lim stressed.

 The roadshow, which is part of AIM’s Philippine cities competitiveness ranking project, gathered government officials, city hall employees, professionals, businessmen, non-government organizations, the religious sector, academic institutions, banking and medical institutions, civic organizations and the media sector.

 After the presentation, an open forum that aired various concerns of the different sectors was conducted by the AIM team. Leziel T. Cayabyab

City Fiesta preparation in full swing

Dagupan City’s preparation in staging the 2006 Dagupan City fiesta is in full swing as the calendar of activities that are worth the attention and visit not only from local guests but international tourists as well are already lined up for this year’s celebration.

 According to Coun. Librada “Dada” Reyna, 2006 fiesta hermana mayor, this year’s celebration will not only focus on the major events done each year but will also highlight worthwhile activities for Dagupeño children and their families since the fiesta coincides with the Christmas season.

 Reyna bared that this year’s theme “Celebrate Life” will feature various events ranging from social, educational, economic, cultural, sports and religious activities.

 She said that this year’s celebration promises to be a globally spectacular event through a series of activities that include the trade expo, family carnival, singing contest, dance festival, photo contest, sportsfest, beauty pageant, garden show, car show, street party, acrobatic show, dog show, cheerdance competition, fluvial parade, street parade, lantern and costume parade, live bands, cultural entertainments, homecomings, fireworks display, among others.

 ”We want to let our guests, especially Dagupeños, know that aside from witnessing the traditional events, they will also experience new and exciting activities,” Reyna pointed out.

 In connection with the preparation of the fiesta celebration, the hermana mayor said she started meeting with the chairpersons of various events committee in as early as June 28.

 ”We will not be able to stage all these activities without the support of the community and the private sector,” she stressed.

 The month-long celebration of the city fiesta is slated on December 1 to 30. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)