A bid to save Sta. Rita's local cultural identity

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Monday, March 21, 2011


THE cultural movement in Sta. Rita town has again achieved renewed vibrancy with the local government led by Mayor Yolly Pineda taking concrete strides in saving and strengthening the town's cultural identity.

This town, the birthplace of the performing arts group ArtiSta.Rita, is now creating steps in promoting the town's cultural strengths. The envy of nearby municipalities, government officials here last week inaugurated the new Sta. Rita boundary tower marker that highlights the cultural life in the town.

The tower was designed by Kapampangan artist Ron Salazar and features bas relief sculptures in the style of letras y figuras forming the name of the town, as facets of Ritenan daily life are represented in exquisite detail.

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Unique in the sense that one can actually get a summary of what to expect from the town just be looking at the figures. The "S" is represented by a farmer harvesting Duman rice crops; "T", a vendor selling vegetables; "A" with a farmer planting Duman followed by "R" represented by a fisherman catching fishes, "I" with a Filipino wearing barong tagalong; "T" with a farmer carrying sugar canes and another "A" with a couple sharing a box of turrones de casuy. Ingeniously, the letters form the name of this sweet-tooth town.

"Sta. Rita is a peaceful and beautiful town. We strive to save and strengthen our cultural traditions for the sake of the next generation," Mayor Pineda told Sun.Star Pampanga.

The marker is just a portion of the effect of the cultural renaissance sweeping this town, a small but significant step in promoting its tourism potential.

The local government even commissioned to have the new municipal building patterned after the style of old Spanish era houses in the poblacion area.

Tourism programs are also being planned to highlight its cultural and historical significance. Tourists visiting this town would surely have their fill of a horde of confectionary delights from turrones de casuy, sans rival to San Nicolas cookies and duman and suman. Owners of old houses along the poblacion area, in fact, are more than happy to have guests to have pictures taken of their ancestral homes.

Recently, the town's parish church which is home to the first class relic of Sta. Rita de Cascia is being tapped to be included in a heritage tour of old churches in the district. The move is expected to draw in tourists, who for sure will not find the town lacking in cultural, historical and modern attractions.

The Alviz Farm in Barangay San Agustin, the Mahogany Farm, old houses at the poblacion area, Villa Epifania and the old Dominican Convent are just a few of the places that one could visit in a day.

Officials here are optimistic that the town will be able to achieve its cultural objectives in the coming months.

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For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: ianocampoflora@yahoo.com(09173435197)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 22, 2011.

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