6th Ibon-Ebon Festival kicks off today-A A +A
Thursday, February 7, 2013
CANDABA -- A host of tourists, including Vice President Jejomar Binay and national officials are expected to grace this year’s 6th Ibon-Ebon Festival today that capitalizes on the town’s migratory birds and rich agricultural sector for its tourism attractions.
Mayor Jerry Pelayo told Sun.Star Pampanga that senators and wildlife tourists will grace the 2 p.m. opening at the Miss Earth Park here that will be highlighted by cultural performances, art exhibits and agricultural fare for tourists and local residents.
More than 4,000 Ibon-Ebon dancers clad in bird costumes will lead the longest street dance in the province if not in the country, said Pelayo.
Pelayo said the festival is aimed at promoting the town of Candaba, which is internationally known for its migratory birds, delicacies such as salted duck eggs and balut.
Bird watchers regularly visit the Candaba Swamp for its 60 species of migratory birds from China, Siberia and Russia.
“Pumunta po kayo dito sa amin, makisaya at saksihan ninyo ang mayamang kultura naming mga taga-Candaba,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo explained that the idea behind the festival is to teach visitors and tourists about the Candabeños’ approach on development — focusing on agricultural productivity matched with environmental responsibility.
For the first day (February 8), activities include judging of logo design and photo contest, on the spot painting contest, judging of paper mache bird-like mascot, trade fair, bird watching and wild bird photography presentation.
The first grand street dance parade will be held on Saturday (February 9) along with a fun run, trade fair, kite flying, dragon race exhibition and free concert.
Activities on Sunday (February 10) are a second street dance parade in Barangay Bahay Pare, karerang itik, best itik pageant, itik cooking and free concert.
Pelayo said all the events will be opened to the public and will be free of charge.
“Inaanyayahan ko po ang aking mga kababayan sa kuatro distrito at ang iba pang natin kasamahan na saksihan ang Ibon-Ebon Festival sapagkat para sa atin pong lahat ito,” the mayor said.
“We are also open to accommodate tourists who would like to see our migratory birds and the other attractions here in Candaba,” Pelayo said, adding they have been swamped by requests from tourists to see this town’s famed migratory birds.
This town is famous for its agricultural produce and a vibrant farming industry. The festival was conceived to draw business and tourism attention to the town capitalizing on its migratory birds which have become a symbol of the towns tourism program and marketing brand.
The migratory birds of this town have also been attracting wildlife enthusiasts and tourists. In 2011 alone, at least 8,725 migratory birds were found roaming around the Candaba Wetlands during the Asian Water Bird Census held at the Wildlife Reserve Park in Sitio Dona Simang, Visal San Pablo.
The migratory birds come from other Asian countries to escape the winter months finding sanctuaries in swamp lands here and other areas in the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 08, 2013.