Vive le Caragan!

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Monday, February 24, 2014


A BIG EVENT closes out the festive month of February for Mabalacat City.

Caragan, which was shelved for some time, would aspire to define Mabalacat City's cultural identify, just life Ati-atihan and Masskara in Southern Philippines and Penagbenga, fast gaining adherents, in Baguio City.

Now the city aspires to be known region-wide, even worldwide via this cultural activity.

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The festive air is enhanced by buntings and several announcements in media and word of mouth.

Then on February 28, the stage is set for the grand celebration by way of spellbinding and lavish presentations prepared by master impressario Jun Magbalot who rarely runs out of innovative ideas to impress the world.

While Caragan cannot as yet approximate the magnitude of acceptance of the three festivals, yet with the persistence of Magbalot and company in sustaining its viability, it cannot be long before it is widely known and accepted. Vive le Caragan!

With the support of Mabalacat City's officialdom led by Mayor Boking Morales, Vice Mayor Christian C. Halili, the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the enthusiastic support of the department heads and supervisors and, most importantly, he people of Mabalacat City, the festival would last through the years.

*****

I was in attendance to the Region III Peso Managers Federation Inc. (RPMFI) General Assembly 2014 on February 21, 2014 at the Malolos Resort Club Royale in Malolos City, Bulacan together with Peso Mabalacat staff Alma Pontillas, guest driver Emmanuel Jarin (now with HRMO) and Ma. Teresa C. Carlos.

The host was outgoing President Elizabeth L. Alonzo. The incoming President is Vice Governor Ramon Lacbain II, also the provincial PESO manager of Zambales.

Messages were delivered by Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando of Bulacan, the vice mayor of Malolos City, then Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado and DOLE Region 3 Director Raymundo G. Agravante.

Prizes, courtesy of different mayors of Bulacan were raffled off and good intermission numbers were provided by Jac Roberto and Lara Lavinia. Presentations topped by Bataan and Pampanga followed and parlor games were staged.

Awarded best PESO 2013 for highly urbanized city was Olongapo 1st class province-Tarlac; component city-Palayan; 1st class municipality-Masinloc, Zambales; and continuing PESO service excellence awards were handed to Bulacan, Angeles, Provincial Capitol, San Fernando.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 24, 2014.

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