Let us institutionalize the Caragan Festival

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Sunday, March 2, 2014


SPLENDID. Grand. Exhilarating. These are but few of the adjectives to describe the just-concluded Caragan Festival in Mabalacat City on February 28.

Some 15,000 to 30,000 came and witnessed the fitting finale of the month-long festive celebration of Mabalacat Sikat.

Now, there's a clamor to have more next year, this time on a bigger scale. But there is a need to institutionalize the event to assure that funds will be available for the big celebration andVice Mayor Christian C. Halili got a positive response when he asked the crowd in attendance if they want more.

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Chairman Deng Pangilinan, who steered the Fiesta Committee for two years suggested the move to institutionalize into the books the holding of the Caragan Festival under the helmship of master impresario Jun Magbalot.

Local dancers, reinforced by exquisite dancers of Douglas Nierras who has been adopted as son of Mabalacat City provided exciting numbers.

Actors Daniel Matsunaga and JC de Vera added glitter to the festival, to the delight of the shrieking crowd.

The festival was given prominence by ABS-CBN's Mario Dumaual who interviewed extemporaneously Mayor Boking Morales and Vice Mayor Christian Halili on the TV Patrol segment.

The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod were likewise supportive and as enthusiastic as the thousands of Mabalaquenos who braved the afternoon sun. City Councilors Rox Pena, Geld Aquino, Eddie Sotto, Bok Tiglao, Benny Jocson, Dwight Morales, Froylan Galang and Win-win Garbo were there. ABC President and Dau Barangay chair Dr. Oscar R. Aurelio was also there.

The real "heroes," according to chairman Deng of the Caragan, were the pupils and students who also braved the afternoon sun and who
came in costumes and dark makeup to make their skin approximate that of the original Aeta.

Now, the Caragan is being known, not only citywide but in the whole region as well. Tourism Pampanga representatives would see to that. Mabalacat Sikat. Sikat na ang Mabalacat. Till next year then.

* * *

March is fire prevention month in most parts of the country. The lead agency tasked to prevent and control fire incidents is the Bureau of Fire Protection but everyone is expected to contribute his share not to cause fires or conflagration.

It is a hot and dry month and we should expect power outages frequently as the supply becomes thin due to the increased usages of cooling machines.

* * *

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should look into the behavior of drivers and road worthiness of buses plying the Tarlac-San Fernando route.

Most of the drivers of the mini buses are homicidal. It is about time the LTFRB and of course the LTO looked into the operations of provincial buses.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 03, 2014.

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