THE Provincial Government's annual agricultural fair dubbed "Tabo sa Umahan" opened Monday at the provincial capitol grounds with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as special guest.

The week-long fair, which serves as highlight of the province's 80th founding anniversary as a separate province, aims to showcase the different products and services, and tourism potentials of the province.

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Shown at the agri-fair are products and services of different government agencies, the city of Gingoog and the municipalities of Bali-ngoan, Kinoguitan, Sugbong-cogon, Binuangan, Salay, Lagonglong, Balingasag, Lugait, Initao, Libertad, Gitagum, Laguindingan, El Salvador, Opol, Claveria and Villanueva.

The province will select the best booths per district while all participating local government units will receive P30,000 each.

The first Top 2 booths will get P2 million worth of infrastructure projects, while the second Top 6 booths will receive P1 million worth of infrastructure projects.

For the overall highest rank, the first would receive P10,000 cash, while the second gets P9,000, third with P8,000, fourth with P7,000, and fifth with P6,000.

During Monday's opening, Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno said looking back at the 80 years of the province would give them inspiration to do more in the succeeding years.

"As we move on, there are many challenges that we are about to face and many things to be done. As we take pride on the things that we have done so far, we realized that there are still many things that we need to do for the province," Moreno said.

He said there are still many programs to do on education, health and agriculture as the province looks forward to more fruitful years.

"Let's aim higher for the next years. We have to sustain the tradition of leadership and if possible, improve what we have done and started for the next leaders to further improve on," Moreno said.

During the opening, the Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao through Director Lealyn Ramos turned over a check to the province worth P1.2 million as its counterpart for the procurement of farm tractors.

Misamis Oriental used to be part of the bigger unit of Misamis Province, sharing a deep history with its sister Misamis Occidental.

However, in November 2, 1929, the Philippine Legislature enacted RA 3537, which took effect on January 1, 1930, dividing the province of Misamis into two provinces, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental.

The province has celebrated its Foundation Day only on three occasions after its creation until the Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental passed ordinance 684-2004, declaring every first week of January as Charter Week of Misamis Oriental. (Terry D.C. Betonio)