RESIDENTS of Sta. Ana, Pampanga are making sure that their town’s homegrown fest will go on for another generation by involving the youth in the sixth run of Majigangga Festival held during the holidays.
Teens as young as 14 years old participated in this year’s festival with giant puppets made of bamboo sticks and steel rods wrapped in colorful cloth sheets, and topped with creatively-drawn head made of paper mache.
The face of Majiganggas, said to be portraying evil spirits that are warded off during the birth of Christ, has comically angry eyebrows and moustaches made of dried durian bark, while the hair is made of recycled sacks.
The giant puppets standing at about 10-feet tall require up to two persons to be operated as they dance along the streets of this town during the “lubenas” or lantern processions, and on New Year’s Eve up to feast of the Three Kings during which a local adaptation of the “kuraldal” is observed.
Mayor Norberto Gamboa said that this year’s festival is centered on enjoining the youth in preserving the town’s culture and tradition through their participation on the homegrown fest.
“We wanted Sta. Ana’s traditions to be remembered, preserved, and practiced by our people, especially by the future generations by inculcating it to the youth of today as early as possible,” he noted.
According to history, the crafting of Majiganggas dates back to earlier than World War II pioneered by Jacinto Quiambao, or Apung Cintu to locals, but was halted during the Japanese occupation.
It was revived by Quiambao’s son Manuel in the 1970s but was not halted anew until private organizations, with the support of barangay and municipal government brought it back in 2010 and was sustained until today.
Gamboa said that the local government is now looking into institutionalizing the said festival which helped in developing the tourism sector of this town, and has somehow brought identity to Sta. Ana.
“It is our lone festival in Sta. Ana as of now, and it is slowly giving identity to our town with the help of the locals who helps us promote it. We are hopeful that our very own Majigangga Festival will continue to gain mileage in the years to come,” he said.
The Majigangga Festival can still be witnessed during the feast of the Three Kings where the giant puppets will parade on the streets anew for the observation of “kuraldal.”