BAGUIO

Olsim: Cheers to SF 2019

The Eternal Student

THE Strawberry Festival 2019 celebrations was sealed with radiant colors, dancing, music, and delicious treats last weekend. With the theme “La Trinidad: My home...my pride”, 14 i-La Trinidad street performers, and 15 barangay floats proudly paraded at the main thoroughfare of La Trinidad and encouraging vigorous cheers from locals and visitors alike.

After the parade, 12,000 slices of the famed La Trinidad Giant Strawberry Cake were served much to the delight of the festival-goers. Truly, we must be proud of our home, La Trinidad, Benguet, for the festival’s success.

Of course, the events will not be successful without the active participation of the community – the 16 active barangays, the schools, the different community organizations, our active partners – and the tireless and passionate members of the different Festival Committees who have to juggle their major duties and responsibilities, with their obligations and tasks for the festivities.

We also thank our mature leaders who set aside politics for the success of the various festival events, despite the rivalries. Truly, our home, La Trinidad, is blessed.

We also note the growing interest in our unique activities by visitors; not only the Giant Strawberry Cake which is distinct in the world, but also our community float parades – particularly, the use of recycled materials and the “non-motorized” or manually mobilized style of the small floats.

But personally, what I truly appreciate is the community involvement or participation in their implementation: sarisari stores and school children collecting recycled bottles, mothers and youth crafting figures, fathers doing the carpentry works, officials applying the final touches. Our festival, our parades, may not be that grand, but it is ours, and it is our pride.

We end our expression of gratitude by dedicating the events to our hardworking strawberry farmers and of course, our local producers of strawberry by-products. Let us continue to support our Strawberry Festival which reflects our Strawberry economy – a major backbone of our socio-economic development. Let us continue celebrating our own festival – our own home’s pride.

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Aside from expressing our thanks, we also express our sincere apology to the people who may have been affected by our activities – those who were caught in traffic, those who were not served with cake (due to the limited slices), those affected by lapses on event scheduling, and particularly, to a media man who took offense by our use of the outdoor municipal stage for the festival activities.

We are very sorry “sir” that we have to use the municipal stage at the municipal park for our activities. Said move is not due to “eagerness” but out of necessity; since we have limited space for the Strawberry Lane, and for our musical events.

Before the move, three chickens bled as a tradition and as advised by an elder (the room was only used for a temporary sound system/ supplies storage of the festival). We were advised, however, to butcher a pig when we officially move our services to the new structure (we are still cramped at the old office).

With how pitiful the blind item appeared, I will not be surprised if my new haircut would offend the delicate senses of the same person. Anyway, a Happy Strawberry Festival ladta to everyone!


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