AFTER four years of being shelved, the internationally-recognized Ibon-Ebon Festival may once again be staged in the streets of Candaba town in 2020.
This was after Mayor Rene Maglanque disclosed his plans to revive the colorful festival during the local government’s first flag raising ceremony of the year.
Maglanque said he sees the revival of the Ibon-Ebon Festival fitting in the local government’s plan to boost the tourism programs of the municipality.
“It once put color in the streets of our municipality through the outstanding performances of our youth, and has undeniably helped boost the economy and even introduced our town to local and international tourists during its time so might as well revive and incorporate it in the programs of the local government,” he said.
The Ibon-Ebon Festival was celebrated every February of the year, where thousands of dancers dressed-up as birds for a street dance parade to celebrate the diverse migratory birds that visit the town every year.
The festival, however, was shelved in 2016 by Maglanque after its almost-a-decade run, and diverted its supposed funds for the scholarship program for Candabeño youth of the local government.
“We had to prioritize the education of students back then because it is what Candabeño families needed. But since development came to our town and we were even able to institute our own Don Honorio Ventura State University here, meaning the education sector will never be left out, I think we can host the Ibon-Ebon Festival again,” he said.
Maglanque said he will be reaching out to former Mayor Jerry Pelayo, who founded the festival, to seek his support and guidance for activity’s eyed revival.
If pursued, Maglanque disclosed his plans to make Pelayo part of the festival’s executive committee which will be composed of representatives from the public and private sectors.
“In respect to Mayor Jerry Pelayo who founded the festival, it is only fitting that we include him in executive committee and hear his plans and suggestions,” he said.