3 Pampanga festivals to be featured in Leni-Kiko rally

MANILA. Vice President Leni Robredo and runningmate Senator Kiko Pangilinan in one of their campaign rallies. (Photo from Robredo's Facebook page)
MANILA. Vice President Leni Robredo and runningmate Senator Kiko Pangilinan in one of their campaign rallies. (Photo from Robredo's Facebook page)

A FUSION of three of the most-anticipated Kapampangan festivals is set to highlight the grand rally of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and runningmate Senator Kiko Pangilinan that will be held Saturday, April 9, at the Robinsons Starmills.

Event Committee on Program and Stage Irwin Nucum said that for the first time in history, the Sinukwan Festival, Giant Lantern Festival and Sisig Festival will simultaneously be held in a single event.

Sinukwan Festival, known as Mother of All Pampanga festivals, is held every first week of November to celebrate the indomitable spirit and resiliency of Kapampangans who bounced back from major devastations brought about by the eruptions of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

During the rally, Nucum said a street dance number, which is the highlight of the yearly Sinukuan fest, will be presented prior to the official entrance of Robredo and Pangilinan.

“This is also the first time that Leni and Kiko will have their grand reveal. Usually, it was only Vice President Leni who had grand reveal but we wanted to give equal importance and spotlight to Senator Kiko as a way of homecoming for him,” said Nucum.

Pangilinan was born and still have living relatives in Barangay San Matias, Sto. Tomas town.

Meanwhile, a giant Parul Sampernandu with rose on the center will be used for the grand reveal of Robredo and Pangilinan, Nucum added.

He said three 20-feet giant lanterns dedicated to Robredo, Pangilinan and the Tropang Angat or the senatorial hopefuls on their slate will be on display during the event.

“The lanterns symbolize light amidst darkness. That amidst despair and fear due to everything that’s happening around us, we are seeing bright hope in the servant-leadership of our candidates,” Nucum said.

To highlight Pampanga being the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, Sisig festival will likewise be celebrated, wherein 1,000 kilos of the said dish will be served to attendees.

Nucum said private individuals donated 500 kilos of meat, 200 kilos of chicken liver, 200 kilos of onion and 100 kilos of spices, which will be cooked by 10-volunteer Kapampanga chefs.

“We want for everybody, especially visitors, to experience of warmth of Kapampangan hospitality by enjoying one of our most famous dish, the sisig,” he said.

Aside from sisig, a community pantry -- another first among the grand rally for Robredo-Pangilinan tandem -- will also be featured during the event, wherein several dishes and delicacies from different cities and municipalities in Pampanga will also be served.

Nucum also urged attendees to practice “ambagan” (sharing) by bringing more than what they can consume.

“This is what we see as modern multiplication of bread wherein everybody will share what they can so that everybody will be fed. Everything about this grand rally stems from bayanihan and ambagan or sharing which is inspired by of the leadership shown by Vice President Leni and Senator Kiko,” Nucum said.

Aside from the fusion of three Kapampangan festivals, Nucum said the Pampanga grand rally will also feature the biggest stage among all the Leni-Kiko grand rally with a size of 48’x64’ for the main stage, 52’x8’ for the ramp, and 120’x 80’x31’ for the roofing, while biggest technical booth with roofing 40’x40’ and technical platform of 40’x16’.

“Since this may be considered the ‘pinaka-busog’ na rally, we have also prepared the biggest number of portalets which is 180,” Nucum said.

He added that the Pampanga rally will have the most number of artists performing. Included in the list are Jolina Magdangal, Nikki Valdez, K Brosas, Pepe Herrera, Alex Calleja, Elliah Canlas, Kokoy de Santos, Miles Ocampo, Mela Habijan, Ogie Diaz, Mama Loi, The Company, Jona, Gab Valenciano, Bukas Palad Music Ministry, Mayonnaise, The Itchyworms, Rivermaya and Nadine Lustre.

Nucum, meanwhile, clarified that the organizers are not batting for the highest number of attendees recognition.

Based on the Leni-Kiko rally held since the start of campaign, the Pasig event had the most number of attendees, which reached around 130,000.

“We will not be after the number of attendees but will rather be after the experience itself. We want everybody to experience the warmth of Kapampangan hospitality, the deep spirit of pamiambagan and volunteerism and bayanihan at its best. This is the true character of the Filipino,” he said.


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