The constant rain and the lack of time and resources did not hinder the Municipality of Compostela in Davao de Oro from successfully holding its 74th Araw ng Compostela and 16th Buganihan Festival.

The usually week-long event was held for only two days, July 31-August 1, but the residents were not short on fun as they were treated to a handful of exciting shows and races.

Led by their active and young mayor, Levi S. Ebdao, the event, bearing the theme "Tara Kuyog Ta sa Pagkab-ot sa Katilingban nga Nagtinabangay, Nagsinabtanay, ug Nagkahiusa (Come, let's achieve a cooperative, understanding, and united community), was opened with a tree-planting activity.

Buganihan, Ebdao said, means “anihan nga bibo” or jolly harvesting.

He said the event was only cut short to two days since the budget allocated was also cut short to P1.9 million from the original P4.5 million from its socio-cultural fund.

"Sa preparation pa lang daan, pagpa-grava nakagasto na ang munisipyo og P200,000-P300,000 sa fuel (In the preparation alone, putting gravel, the municipality already spent P2,000,000-P300,000 for fuel)," Ebdao said, adding that they only prepared last July 18, or two-weeks before the event.

"Supposedly July 15 gina-hold ang Araw, but due to short of time and resources, gisakyan na lang namo ang fiesta sa Sr. Santiago o St. James the Apostle (Supposedly, we hold the Araw on July 15, but due to short of time and resources, we synched it on the fiesta celebration of Sr. Santiago or St. James the Apostle)," he added.

The face-to-face celebration, which was participated and attended by more than 25,000 people, had a Jobs Fair and Serbisyo Caravan, 1st Levi Ebdao Mountain Bike Exhibition Race, Talentadong Sektor, Boxing, Best Dance Crew Competition, and Garbo Compostela on the first day. On the second day, the events were composed of Thanksgiving Mass, awarding of business top grossers, Handog Titulo, and Barangay RPT Top Performers, Enduro Cross, the championship game of inter-municipality basketball, culmination program and congressional night, fireworks display, and local bands jam featuring The Dukes and Cueshe.

Winners of the dance crew (Open Division) competition were Hipmix Crew as the champion, followed by The Destroyer for the first runner-up and The Anonymous for second runner-up. In the Juvenile Division, the championship trophy was captured by Compostela Central Elementary School- Sped Center, first runner-up - Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School and 2nd runner-up - Maparat Elementary School.

Several individuals also showcased their singing prowess during the Garbo Compostela but only Junybib Cerenio grabbed the champion’s trophy followed by Shynde Dominique Madrazo as first runner-up, and Regie Libron as second runner-up.

Meanwhile, the Council of Women of Compostela, Cooperative Council, Market Vendor Association, along with the youth, education, transportation, PWD, senior citizen, and IP sectors, along with the LGBTQ community and FEBRIA presented their various talents during the Talentadong Sector.

Ebdao emphasized that they held the event face-to-face because he is aware that the people of Compostela have been clamoring for it since the pandemic broke out, obstructing the normal flow of their annual celebration.

He added that although the event did not greatly generate revenue earning only P400,000 for the whole duration, he is happy that this has brought joy to the residents.

“I don’t care about the revenue, I care about the happiness of the people of Compostela,” Ebdao said.

Meanwhile, the mayor extended his gratitude to everyone who participated and supported the event, especially to Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Gonzaga who lent to the municipality a 125kVA generator set, which was vital in the events that needed electricity; to Cong. Maricar S. Zamora, Boardmember Kol Herv Zamora-Apsay, and Vice-Mayor Ricky Hechanova. CEA