WITH its vast gold deposits, Davao Region’s Compostela Valley has gained the title “Golden Province.”
But behind the minerals their mountains possess, the province is also home to different tribes practicing culture that share the same value as the bounty they hold.
To show gratitude to God who blessed them with such fortune, the province celebrates with its people through the Bulawan Festival. The festival, which is on its eighth year, is celebrated in the same week of its 20th Founding Anniversary on March 4-8.
Growing green for good governance is the theme for this year’s celebration, giving emphasis on initiating more programs for the environment despite the province’s continued development.
"It's another milestone for the province. The theme speaks of the effort ng province to protect more the environment kahit patuloy yung development,” says Lara Nadela-Bermejo, Secretariat of Bulawan Festival 2018 in an interview.
The five-day affair started with a Fun Run and Duathlon, with Compostela Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy, and guest Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles and other officials of the province.
Based on records, around 8,000 runners joined the event. Some of the participants came from Maco, Mabini, Pantukan and Laak.
There are also runners from Kidapawan City, Tagum City and Davao City.
During that day, Trade Fair, Tribal Village and Jewelry Expo officially opened.
Local officials and national agencies from the province took part in a Tree Planting Activity and the Launching of Man-Made Pocket Forest.
Elementary and high school students also competed at Kasikas sa Kapitolyo, a Drum and Bugle Competition.
It was also followed with a Unity Concert featuring Vhong Navarro and Jhong Hilario, and the Bulawan Queen Pre-pageant night.
On the second day, March 5, hundreds of Comvalenyos availed of the different services in line with the Job Fair and One-Stop Shop and the 2nd Provincial Free Legal Aid Service Day.
Stakeholders also converged at ComVal Biz Icon.
In line with the business and investment conference, the province Coffeetable Book:
"Pyagsugpatan Comval: Unity & Limitless Possibilities" was also launched.
Capping the day, eleven lass showcased their talents and wit at Bulawan Queen 2018.
"11 yung contestants natin coming from different municipalities. We change the title kasi kung sino man yung winner from them will compete sa mas bigger na competition," Bermejo added.
While on March 6, it was the day for the youth as Bulawanong Kabatan-onan (Youth Day) was held.
Everyone was also excited to witness the Deped Night: Pinoy Fiesta that was held at the Capitol Grounds.
The fourth day of the celebration was dedicated to the lumads thru Al'law ng Kalumonan.
Compostela Valley is the home of six tribes, namely Mandaya, Mansaka, Kagan, Dibabawon, Manobo and Mangguangan.
Street dancing competition with seven participants also added more jive to the event during that day.
That same day, another set of Comvalenyos showcased their talents in Garbo Comvalenyo Season 9.
As the celebration ends today, Comvalenyos can expect more exciting treats.
A Pontifical Mass will be held, to be followed with Bulawanong Kasumaran sa Kababayen-an (Women's Day) celebration.
A few Comvalenyos as well will also receive the Governor's Awards for Excellence.
The awardees for this year are Shiela Mangubat (Public Service), Ridge Bagaan (Public Service), Asec. Romeo Montenegro (Poverty Alleviation & Human Development), Hon. Cesar Colina (Good Governance), Hon. Geraldford Balbin (Good Governance), Hon. Alvera Rimando (Good Governance), Hon. Randy Opisan (Good Governance), Reynante Solitario (Education), Jizelle Formilleza (Culture & Arts), Gary Granada (Culture & Arts), Gloria Ancheta Kudera (Health & Wellness), Dr. Meldie Anuta (Health & Wellness) andEdmund Kent Jacalan (Science & Tech).
It is also an exciting match for the 2nd Governors Cup that features the
Tricycle Drivers Basketball League.
Finale of the five-day event is another set of concert featuring the different stars like Klarisse Guzman, TJ Monterde, Jaya, Jona Viray, plus the most awaited fireworks display!
Ms. Elaisa Monica Mascarinas of Monkayo is this year’s Bulawan Queen after besting 10 other lovely candidates representing their municipalities on the night of March 5, 2018.
Monkayo's bet won the judges' nod for her beauty, wit and intelligence.
Ms. Princess Faye T. Fernandez of Laak follows earning the title of Bulawan Earth. While Recell Jean E. Bitanga of Compostela, Goldy Bless Esmeralda of Nabunturan, and Marielle Zyra V. Go of Mabini, bag the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Runner-up, respectively.
Other equally stunning beauties include the following: Nina Jane P. Barbarona of Pantukan who won the Ms. Congeniality and Ms. Photogenic special awards; Angel Kim Marie G. Cabag of Montevista who won the Best in Festival Costume; Kimberly D. Dominguez of New Bataan; Ruby Pearl P. Mante of Maco; Riza Joy L. Edlay of Maragusan; and Princess Ciana A. Villan of Mawab.