Villasis Town Fiesta: Legacy over tradition
By Madelyn Soriano
( The author is the coordinator for Mrs. Villasis 2017 in USA)
“Fiesta” is deeply etched in Philippine culture as an annual celebration of sorts – a time for fellowship and of camaraderie accentuated with lots of food and fun. Like other countries in the world that have sustained Spanish influence, a Filipino fiesta is celebrated during the town’s patron saint’s feast day. And perhaps more ostentatious than other countries is the effort and intensity of preparations for Filipino fiestas, not to mention the attraction these draw from places far and wide, including town mates who have established roots in other countries.
Filipino values, by and large, are centered on social harmony; our definition of happiness (and of ourselves) is being part of a large group, and enjoying special events in the company of others. The fiesta is very much a validation of this value and has become a tradition in Philippine society.
The Villasis Town Fiesta carries the distinction of being a legacy first, and tradition second. While it has all the traditional characteristics of a Filipino fiesta, its most profound impression is the several projects and infrastructure that the current administration has erected from fiesta fundraising campaigns throughout progressive terms.
Pass through the town of Villasis when heading up north and you cannot ignore the well planned public market (Bagsakan) and the impressively maintained municipal building painted in yellow and green – a true representation of the agricultural base that Villasis is. Then there’s the legislative building, the expansive auditorium, and the gymnasium that is in the process of being modernized – just to name a few landmark results. But then…. it does not end there …
Mayor Nonato Sison Abrenica put Villasis on the map when he added the now iconic Talong Festival to the fiesta program during his second term in office which elevated interest in eggplant (aubergine) to new heights, including the introduction of eggplant recipes (101 ways to cook talong available on line). It should be noted that Villasis is the vegetable bowl of the province.
Preparations for the 2017 Villasis Town Fiesta in January (Saint Anthony Abbott Feast Day) are underway.The 2017 fundraising campaign is for the landscaping of the gymnasium. A guest to this year’s remarkable event, I expect nothing less in next year’s program content and quality despite compressed preparation time for next year’s event. I am fully convinced of Mayor Nato’s creativity, high standards of execution and relentless passion for excellence.
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