Abrenica bares 9-day activities of ‘Talong Festival’
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
VILLASIS- Exciting activities will soon unfold in this agricultural town of the eastern part of Pangasinan as it celebrates its 11th “Talong Festival” on January 13 to 21.
Traditionally, the celebration of the town fiesta is centered on the town’s patronal saint Saint Anthony Abbot, but has metamorphosed into the promotion of its major vegetable product – “talong” or eggplant.
Under the “one town, one product” (OTOP), an industry and trade promotion by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the “Talong Festival” was launched in 2006 with its longest “talong” grill along the main thoroughfares of the town.
Years thereafter, the promotion of the festival included the “pinakbet sa kawa” participated in by the 21 barangays (villages), cooking festival on 101 ways how to cook talong that was were consolidated in a coffee table book, and street dancing competitions focusing on the traditional and modern planting practices of “talong”.
Unlike in previous years with 12 days celebration, this year’s “Talong Festival” offers nine days activities.
” The days of celebration were shorter this year because alumni homecomings of various schools and colleges are not included except that of the Don Ramon E. Costales Memorial National High School (DRECMNHS). However, activities to make the festival memorable both for the local residents and “balikbayans” (expatriates) are still there,” Mayor Nato Abrenica said.
He said the celebration will be simple and austere to avoid too much expenses.
“The proceeds of our popularity contest for the search of Mrs. Villasis 2017 will be used for the landscaping of the newly renovated Villasis Gymnasium, which was realized also out of the proceeds of last year’s festival,” Abrenica said.
This year’s “Talong Festival” has the following activities.
On January 13, the Christian Churches Association will have its Thanksgiving Night to thank the Lord Almighty for the blessings and bounties received by the residents of the town.
The alumni of DRECMNHS will have their grand reunion on the January 14 followed by the Senior Citizens’ Night on January 15 and Educators’ Night on January 16.
The feast of the patron Saint Anthony Abbot will be observed on January 17 where mass and confirmation will be conducted in the Catholic and Independent Churches. In the evening, the village leaders will have their “Barangay Night”.
The tricycle operators and drivers associations will participate in the celebrations for their TODA Night on January 18 followed by the hilarious ” Bilbilan Beauties” and “Battle of the Queens,” that will be staged by the members of the gay community on January 19- the Gay Night.
“Talong” will take the center stage for the whole day activities on January 20 – “Talong Festival”.
At 5:30 in the morning, “Talong-Inspired Christmas Decorations made of recycled materials” will be featured with live coverage of ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda”. This will be followed by Calisthenics (Cultural Show) of elementary schools at 8:00 AM.
At 10:00 AM, the 21 barangays will participate in the “Pinakbet sa Kawa” where cooking “pinakbet”, an Ilocano dish will have its twist. This features the main vegetable crops of the town like eggplant, tomatoes, squash, green chilis,etc. This will be followed by a “talong cooking contest” at 1:00 in the afternoon in which the cooked recipes will be included in the compendium of “101 Ways on How to Cook Talong”.
Street dancing competitions among secondary schools will be at 3:00 in the afternoon to be held at the town’s grandstand and at 6:00 in the evening, a concert featuring artists of the local entertainment industry will be held followed by grand fireworks display.
The nine-day festivities will be capped by a grand parade in the morning of January 21 featuring the reigning beauties of Mrs. Villasis 2017. In the evening will be the Coronation and Balikbayan Night.
Meanwhile, the search for Mrs. Villasis 2017 was concluded last December 28, 2016. Ms. Elizabeth Bulatao Orbizo of Tombod village and from Rome, Italy was declared as this year’s Queen while Lina Merida Primicias of Barangbong village and from Hongkong and Teresita Perez Evangelista of Capulaan village and from Milpitas, California, USA were First Princess and Second Princess, respectively.
Abrenica extends his thanks and gratitude to all sponsors and donors to make the festivities a success.
This year’s town fiesta is chaired by Vice Mayor Franco Jesus A. Sison.
Entry filed under: News.