All is set for this year’s staging of Caragan Festival, an exciting and fun-filled cultural street dance and parade in honor of this town’s first Aeta Chieftain.

Following a wide acclaim in its maiden presentation last year, Caragan Festival promises to be another grand spectacle this year as 35 schools and organizations will participate in the cultural dance interpretations complete with costumes and adornments that are made of indigenous materials.

June Magbalot, Mabalacat Fiesta Committee co-chair, said that Caragan Festival – named after the first Aeta chieftain of this town – will continue to highlight the life and times of Aetas being one of the early settlers here.


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“This festival is not only about having fun with street dances but also about honoring the rich cultural heritage of the people of Mabalacat. The Aetas, being one of the original inhabitants, are also given due recognition,” Magbalot said.

Caragan, Magbalot said, will be a “festival among great festivals of the province” as it will immortalize the lifestyle of the Aetas through dance and other cultural presentations. The Aetas are well known for their dances as part of their celebration of their struggles and triumphs.

Slated to start at 1 p.m. February 27, Caragan Festival will be a spectacular street dance feat, parade of unique floats, costumes and head dresses that will be displayed in a stretch of about three kilometers on MacArthur Highway from Mabiga to the Poblacion.

With enormous parade of colors and dances, traffic advisories will be issued by the municipal government in order to prevent gridlock along MacArthur highway and other side streets.

Now on its second staging, Caragan Festival is a brainchild of Mayor Marino Morales, Magbalot, Fiesta Co-Chair Deng Pangilinan, and the Sangguniang Bayan. It is being supported by the Mabalacat Performing Arts, Department of Education, local schools and colleges, and business enterprises.

Last year’s staging has yielded at least two dozens of video clips on youtube.com and was featured on national tv show Unang Hirit. This year, organizers are targeting an exposure on The Filipino Channel, the global tv broadcast arm of ABS-CBN.

Caragan Festival and the recently concluded Miss Mabalacat 2009 are the highlights of Mabalacat Fiesta celebrations.

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