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Salakayan Festival : A festival of tribes

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Five tribes are set to compete in this year’s Tribe Competition of the Salakayan Festival of the municipality of Miag-ao which starts on February 8.

These tribes are the Tribu Kabugwason of Miag-ao National High School, Tribu Bantalaan of San Rafael National High School, Tribu Tabun-ak of Palaca-Damilisan National High School, Tribu Salagyawan of Alejandro Firmeza Memorial National High School and Kiryanon of Kirayan National High School.

The tribes’ contest is one of the highlights of the annual festival, which will run from February 8 to 15 that coincides with the 293rd Founding Anniversary of the municipality.


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During the competition on February 14, tribes will showcase their colorful interpretation of the late 18th century history of the founding of the pueblo of Miag-ao with Barangay Tacas as its seat of power. The story also tells the building of the now world famous Miag-ao Church in 1786 on the hill called Tacas which offered a good vantage view of the coming of the moro marauders either through the sea or river.

Miag-ao Church is one of the four Baroque churches of the Philippines that had been designated as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Adora Mande, the town’s Information Officer said the week-long festivities is being celebrated every year to promote the town’s tourism potentials, preserve and enrich the town’s local culture, encourage entrepreneurship and foster economic prosperity.

“The festivities are aggregately rooted in the enlivening of the town’s history against a back drop of outstanding natural, man-made and intangible heritage,” said Mande.

Mande said this year’s celebration will begin on February 8 with a Food Festival at the town’s plaza.

Other activities include Thanksgiving Mass, Fluvial Parade, Grand Parade and Barangay Night on February 13; Merry Making and Tribes Night on February 14; and Higantes’ Presentation and Coronation of the Queen of Miag-ao ’09 on February 15.

The Higantes Presentation dominates the main streets of the poblacion with a theatrical presentation of “Prinsepeng Duwag,” with no less than “higantes” as main characters.

Fifteen year-old Mary May Nicolas of Barangay Mat-y will be crowned as the Queen of Miag-ao 2009.

“Katampad, Kapisan, Kaisog: Sadsaran sang Mapag-on nga Pagtuo kag Pagserbisyo,” is the theme of this year’s celebration.

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