Despite the serious threat of Super Typhoon Chedeng causing massive disruption to the opening of the Daragang Magayon Festival 2015, Albayanos, particularly the Provincial Government of Albay and its charmed leader Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, had their high hopes up that Albay will be spared from the reported torrential winds and rains that Chedeng tows with it and they were not disappointed.
The soft opening held last Easter Sunday showed great promise as massive hordes of people trooped to the Penaranda Park here in Albay in good moods as the much awaited festival of festivals finally unfolded, sans terrible weather.
The formal opening of DMF 2015 was set today, April 6, 2015, and debuted with a mass at the Albay Astrodome, followed by a rousing grand opening salvo which consisted of continuous different dance numbers then the introduction of the various stakeholders involved in the development and production of this year’s edition of the Magayon Festival.
The formal program proper was started off by Vice Governor Harold Ong Imperial who welcomed the people in attendance then gave credit to Gov. Salceda saying that “We are proud to have a governor that can carry our banner in the local and international arena.”
VG Imperial continued his speech by exalting the efforts of the Albayanos and encouraging them to further do their best, “In the long run, it is us Albayanos who are the best people to promote Albay, our warmth and smile makes the visit of tourists worth their while.”
Manila Vice Mayor and President of the Vice mayor’s League of the Philippines Isko Moreno also graced the said event and gave his own message, lauding the unified stand of the Albayanos which greatly personifies hope.
“I am greatly impressed by the hyperactive efforts that you have made and will shamelessly say that Manila can learn and copy this, pursuing more than 200 activities crammed into thirty days is no laughing matter, but one though still holds true, kapag pursigido, panalo,” Moreno said.
Governor Salceda, tasked with the official declaration of the DMF 2015, also took to the microphone to deliver his message, saying that he is going to read the speech that he wasn’t able to read when he was presented the Tourism Star Award given to him last February.
In his speech, Gov. Salceda focused the limelight on the Albayanos and the people working in the Provincial Government of Albay giving them credit for all the success that Albay has achieved.
“The real star here is the people of Albay and its stakeholders, I am merely the moon reflecting the light that shines from them, if I am ever a star, I would be the Star of Bethlehem merely serving as a guide,” Salceda said.
“Our investments in nature, culture, culinary arts, social media, the people, institutions, and political harmony are now showing their fruits, the tremendous upsurge in the number of tourists that Albay has gained is the perfect testament to that,” Salceda further added.
Salceda also noted the rising popularity of the DMF and its difference from other festivals celebrated around the Philippines, noting that “While other festivals are religious by nature, Magayon culture is essentially, without being apologetic, a secular festival.”
The Albay Governor gave credit to the great artists, musicians, and creative people who has made tremendous contributions to the yearly production of the Daragang Magayon Festival and to stirring end, raised a cup of drink and toasted the people for the opening of the month long event.
The formal opening was followed by a symbolic doves and balloon ritual outside the venue, then moved on to the different ribbon cutting ceremonies in various locations around the Provincial Capitol Grounds, which includes the Daragang Magayon Food Stalls and Beer Plaza, Daragang Magayon 2015 Trade Fair and Special Setting, Daragang Magayon Art Exhibit, and the Daragang Magayon Spicy Albay Photo Exhibit. (PGA PIO) April 6, 2015