Albay Celebrates Women’s Summit

Womenfolk from all over the Province of Albay trooped to the Albay Astrodome here in Legazpi City to attend a conference dubbed as the Women’s Summit sa Daragang Magayon Festival where the event had a theme of “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa.”

Numbering to almost a thousand, the participants were treated to a day-long summit which included activities designed to empower women and honor groups and local government units which have made integral efforts in reshaping the role of women in our society today and providing them with the tools to better equip them with their ever changing needs.

Sponsored and produced by the Provincial Government of Albay, headed by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, through the efforts of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Albay, the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office, and the Gender Awareness Development Office, the Women’s Summit sa Daragang Magayon Festival, as the name implies, is an official event included in this year’s DMF 2015 calendar of events.

Yolanda Guanzon, head of the PSWDO, said in her opening remarks there is no more apt time to hold the event as the term Magayon itself refers to the legendary woman who has inspired the festival and women from Albay can learn a lot from her attributes, “Let us learn how to define ourselves, not by others,” Guanzon added.

Senior Board Member Glenda Ong-Bongao, chair of the Committee on Women, who spearheaded the project, also took center stage as delved on the importance of the said conference.

“This day is all about putting focus on women; to open opportunities and provide knowledge which we can use in our daily lives,” Bongao said.

“It’s all about choices, women are capable of many things, we have the power to do what we want and create the opportunities to do so without relying heavily on others,” she further stated.

The program proper of the forum was divided into two talks; first was a talk given by actress Ms. Bing Pimentel on the different roles of women entitled “Iba’t Ibang Mukha ni Juana,” and the second talk was on women entrepreneurship dubbed “Hanapbuhay para kay Juana,” conducted by renowned educator and event organizer Ms. Cynthia Reantaso-Bernabe.

After the program proper, the summit shifted to the awarding ceremony where Local Government Units were given awards and recognition for their programs and codes in the best practices for gender awareness development.

Ms. Tet Triunfante, Local Area Coordinator for the Philippine Commission on Women, along with the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Albay, headed by Vice Governor Harold Ong Imperial, handed out the awards to the three awardees, namely, The LGU of Legazpi City, the LGU of Tabaco City, and the LGU of the Municipality of Camalig.

Vice Governor Imperial in his message to the attendees lauded the efforts of those who received the awards and vowed that the SPA will do all that it can to attend to the needs of the Albayano women so that they can cope up with pressing issues and concerns of women today.

VG Imperial also took note of the overwhelming attendance of the different women’s groups from the different areas of the province saying that “your presence here today reinforces our resolve and mindset towards womenfolk; we cannot discount the involvement and contribution of women here in the province.”

The event was capped off by a sterling performance from the veteran balladeer, Marco Sison, who mesmerized the shrieking crowd with his warm and golden voice, singing some of the hits he is known for like, My Love Will See You Through, Maghihintay na Lamang, and the pop single Si Aida, o Si Lorna, o si Fe. (PGA-PIO) April 14, 2015)

Music and Fanfare Greets Formal Opening of DMF 2015

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

Chock-Full of Activities for Month-Long DMF2015

With barely a week to go before the much awaited opening of the Daragang Magayon Festival 2015, the Provincial Government of Albay, helmed by the irrepressible Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, through the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, has for months, planned, ironed out, and worked every possible detail to ensure that they, not only achieve the same success that they had during the previous years, but develop something better, and definitely bigger.

With no less than 150 events planned for the whole month, the DMF2015 will have a soft opening on April 5 and a grand opening on April 6 Monday, where stars and bands will fly in to officially usher in the start of one of the biggest festivals in the country today.

Each day from opening until the end in May 5, 2015, the calendar of events of the DMF2015 promises something new to attend and enjoy whether be it cultural, musical, sports activities, agricultural, pageantries, culinary, or historical, there is something for someone for any age or passion.

There are also activities that will be staged for the entire month, this includes the Daragang Magayon Art Exhibit, Spicy Albay 7 Photograph Exhibit, Magayon Garden Show, Tayo Kabuhayan Showcase, Trade Fair, Fiesta Culinaria, and of course, the fun-filled nightly drinks, foods, and shows at the Daragang Magayon Food Stalls and Rocklakan sa Daragang Magayon around the Penaranda Park.

Governor Joey Salceda said that DMF2015 is the perfect showcase where tourists, both from local and international sources will discover Albay’s rich history and cultural heritage through these events, plus equally important are the Albayanos’ talents and skills. As proven before, the Daragang Magayon Festival is great vehicle for the promotion of trade and tourism which is designed to efficiently advance Albay’s drive in pursuit of its goals to economic empowerment and independency for its people. (PGA PIO) March 30, 2015

Albay Gears Up for DMF 2015 Opening

With barely two weeks to go until the opening of this year’s edition of the much awaited Daragang Magayon Festival, the Provincial Government of Albay, helmed by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, along with the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), and the Magayon Festival Executive Committee, is pulling no stops in their preparation to enhance the experience for the expected tens of thousands of tourists who will be flocking to the Province of Albay for the whole duration of the Festival.

The Daragang Magayon Festival 2015, which will start on April 5, 2015 with a soft opening and hold its grand opening on the following day and end on May 5, 2015, is widely regarded as the peak tourist season for Albay.

“Each year the influx of tourists, both local, and significantly from the international sector, has shown a considerable increase in number and there is no viable reason that this year would be any different,” said Ms. Dorothy Colle, the Provincial Tourism Officer and head of PTCAO.

Aside from developing programs and events that will ensure that the month long celebration would be anything but dull, the PTCAO has been fervently working hand in hand with the private sector, especially those in the hospitality industry, to ensure that tourists are properly accommodated and will have a most memorable experience in their visit in Albay.

“We have more than enough hotel rooms to accommodate our visitors and our partners have assured us that they will provide the best service that would make all Albayanos proud,” Ms. Colle stated.

Security wise, the Provincial Government of Albay has a longstanding working relationship with the Albay Provincial Police Office (PPO) in setting through the years, especially under the tutelage of the Salceda administration, the PGA is not taking anything lightly.

“Every DMF is a learning experience, we improve on our success and rise from our failures, we do our best to foresee any problems that may arise and enhance all that we have accomplished in the past, thanks to the unwavering and relentless dedication of the people behind the DMF, our partners, and of course, Gov. Salceda, each year of the DMF is a milestone in our history,” said Ms. Colle. (PGA PIO) March 24, 2015