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This year’s 18th Palay Festival in the municipality of Narra will highlight the town’s history, culture, tourism and agriculture.
With the theme, “Palay Festival Ipagdiwang, Agrikultura at Turismo, Susi sa Pag-Unlad ng Bayan,” this year’s celebration will also underscore not just the importance of farming in the lives of the Narranians but also the humble beginnings of the southern town, from it being originally a resettlement place for landless people from Luzon during the 1950’s to how it came to be known as the “Rice Granary of Palawan” presently.
Sherwin Corpuz, Narra Municipal Tourism Officer, in an interview with Palawan Daily News on Friday said that preparations for the festival has kicked-off.
“Kailangan ma-showcase this year hindi lang ‘yung agriculture at tourism, pati history ng Narra. Ngayong taon, especially sa street dance, kasi diba, saan ba nagsimula ang Narra? As a resettlement. Para ‘yung kamalayan ng mga taga-Narra hindi lang mag-focus sa farming, kundi pati sa pinagmulan natin,” Corpuz said.
The local tourism office along with the local government unit (LGU) headed by Mayor Gerandy Danao, have already agreed on plans and activities inclined for this year’s well-anticipated festival.
Corpuz further said that this year’s fest has an approved budget amounting to P5 million allocated for various cultural and arts, economic, and sports and recreation support activities.
Along with that there will also be a budget for communtiy empowerment, entertainment, socials, venue enhancement and preparation, promotions and other expected expenditure needed for the 10 day stretch event.
“‘Yung activities natin mas pinalakas ngayon kasi maraming nadagdag. Rodeo sports event na matagal nang na-miss ng mga kababayan natin. Mayroon din tayong art exhibit kasama ‘yung mga batang pintor natin. Exhibit siya at the same time, puwede silang mag-accept ng client na gusto magpa-painting or portrait,” Corpuz said.
Other sports activities include the annual basketball, volleyball, boxing and badminton invitational tournaments and the much awaited motocross, which will feature the championship round of the Palawan Motocross Series of 2019.
A big chunk of the P5-million budget is also alot for the Mutya ng Narra Pageant and the Street Dancing Competition, who now has a new set of mechanics.
“Ang kakaiba ngayon ay may participation na ang mga barangay. May clustering hindi lang inter-school competition,” Corpuz said.
Aside from the said three main activities, there will also be Laro ng Lahi and Tribal Olympics who will be participated by indigenous members of the 23 respective barangays of Narra.
The Palay Festival, formerly called “Anihan Festival,” is an annual celebration in Narra that started in 2001 and is held every middle or end week of October.