HOMETOWN SNAPSHOT

Pangasinan celebrates Pistay Dayat for sea bounty

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FISHERMEN in Bolinao, Pangasinan, rely on Lingayen Gulf for their livelihood. WILLIE LOMIBAO/CONTRIBUTOR

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—An array of fun-filled and crowd-drawing activities had been lined up for this year’s Pistay Dayat (Sea Festival) in Pangasinan.

Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman, provincial health officer and Pistay Dayat executive chair, said this year’s festivity, which culminates on May 4, features an amateur singing contest, the annual street dancing competition, water sports, indigenous games, concerts, a trade fair, cultural shows, a beauty pageant and the most-awaited fluvial parade in Agno River.

Provincial administrator Rafael Baraan said Pistay Dayat began in the 1960s as the local fishing community’s simple thanksgiving celebration for the bounty of Lingayen Gulf.

“Fishing is one of the major livelihood activities of the people in our province. That is why the festivity is centered along the shorelines and it coincides with the Labor Day celebration on May 1,” Baraan said.

Gov. Amado Espino Jr., who opened the festival at the capitol beach front here on April 19, said Pistay Dayat has been one of the events that attracted tourists to this province.

Pangasinan has become the leading tourist destination in the Ilocos in the last two years, overtaking Ilocos Norte, which until 2010 had the most number of tourist arrivals in the region.

Next to the Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine in Manaoag town, the provincial capitol and its surrounding historic buildings have been in the itinerary of day tours here.  Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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