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Giant masks of Bicol epic characters join Ibalong Festival opening parade

By: - Correspondent / @RAOstriaINQ
/ 06:45 PM August 16, 2019

IBALONG EPIC Government employees, Teachers and Students wear colourful costumes and mask as they join the street performance of the Ibalong epic themed song during the Grand Opening of the Ibalong Festival 2019 in Legazpi City, Albay province on August 16,2019, Friday. MARK ALVIC ESPLANA / INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON.

LEGAZPI CITY—Twenty-two giant masks depicting characters of the Bicol epic Ibalong paraded the streets of this city Friday for the opening of the Ibalong Festival.

From St. Vincent village, the street dance and float parade made its way for some 2.5 kilometers to Legazpi Boulevard at 3 p.m., accompanied by the signature Ibalong theme song.

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Museo de Legazpi curator Darlito Perez Jr. said that the giant masks were made by young Bicol artists from local organic materials like pili shells, coconut husks, and abaca fibers.

“We made these giant masks to hopefully remind the Legazpeños, the Bicolanos, of the other Ibalong characters. It wasn’t just Baltog, Handyong, and Bantong,” he told Inquirer.

The artists, who will compete for a cash prize, were given three weeks to prepare their giant masks.

“We were only expecting simple, paper mache masks, but the artists came up with their wonderful pieces. Even [Mayor Noel Rosal] was surprised by the artistry,” he told Inquirer.

Cristina Agapita Pacres, Legazpi City tourism officer, said that they estimate 30,000 joined the parade.

The Ibalong festival will run until August 25 this year.

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