Pangasinan town holds Pindang Festival after pause | Inquirer News
Respite from pandemic

Pangasinan town holds Pindang Festival after 2-year pause

By: - Correspondent / @yzsoteloINQ
/ 04:35 AM March 08, 2022

Contestant in Pindang Rodeo. STORY: Pangasinan town holds Pindang Festival after 2-year pause

CONTEST | A contestant competes in the longest “pindang” preparation during the Pindang Rodeo in March 2016 in Mangaldan town, Pangasinan. Pindang is the local word for “tapa” (jerky) made of carabao meat, the town’s top-selling product. (WILLIE LUMIBAO /INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON)

MANGALDAN, Pangasinan, Philippines — Known for its tasty “tapa” (dried carabao meat), locally known as “pindang,” this central Pangasinan town is staging again the annual Pindang Festival this month, making it the first town to hold a large-scale festivity in the province after two years due to pandemic restrictions.

The province was already placed under the most lenient COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from March 1 to March 15 due to low virus case transmission.


“Everything was rushed and the celebration will be simple, but we hope it will give the residents a respite from the pandemic,” Mayor Marliyn Lambino told the Inquirer on Saturday.


She said they were preparing for a virtual celebration of the festival when the province’s alert level was downgraded from level 2 to level 1, prompting them to go full scale instead.

Lambino said the local government would continue to impose minimum health protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 while holding most of the activities on the streets.

The town’s 11-day festival kicked off on March 4 with a thanksgiving Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Church and an opening program in front of the public plaza.

Organizers said the eve of the celebration featured the “Pidal Mangaldan Bike Fun Ride,” a cycling race participated in by 600 bikers who toured the town’s 30 villages on March 3.

Scaled down

This year’s festival would not be as “grandiose” as in the past years, but has included social components like “kasalang bayan” (mass wedding) and “binyagang bayan” (mass baptism), Lambino said.

The crowd-drawing street parade was scrapped in this year’s celebration but will feature local beauty pageants, “Miss Mangaldan 2022” on March 12 and “Miss Gay Mangaldan 2022” on March 14, at the town’s public auditorium.


Lambino said there were five platforms installed in strategic places in the town, on which artists were scheduled to perform for residents and their guests.

The highlight of the festival would be “Tugtugan, Kalutan,” a street party that would start at 4 p.m. on March 11, Lambino said, adding that it could draw at least 30,000 residents and guests.

Long grills

The entire kilometer-long stretch of Rizal Avenue, will be lined with 414 grills on which pindang, the town’s No. 1 produce, will be cooked on that day.

Lambino said the grills, each measuring 1 meter long, would not be put alongside each other to maintain physical distancing.

Vice Gov. Mark Lambino, the mayor’s son, donated two packs of tapa, two packs “longganisa” and half a kilo of hot dogs, for each grill.

In this town, pindang is prepared by making thin slices of cured and dried or semidried carabao meat. The fresh meat used for the pindang comes from the town’s slaughterhouse.

“The festival is not only for the residents. It is also for the neighboring towns’ residents who want to enjoy and have fun with us,” Lambino said.

It was in 2012 when the town first staged its Pindang Festival under the administration of the late Mayor Herminio Romero as a tribute to the local meat industry, one of the major sources of livelihood among residents.

Although a large number of carabaos are butchered in this town daily to sustain the industry, the local government ensures that only meat from nonbreedable carabaos is used for pindang.

A provincial ordinance regulates the sale or slaughter of female carabaos to arrest the dwindling population of the carabao, the country’s national animal.


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