Festivals return to Pangasinan after 2-year break
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan, Philippines — With the easing of quarantine restrictions this year, towns and cities in Pangasinan province have started to hold festivals, although not as grand as the celebrations held before the pandemic was declared in March 2020.
This city will resume its Bangus (milkfish) Festival this month after a two-year hiatus, making it the 18th edition since it was first held in 2002 to celebrate its bounty of homegrown “bangus,” Dagupan’s top product.
Mayor Brian Lim launched this year’s Bangus Festival on April 1 to boost the local economy and revive the tourism industry.
“Now that our vaccination rate is high and we have zero COVID-19 active cases, we can continue our dream of having the Bangus Festival again,” Lim said.
He said the festival’s highlight, the “Kalutan ed Dalan” (grilling on the street) in the downtown area, would be staged again on April 30. The crowd-drawing street party is expected to host 1,000 grills in the city’s central business district.
“We will return it (street party) to the downtown area for the benefit of our residents, public market vendors, public transport sector and all businesses.,” Lim said.
He added: “The festival is not only a celebration, it is also a day of economic opportunity for many of our fellow Dagupeños. Until now, the businessmen in the downtown area said their highest gross sales for a day was during the festival.”
But the street dancing competition, which traditionally kicks off the monthlong festival, was scrapped this year.
It was in 2002 when Dagupan tried to clinch the longest barbecue record in the Guinness Book of World Records. It failed that year but succeeded the following year.
In Lingayen town, the provincial government celebrated the 442nd Agew ng Pangasinan (Pangasinan foundation day) on Tuesday with a thanksgiving Mass at Sison Auditorium.
The Mass was followed by the opening of the 13th Pangasinan Tourism and Trade Expo at the capitol beachfront. The provincial government also opened the “Abig Sining” visual arts competition at Casa Real and staged the “Concert ed Expo” at the beachfront, featuring the Capitol Orchestra.
In Bayambang town, the “Pistay’s Baley” (town fiesta) opened with a thanksgiving Mass and a concert on Monday.