VP Duterte tells Tarlac residents to support local police, military
TARLAC CITY, Tarlac, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte read a story to 120 children from 17 areas in Tarlac province before she awarded the winners of the 16th “Belenisimo sa Tarlac” in Tarlac City on Saturday afternoon.
Duterte read “The Legend of the Candy Cane,” a Christmas story by Lori Walburg about the iconic candy, and gave gifts to the kids in front of the Philippine Armor Belen (nativity scene), one of the entries for the 16th “Belenisimo sa Tarlac” located in Barangay San Isidro.
The 16th Belenismo sa Tarlac illuminated the streets and towns in the province with 53 entries under the five categories — 10 in the community category, 14 in the Church category, eight in the monumental category, nine in the grand nonmonumental category, and 12 in the grand municipal category.
Belenismo sa Tarlac was started in 2007 by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation (THF) and the Tarlac Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tarlac was named the “belen [crèche] capital” of the country by the Department of Tourism after successfully staging the event for its first three years.
Dr. Isa Cojuangco Suntay, co-founder of THF, continues the Belenismo Festival with her mother, Doña Isabel Conjuangco Suntay, the foundation’s founder. San Miguel Corp is supporting THF.
The Philippine Armor Belen, made by the soldiers in Tarlac, symbolizes their commitment to food security and greening initiatives and their agri-reforestation project. The belen features the Holy Family being protected by a huge eagle.
During the awarding ceremony on Saturday night, Duterte told the local residents to “support the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other government agencies, including the Department of Education” in performing their duties to their communities.
She told the residents not to support criminals in the community like “terrorists, NPA (New People’s Army), smugglers, drug peddlers, scammers, swindlers,” and other people seeking to cause trouble in their areas.
In the municipal category, the towns of Anao, San Clemente, Capas, and Tarlac City shared the top spot as champions.
In the grand nonmunicipal category, the belen made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines based in San Miguel town won the top prize.
The parishes of Sto. Niño from Bamban town, San Isidro from Pura town, St. Catherine of Alexandria from Gerona town, San Lorenzo Ruiz from this city, and St. John Nepomuceno in Anao town won in the church category.