Caragan to become an annual festival

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

CLARK FREEPORT -- Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales and the City Council headed by Vice Mayor Christian Halili announced Wednesday that Mabalacat City's widely acclaimed Caragan Festival will be institutionalized to prevent it from suffering the fate of the similarly popular Ibon Ebon Festival of Candaba, Pampanga.

In a breakfast forum at this Freeport, Morales stressed that he will ask the City Council to pass an ordinance making the festival an annual activity.

"There is a clamor from the people of Mabalacat to make the Caragan Festival an annual activity, as part of the city's fiesta celebration. That we will do as we also want to promote the culture of Mabalacat City and make it a center of arts and culture not only in the region but the whole country as well. We would like to elevate Caragan to the likes of the Sinulog Festival," Morales said.

Caragan Festival 2014
PAMPANGA. Colorful costumes and well choreographed dance moves highlighted the opening of Caragan Festival 2014 at Xevera, Mabalacat City on Thursday, February 27. (Chris Navarro)


Halili, for his part disclosed that the City Council is more than willing to have the Caragan Festival institutionalized.

"The City Council is very supportive of the arts and culture of Mabalacat. The Caragan Festival is our pride and we are always ready to support it and make it an annual activity through the appropriate ordinance or resolution," he said.

The festival was shelved for the last three years as Mabalacat underwent its cityhood processes and transformation, plebiscite and was not held during the 2013 May polls.

But this year on February 27 and 28, festival head Jun Magbalot noted that Caragan, honoring this city's first Aeta chieftain, will be more exciting and colorful.

"This year's Caragan Festival, which will run for two days, promises to be another grand spectacle as more than 30 schools and hundreds of students and local artists will participate in the cultural dance interpretations complete with costumes and adornments which we ourselves made. Indeed, the festival is not only about having fun with street dances but also about honoring the rich cultural heritage of the people of Mabalacat. The Aetas, being one of the original inhabitants, are given due recognition through their dance moves and unique music," Magbalot said.

He added that the three-kilometer stretch from Xevera to Poblacion will be lined up with security and medical personnel, with about 23 sound systems installed so the expected 30,000 revelers and tourists could listen to DwRW 95.1 FM’s live streaming for advisories and Caragan activities. (JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 27, 2014.

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