Plans up for Peñafrancia fiesta

This year’s celebration of the Peñafrancia fiesta promises to be one of the most colorful and best organized ever, City Councilor and Peñafrancia Festivities Executive Council Chairman Lourdes V. Asence announced.

During last Thursday’s meeting of the executive council, Asence stressed that the support and cooperation of each council member and chairmen of respective committees are key to the success of Bicol’s biggest annual festival held every September.

Jun Mongoso of the finance committee said a Manila-based professional promotions and organizing group would likely be lending support and technical assistance to the council in such a way that the city government won’t spend a single centavo for the major activities that are traditionally held as fiesta highlights. These include the military and civic parades, trade exhibits, the Miss Bicolandia beauty pageant, regattas and other cultural and musical presentations.

Although he would not disclose yet the name of the promotions outfit pending formal endorsement by the City Sanggunian and final approval by the city mayor, Mongoso said the group’s expertise and resources, to be complemented by the rich experience of local organizers, will be pivotal in making the festival activities a complete success.

Dress designer and former city councilor Tata Flores who was personally invited by the city mayor to attend the meeting for his knowledgeable input disclosed that this year would be the 30th year of the prestigious Miss Bicolandia beauty pageant. He forwarded the suggestion that to add significance to the longest-running beauty pageant in Bicol, bigger prizes be given this time. Others, however, opined that the P75,000 given to the title winner in the past 2 or 3 years is big enough considering the hard times that the country is in. What may be added perhaps are more non-cash incentives, other council members suggested.

The Peñafrancia fiesta, apart from its religious significance, is one of the country’s major tourist-drawing festivals. Over a million visitors, pilgrims and devotees come to Naga to witness the two-week festival.


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