Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All systems go for festivals in Bulacan this January

MALOLOS CITY—It’s all systems go for four separate festivals in Bulacan this month. 

The annual festivals include Minasa Festival in Bustos town that opened Monday, January 13, the Fiesta Republica in Malolos that will open on January 16, the Halamanan Festival in Guiguinto town that will start on January 20, and the Bulak Festival in San Ildefonso town on January 23.

All four festivals will promote local products and culture of the three towns and expected to draw tourists. Mayor Arnel Mendoza of Bustos said Senator Nancy Binay graced the opening of the Minasa Festival yesterday.

He said that the week-long festival is designed to promote “minasa,” a locally manufactured cookie made from egg yolk mixed with old sago plant starch and coco milk. Mendoza said minasa production started in Bustos more than a century ago as some historians claim that its production stemmed partly from the construction of ornate old houses where egg yolk was used as binder.

“Minasa festival is meant to promote minasa, but we also want to showcase the rich history and culture of Bustos and business opportunities here,” he said.

He added that minasa production is connected with the cultural heritage of Bustos town which is known for century old “bahay-na-bato” with ornate stone walls and posts. Mendoza said that some of the old “bahay-na-bato in his town were built in the mid-18th century, about the same time when minasa production took form.

“There is a possibility that minasa production in our town is connected with the construction of old houses because after using egg white for binder, they have no use for the huge amount of egg yolk,” Mendoza said.

In Malolos City, Mayor Christian Natividad said that all is set for the 10-day 4th Fiesta Republica from January 16 to 26. He said that Fiesta Republica will be graced by Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno who will serve as guest speaker for the 115th Republic Day celebrations at the historic Barasoain Church.

“Republic Day is one of the most important days in our history. It marks the day our first republic was born and it is only fitting that celebrate it,” he said. Natividad lamented that while Republic Day should be considered as a national holiday, national leaders hardly pay attention to it.

“We have so many festivals in the Philippines, we even have festivals for vegetables and slippers, we are holding Fiesta Republica to highlight the glory of our distant past,” he said. In Guiguinto, Mayor Ambrosio Cruz said they are also gearing up for the annual Halamanan Festival which they hope to rival other festivals in the country.

The festival was first held in 1990 to promote the garden and landscaping industry in the said town. Dino Balabo