LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 8 (PNA)--The month-long "Ibalong Festival" of Legazpi City officially started on Thursday with an array of activities aim to promote the cultural and traditional practices put on cue, to be highlighted by the "Ibalong Street Presentation" competition, the "Ibalong Epic-musical," and the "Search for Mutya ng Ibalong."
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal announced in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that a budget of at least P5 million has already been allotted for the prizes and expenses of the major events, particularly the "Ibalong Epic-musical," with P1.5 million; the "Ibalong street" presentation contest, P1 million; and the Search for "Mutya ng Ibalong," P1 million.
"We put aside this year some of the activities that we had last year such as the Dragon Boat competition, the fire dancing, and the circumferential run around Mayon Volcano. Instead, we have focused this year on the massive awareness campaign about the 'Ibalong' as an epic among our young ones," he told PNA.
Rosal, who assumed control of the "Ibalong festival" for this year, said the month-long activities are also intended to showcase the city as a convention center and is set up as an alternate destination of the balikbayans coming from different countries of the world.
"Our taking over of the Ibalong Festival activities this year is only temporary, meantime that we are still making our festival attractive for the sponsorship of private groups. And if there will be interested groups to efficiently run it (Ibalong Festival) in the future, we are more than willing to let them take over," Rosal stressed.
Other Ibalong highlights are the street party; the beer plaza; career guide job fair; Ibalong Fest Night of Zumba; ICT Innovation Forum; Ibalong Airsoft competition; Kuntaw sa Ibalong 2013; First Ibalong National Age Group swimming championship; Tirigsikan/Rawit-Dawit; Ibalong Otaku Summit; individual bowling tournament; Legazpi Festival of photography; Legazpi coral restoration activities; Second Ibalong Tennis Cup inter-club and Age group tournament; Albay global walk, and water sports competition.
The festival's penultimate highlights will be the Mutya ng Ibalong pageant competition and the popular Ibalong Street Presentation.(PNA) PDS/FGS/SMT/cbd/