LEGAZPI CITY, March 29 (PNA) -- Governor Joey Sarte Salceda on Monday night officially opened the Daragang Magayon Festival (DMF) at the Albay Astrodome with pomposity and revelry, signaling the start of the annual celebration dubbed as the mother of all festivals in the province.
Guest of honor and speaker Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, an Albayano, said Albay has gone far under the administration of Salceda.
He commended the unity of Albayanos as the key to the success of the province.
The former senator acknowledged the success and recognition received by the province, the latest of which is the declaration of Albay by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, which, he said, is hard to get.
The province, Zubiri said, is also a tourism champion and a model for disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation.
Meanwhile, Vice Governor Harold Imperial said the Daragang Magayon Festival is a testimony that Albay is rich in culture.
In fact, he said, there are 20 festivals in the province and the DMF is the mother of all festivals in all 15 towns and three cities in the province.
Salceda noted the zero casualty goal of Albay during calamities in the past 19 years.
He said thousands of students in Albay have finished college through the scholarship program of the provincial government.
The governor also noted the modernization of the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital and other government facilities in the province.
Albay, he said, is the model in terms of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Program not only in the entire country but also in the world as noted by the United Nations.
The province has received various forms of recognition from within and outside of the country like the PATA CEO Challenge Top Destination for 2015, Tourism Star Philippines Award from the DOT, Galing Pook and Hall of Fame, and Gawad Kalasag Award as the Best Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.
The province has made a mark in the world map as a sports destination like the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon, Private Schools Athletic Association, State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association to be held in May, Mayon 360 Ultramarathon and the biggest sports event in the country – the Palarong Pambansa in April.
Salceda said he has done his role as an “aggregator and weaver of dreams” and “resource mobilizer” of the province in his nine years of service as head of the province.
Also joining the opening were Department of Tourism director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, mayors, department heads of the province, media practitioners and other guests. (PNA) PGL/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS