The Spectacular 40th Panagdadapun Fest

Quirino, a promising province in the Northern portion of Luzon, and as mentioned in the speech of DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, “the Paradise of the North,” has gone a long journey in alleviating the economic status of the people of Quirino from the doldrums of poverty.

Everybody’s dream is to make Quirino known as a province of peaceful and diligent people; a frontier of commerce and industry specially on fossilized flower making, woodcraft and furniture making, coal and mineral producer, mountains with vast virgin forests, palay and corn producer and most of all the reputation of having a populace endowed with kabaitan, katatagan, kasipagan and pagkamatiyaga” as described by the DOST Regional Director Urduja A. Tejada.

The collaborative effort of Congressman Dakila Carlo E. Cua and Provincial Governor Junie E. Cua, together with the members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by the Provincial Vice Governor May Garnace Calaunan, the province is bent to conquering higher heights in progress and development. This is manifested when everyone displayed ingenuity, cooperation and involvement toward a successful celebration of the 40th Panagdadapun enthemed with I Love Quirino.

The Street Dancing Showdown

One of the most spectacular activities that happened during the Panagdadapun 2011 is the Street Dancing Performances performed by the Street Dancers of the six municipalities. Every group represented the first settlers of each municipality who danced through the sounds of gongs and other indigenous instruments depicting their beliefs, their culture and ways of life.

For the municipality of Nagtipunan, the Bugkalots were the early settlers and were represented by the students of Nagtipunan National High School. Bows and arrows, creative materials like winnows, hats and leaves were used as props. Their vigorous performance attracted the audience that made them shouted and clapped in glee.

Agtas were the first settlers of Maddela. They were dark skinned and like the Bugkalots they also had their bows and arrows as their weapons to survive. These early settlers were represented by the students of Maddela Comprehensive High School. They had golden yellow costume with a uniformed kind of hairdo who performed with great precision, timing and grace. The street dancers blackened their skin and with their colourful costume, the audience were mesmerized to their performance with the accompaniment of instruments like bamboo zithers known as Kulising and to the rhythm of sticks and of litlit, a guitar with human hairs for string and splinted end of the bamboo against the palm of the students. Their music showed the ingenuity and creativity of the Maddelans in producing such indigenous instruments that really showed the authenticity of the props and music of the street dancers.

Another group of street dancers were the participants from Diffun, the gateway to Quirino Province, who were represented by the students of St. Mary’s Academy. According to the history of the province, the Gaddangs were one of the early settlers of the aforementioned municipality. The raffled multi-colored skirt of Spanish Touch plus the art decorated hats in kaleidoscope of colors added beauty to the excellent move of the students.

The yellow green costumes of the street dancers from Saguday, who consisted of students of Saguday National High School, exuded a nature-like spectacle as they did their moves at the Capitol Quadrangle facing the VIP Grandstand. They performed grandiosely with precision, proper execution, tempo and grace. The cacophony sound from the instruments produced a jovial mood that made the audience cheered in a very high intensity. Variety of attractive props was used to depict the way of life of the first settlers and the present community of the town of Saguday.

Elegant costumes of the street dancers from Aglipay, represented by the students of Pinaripad National High School were cheered and applauded by the audience. Their tone costume with props of different colors executed in perfect timing and fashion and the beating of the drum, gongs and cymbals added a very dynamic presentation of the Street Dancers. Everyone was amazed on the perfect moves of the performers. The Fiesta Carnival ambience produced a scenario that resembled a typical Pista sa Nayon that created a culture common to Tagalogs.

Finally, the Cabarroguis Street Dancers performed by the Cabarroguis National School of Arts and Trades’ students wore a red and white costume with decorated swords and hats as their props. The Ifugaos were the early settlers of Quirino who settled in the far flung mountains of the place. Thus, the creative steps and moves of the street dancers showed the different cultures and the means of living of the Ifugaos. It also showed the courage the Ifugaos possess as they fight odds in their way of life.

The Street Dancing Extravaganza had undergone innovations to suit the changing society. But, the objectives behind the presentation still remain the same, that is…to showcase the early settlers of Quirino and to converge the different tribes and the people in daffungan and as such the festival of convergence is the Panagdadapun.

Activities Extravaganza

To make Panagdadapun 2011 a festival to remember, there were programs of activities that were undertaken to showcase Quirino’s Bests.

The first to be held was the Thanksgiving Mass where employees attended the Holy Mass concelebrated by the six parish priests of the six municipalities.

As a gesture of appreciation and recognition to employees and public officials who have exemplary performed their duties and responsibilities, an Awarding and Recognition Ceremonies were the highlights of the Opening Program. There were 12 recipients of the Outstanding Constituents in Action and also twelve recipients in the Barangay Governance.

There were programs for free medical and dental services held at Quirino Provincial Hospitals and with the Provincial Officialdom of Quirino’s initiative, the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinugod performed free Health Care Services and Surgical Operations at the Provincial Hospital, San Marcos, Cabarroguis, Quirino.

One Town, One Product Policy was also supported through the Agro-Industrial Fair Exhibit at the pavilion and municipal booths. Every municipality displayed products like fossilized flowers, veggie kropek, homemade products like tamarind sweets, jellies, peanuts of all sort, seedlings, ornamental and flowering plants, furniture and fixtures and different kinds of handicrafts.

Laro ng Lahi was also held to revive the Pilipino Culture in the hearts and minds of everyone. Then, the Pet show was an avenue to instill the love and care for pets to all people. These were under the auspices of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. Marcelino G. Delson.

Search for Mr. & Miss Quirino 2011 was an evening one could not afford to miss. This was the highlight of the 5-day festival wherein 6 pairs competed for the most coveted title. The Capitol gymnasium was jam packed with spectators due to their interest to watch the parade of beauties and gentlemen in their formal attire, sports and casual wears. For 2011, Miss Nagtipunan was adjudged Ms. Quirino and Mr. Cabarroguis as Mr. Quirino.

Another search to provide an opportunity for the youth to show their excellent singing voice was the Popstar 2011 Big and Little Divisions. This was hosted by DJs Papa Ken and Sexy Romy of 94.5 Love Radio Santiago. The best singers from the six municipalities competed to be called Popstar Prince and Princess for each of the two categories. This competition was through the chairmanship of the organizer Renato Silao. It was a tooth and nail competition because all the contestants performed with gusto and the judicious panel of judges efficiently selected the champions.

Gitarock a term for the Battle of the Band Competition was another attraction to discover the group who has acumen in music especially in band. It was so much publicized that contestants from Santiago City even participated in the contest. Thus an organization of band players was formed where officers elected to lead the group known as BAQUIR, a clipped word for Banda ng Quirino, with Edwin Antonio as the organizer. The organization would be a partner of the government in developing the youth to become more productive and law abiding citizens.

The grand parade attended by all employees in the local and national agencies as well as non-government organizations, street dancers and the Drum and Lyre Corps manifested the great unity of the people of Quirino.

Women’s participation was also felt due to the presence of the Rural Improvement Club. They also showed their accomplishments by having a separate evening to remember just to show how great the presence of women in the attainment of any endeavor.

Another breathtaking activity was the must – see event where everyone witnessed death defying acts and stunts of Sam Milby who suffered the brunt of an injury when he tried to speed up with his motorbike, but, due to the slippery mounds of muddy soil, he lost control that resulted to his bad fall. On the other hand, Mr. Aguilar who also performed excellent with thrills and frills of driving his bike left a hair-raising feeling among the amazed spectators. All the bikers showed their prowess in Motocross that left an indelible mark in the hearts of Quirinians.

Panagdadapun 2011 glaringly showed how the people of Quirino love the province due to the overwhelming participation of everyone. Young and old braved the scorching heat of the sun during the first few days and after which the cold rain and muddy ground just to show their support for the celebration radiated a sterling leadership headed by the provincial officials down the lowest unit of governance.

With the present leadership, Quirino will never cease soaring to greater heights of progress and development, exploring wider avenues to attain the lofty dreams of its people thereby making Quirino a very peaceful, advanced and renowned province in this country.//Oly M. Rueda//

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