News Feature: Naliyagan Festival finally opens; Independence Day celebration highlights the event
By David M. Suyao
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 12 (PIA) - The 23rd Naliyagan Festival 2015 finally opens with colors highlighted by the celebration of the 117th Independence Day Celebration.
Igniting awareness and reminders to people around the Naliyagan Cultural Center, joyful music fills the air as early as 4:00 a.m. of June 12, 2015. Wow! The most awaited mother of all festivals in Agusan del Sur finally starts as the early dawn breaks.
Clad in Filipiniana and barong tagalong, government employees started to gather at Saint Vincent Parish while Agusan natives, clad in their costumes with combined colors of red, white, yellow and black gather at the the main stage of the Naliyagan Cultural Center (NCC) to perform the “Panawagtawag,” a native ritual of calling the good spirits, to bless and harmonize the celebration.
After the concelebrated mass, Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza escorted by 401st Brigade Commander Col. Alexander Macario, together with First Congressional District Representative Maria Valentina Plaza, Vice Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, mayors of the 13 towns and the lone City of Bayugan and other provincial and municipal officials march towards the Rizal monument for the wreath laying as the initial ceremony for the celebration of Independence Day.
While marching towards the main stage of the NCC, Gov. Plaza, together with various government officials drop by the new Heritage Center just across the Rizal monument for the blessing and turn-over ceremony. Then the program proper for the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day and the opening of the Naliyagan Festival started.
The Philippine Flag was first raised by Gov. Plaza with Cong. Plaza, DILG Provincial Director Arleen Ann Sanchez and Col. Macario, while the Provincial Flag was raised by Vice Gov. Cane and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, followed by the city/ municipal flags hoisted by their respective mayors and the Naliyagan flag.
In his welcome address, Vice Gov. Cane defined festival as celebration for unity and prosperity, while Philippine Independence Day celebration means "recollection of the struggles of our race to gain freedom and Independence."
For her part, Cong. Plaza said “We are privileged to be gathered here at the Naliyagan Cultural Center in order to recall and honor our forefathers who pour their blood to gain freedom with dignity and pride. We should therefore repay them with love, cooperation and being responsible and productive so that in our own way, we will bring our fellowmen to progress and better living. And as we open the 23rd Naliyagan Festival we can proudly raise our heads up for having rich culture and tradition as we display our products and skills for the world to see.”
Referring to the target of the provincial government to reduce poverty incidence in the province and the unity of the public officials, Gov. Plaza said Agusanons must be very proud to be part of the struggles that lift the economic condition of the province.
"Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the gift of our forefathers to us, our independence and freedom, and at the same time celebrate the Naliyagan Festival, the time when we gather together to celebrate our success as Agusanons through the years of our struggles to lift up our economic condition. We must be proud that we have time to be together and share the joy that the festival will brings for all of us. Therefore by the power vested in me, I formally declare the Naliyagan Festival open." Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza said in his message.
After the governor’s message, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Edward Plaza Mellana presented the 449 scholars for the school year 2015-2015 which Gov. Plaza confirmed.
Then the merry making of the 23rd Naliyagan Festival begins with the flying of the balloons symbolizing the week-long festivity and the fleeing of doves symbolizing freedom. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Feature: Our dream together #KayaKoAngPagbabago
By Ryan Malbas Tapayan
“For me, a happy family is coupled with love and care. Love because it endures no pain when one member is out for the good of all. Caring because it sees every sacrifices a reason to hold each smile a memory of forever,” Thelma Peteros Lanaria said.
Thelma of Purok Alvizia, Barangay Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur is one of the six self-sufficient Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in the locality. She is married to Harlan F. Lanaria who is now working as an elementary instructor in Durata Aria School in Thailand. The couple is blessed with three children, Lian, 11; Avril, 7; and Kent Adrian, 3.
“Having children enrolled in elementary and in a nursery school is an issue nowadays. Especially that education of my children demands continues financial support; our ways and means are nonetheless limited to work so hard and work very very hard,” Thelma delivered with a happy face.
Thelma became a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last 2009. Then, Harlan was still at the second year of his degree on Elementary Education at Surigao del Sur State University [Then called as Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State College] in Tandag City. While Harlan is continuing his studies, Thelma managed to send their children to school with the help of Harlan’s parents.
“It was a very challenging experience. I really thought that our story would end up that way. But everything bloomed when Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program came. This program guides and supports us. Now, I continue to learn things through my attendance in Family Development Session (FDS),” Thelma shared.
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is one of the core poverty reduction programs of the government being delivered through the DSWD. This program was formerly called Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino. It aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the Philippines by investing in health and education of children particularly in ages 0–18. It is patterned on programs in other developing countries like Brazil (Bolsa Familia) and Mexico (Oportunidades).
“Now that we have Pantawid Pamilya with us, sending my children to school is no longer our major problem. I was able to provide them [children] with new school uniforms, bags, and other things needed in school. Also, I continue to send my children to our barangay health centers to constantly check their health conditions,” Thelma happily added.
“I really knew that Pantawid Pamilya is just a support program for the Filipino families who are in need of social protection services most especially to indigent families. This reasons us to inspire ourselves more to do best and work harder for our children. In fact, my attendance in Family Development Session (FDS) became my passport to signify my interest to apply as a daycare worker in our barangay,” Thelma shared.
With her diligence, Thelma was chosen by their barangay captain through the recommendation of their purok officials to teach day care pupils with a monthly honorarium of P2,700.00. Her active involvement in all community activities has bolded her perspective to grow as a person.
“As a mother to my children, I have been dreaming to home my children in a place that they can call theirs. Since we got married, we are living at my husband’s parents’ house. Though we are living harmoniously with them [in-laws], but nothing is even better if we can have our own place to live in. This dream is our dream together for our children,” Thelma happily relayed.
Thelma continues to hope that someday, her dream will become reality.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is one of the poverty reduction programs of the DSWD. It covers three levels of well-being, survival, subsistence and self-sufficiency. Survival means a set of conditions and situations in a household that shows absence of internal and external resources as well as a dysfunctional pattern of resource utilization and therefore renders the household unable to resolve the problem. Subsistence means a set of conditions and situations in a household that shows lack of internal and external resources as well as a dysfunctional pattern of resource utilization and therefore renders the household unable to not fully resolve the problem. Self-sufficiency is a set of conditions and situations in a household that demonstrates the capacity of the household client to function adequately and make full use of the opportunities available in the community in meeting their needs and attaining a god quality of life. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)
Lanuza town in SurSur marks 117th Independence Day with a bang
By Greg Tataro Jr.
TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 12 (PIA) – Lanuza town here in Surigao del Sur marked the 117th Independence Day celebration today with fanfare.
The activity, which is split into four main events, kicked off at 8:00 a.m. with a Thanksgiving Mass to be followed by a commemorative parade around town, then the formal commemoration.
Municipal and barangay officials, guests, town employees, as well as the general public converged at Lanuza Freedom Plaza headed by Mayor Salvacion Azarcon.
However, before the start of commemoration proper, participants came together for the processional march.
Aside from the ecumenical rites, the key moments include the entrance of colors, singing of the national anthem during the flag raising, welcome address by Vice-Mayor Marvin Azarcon, then the memorial tribute ceremony with Ernie Gultiano, DILG town chief, gave an insight for the significance of the day. After which, wreath laying and 21 gun salute.
But the ceremony does not end here since there are other activities in store for the day—among the major ones are fluvial parade, sports fest, and more.
Still part of the program are the entrance and coronation rites of Miss Independence 2015—Ms. Kyll Kristene Velarde, a registered nurse; introduction of DILG Caraga regional director Lilibeth Famacion as the keynote speaker by Sangguniang Bayan member Annielyn Sunir, celebratory messages by Governor Johnny Pimentel and 1st District Congressman Philip Pichay.
But before Mayor Azarcon will give a talk, she is going to present first a plaque to the keynote speaker.
Based on the official program, after her talk, there will be a grand finale featuring “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” to be followed immediately by a recessional march. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)