Come rain or shine.Not letting the damp weather waste weeks of preparation, children participating in the “Sayaw sa Niyog” street dance competition for Quezon’s Niyogyugan Festival charged on gaily. Competitors in the said contest came from all over the province to represent their respective municipalities. (Quezon PIO)
Despite the continuous rain, the spirits of the participants in the coconut-themed float, street dance, and beauty pageant competitions were barely dampened as they made their way through the streets of Lucena City last August 14, Tuesday, for the Araw ng Niyog celebration – part of the week-long Niyogyugan festivity in the province of Quezon.
The parade started at SM City Lucena and was led by colourful and meticulously designed floats from 20 municipalities, which carried their “queens” – beauties representing their respective municipalities – in the “Reyna ngNiyog” beauty pageant. The street dancers also displayed their energetic and artful moves as they cruisedalong Quezon Avenue, Merchan St., and M.L. Tagarao St. towards Pacific Mall, Lucena, where the judging for the best “Karosa ng Niyog” took place.
The event highlighted the rich culture and history of the province, showcasing the different festivals, products, and personalities that have become the claim to fame of the participating municipalities. Of course, the niyog – dubbed the “Tree of Life”, remained to be the celebration’s common denominator and focal point.
Before the “Sayaw sa Niyog” street dance competition and the “Reyna ng Niyog” pageant started at the Quezon Convention Center(QCC) – the final venue – Quezon Governor David “Jayjay” C. Suarez gave an opening speech. According to the governor, he will consult with the Provincial Council in order to make the Niyogyugan Festival an official even to be celebrated yearly. And to reward the time, talent, sweat and tears the participants invested, Gov. Suarez gave 30,000 pesos each as consolation prize for the participating municipalities even before they took to the stage.
For the category “Sayaw sa Niyog”, the town of Unisan won first place, entitling them to a prize of 200,000 pesos. The town of Tiaong, on the other hand, received second place and 150,000 pesos, followed by the town of Lucban in third place with 100,000 pesos.
For the “Karosa ng Niyog”, Padre Burgos snagged the first place, with 150,000 pesos, and was followed by Mauban, which received 100,000 pesos at second, and Candelaria at third, with 75,000 pesos.
Unisan’s queen reigned supreme at the “Reyna ng Niyog”, and was conferred with 20,000 pesos. The town of Lucban’s bet trailed after her at second place, receiving 15,000 pesos, while the third place was snagged by Lucena’s hopeful – who consequently received 10,000 pesos for having the best festival costume – gaining her another 10,000.
Aside from the good governor of Quezon, in attendance during the dance competition and beauty pageant was his First Lady, Mrs. Anna Villaraza-Suarez; his mother, former Congresswoman Aleta Suarez; and the mayors of different municipalities in the province. During the event, Gov. Suarez also announced that there will be an Overall Champion for the Niyogyugan Festival, which would be conferred by the Provincial Government with 5 million worth of projects.
During the following days, more activities are set to give color to the Niyogyugan festival, which would culminate in the offering of flowers in front of the Manuel L. Quezon Monument, Perez Park, to honor his 134th birthday on August 19.
Other activity of note during Niyogyugan is the Araw ng Pamilyang Magsasaka last August 15, with a coconut and rural life themed sports fest and the “Pinaka”Contest, featuring the most and the best in terms of produce and livestock. The GawadSaka Awardees were also conferred their respective accolades on that day. A coconut farmer’s forum and women’s forum was also held the day after at the Kalilayan Hall and the QCC’s AVR, respectively.
On the 17th would be the Araw ng Gawad Parangal, where the prestigious Medalya ng Karangalan will be bestowed upon 11 Quezonians excelling in various fields, all of which have brought honor not only to their names but to their dear province as well. (Quezon PIO)
Despite the rains, Quezon Governor David “Jayjay” C. Suarez came to observe the bounties from different municipalities all over the province in the opening of the Niyogyugan Festival’s Agri-Tourism Exposition. (Quezon PIO)