LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Office of the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, approved the request of the provincial government to declare Wednesday, November 23, 2016 as a special non-working holiday in Benguet in time for the celebration of the province’s 116th founding anniversary and its traditional Adivay Festival.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia by authority of President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Proclamation No. 98 that declared Wednesday, November 23, 2016 as a special non-working holiday in the whole province to allow the people and its officialdom to celebrate its founding anniversary and Adivay Festival in fitting activities that were prepared by the organizers of the annual celebration.
The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Benguet Gains-Our Pride: Adopting Change for Inclusive Human Development.”
Benguet, is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the southern tip of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The highland province is known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines due to its huge production of upland vegetables.
Situated within the interior of Benguet is the highly urbanized city of Baguio, which is administratively independent from the province.
Gov. Crecencio Pacalso recently announced that the provincial government decided to forego the scheduled grand cañao for this year’s celebration to use the funds for the purpose to help the calamity-stricken families provincewide after Benget was heavily devastated by the onslaught of Supertyphoon Lawin last month.
One of the highlights of the province’s anniversary celebration and Adivay Festival is the agro-tourism trade fair at the Wangal Sports Complex wherein the thirteen municipalities have established their booths to showcase their products and tourism destinations for the appreciation of the local residents and visitors.
Benguet, which is composed of 13 municipalities, is a mineral-rich province playing host to three large-scale mining companies, the Tuba-based Philiex Mining Corporation, the Itogon-based Benguet Corporation and the Mankayan-based Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC), but majority of its populace rely on vegetable farming as one of the primary sources of their livelihood.
Lately, a recent study showed that Benguet is one of the top ten places where people want to live because of the low cost of living, high life expectancy rate and guaranteed source of income.
Benguet is also considered the Salad Bowl of the Philippines being the source of at least 80 percent of the supply of highland vegetables being sold in the different Metro Manila and lowland markets over the past several decades.
Pacalso extended the invitation to the public interested to join the people and officialdom of the province in the simple but meaningful activities for the celebration of the province’s founding anniversary and its ever famous Adivay Festival.
By Dexter A. See