BONTOC, Mountain Province December 31 – The current status of ‘Panagbenga OR Baguio flower festival as one of the country’s longest running crowd drawing festivities inspired the provincial government to introduce needed innovations to its own ‘Lang-ay festival’ in order to encourage more community participation in the annual conduct of the event every April,” Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen said.
Mayaen, together with the private sector of the province, formalize the staging of the festival every April which will be separate from the celebration of the province’s foundation anniversary every April 7.
He said the concept adopted by the concerned stakeholders in the annual conduct of the ‘Lang-ay festival’ will be similar to that of the Baguio flower festival where the organization, administration and management of the events will be handled by the private sector in order to empower the private sector to continuously extend their utmost support to crowd drawing initiatives geared towards enticing the influx of more visitors to the province during the summer months.
“We must allow the celebration of the province’s founding anniversary to be given emphasis and the appropriate limelight. Let us not leave our founding anniversary in the sidelines,” Mayaen stressed.
The governor explained even if the conduct of the ‘Lang-ay festival’ will be done separately from the province’s founding anniversary, the provincial government will continue to extend its P2 million subsidy to the organizers to allow the smooth conduct of the activities purposely geared towards improving the province’s tourism potentials.
Mayaen said while the conduct of the festival will be managed by the province’s private sector, representatives of the provincial government and concerned government agencies will be working with the concerned committees to help ensure the successful conduct of the first attempt of the local government to have the private sector handle the holding of a major crowd drawing event.
He commended the province’s private sector for their willingness to accept the responsibility of spearheading the conduct of this year’s ‘Lang-ay festival’ so that the community will be empowered to actively participate in the organization of future crow drawing events as local businesses among others are expected to directly benefit from the influx of foreign and domestic visitors.
“We need to involve the community in the organization and execution of plans and programs like the Lang-ay festival. We want the community to feel that government is giving them the importance in the landing of such kind of big events,” Mayaen said.
‘Lang-ay’ is an Alai word for gathering together and feasting on food and drinks,, particularly indigenous fruit wines such as ‘tapuey’ among others.
Mayaen expressed gratitude to the province’s private sector for accepting the responsibility of spearheading this ;year’s festival which will be held by the third week of April and separate from the celebration of the province’s founding anniversary, saying that it will just be the star of more collaborative work between the government and the private sector.