STA. MARCELA, Apayao – The municipality kicked off its three day celebration of the 56th Founding Anniversary and 19th Balangkoy Festival with a grand opening ceremony held at the Elias K Bulut, Sr. Park, Bacut Lake on June 15, 2023.
Marking another milestone in the town’s history, the festivity brought together residents and visitors, fostering a strong sense of community pride, cultural heritage, and a perfect amalgamation of tradition, entertainment, and a showcase of local talent.
Graced by Congresswoman Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang, joined by various provincial directors of national line agencies, representatives from the provincial government, local officials, and residents, the three-day celebration started with an Ecumenical Service at the said park.
Sta. Marcela Mayor Evelyn b. Martinez, in her welcome address, provided an overview of the history of the town and likewise shared information about the origin of the Balangkoy Festival. “This used to be an idle land because we can’t grow corn and rice but eventually, we found out that the soil is fertile for cassava plants,” Mayor Martinez stated.
For her part, Congresswoman Bulut-Begtang expressed her admiration for the municipality of Sta. Marcela, for being able to withstand challenges throughout the years and achieve exemplary developments.
“Very inspiring ang Santa Marcela. Ngamin, haan nga hadlang iti kinabassit it IRA [Internal Revenue Allotment], tapno makapagprogreso iti maysa nga municipalidad. It’s the willingness of the people that drives development in the community, and this humble town is a reminder of such,” she said adding that, “It is through unity and love among Yapayaos that all the dreams and aspirations of the whole province are made possible.”
Additionally, she likewise reminded the youth that they need to change their mindset and perspectives about life, and that they need to armor themselves with knowledge, skills, and necessary life qualities as they are to become the next leaders. She encouraged them to become aware of what is happening in their community and reiterated that greater responsibilities wait for them.
Moreover, after the Ecumenical Service, various activities lined up were likewise started such as the inaugural Fluvial Parade, Tourism, and Trade Fair, as well as the introduction of the candidates of the highly-anticipated Libnos ti Santa Marcela 2023. By Jomela C. Dela Torre