TUBA, Benguet – Unveiling the theme “Sustainable Entrepreneurial Development Amidst Agricultural Challenges for a Better and Healthier Tuba,” the municipality conducted its 8th AVA festival from September 21 to 22.
The Sangguniang Bayan Members enacted Ordinance No. 235 Series 2014 established the Ava Festival which recognized its vital role as a staple food for occasions, celebrations, and local culture, where “Ava” is also mentioned in local histories and chants. The festival showcased the lively spirit of the municipality, where tradition and progress coexist while paving the way toward a promising future.
“Our purpose is that we want to also enhance our farmers through many series of training and seminars. That’s why we introduced this and are advising our farmers to plant more ava so that there will always be ava,” Mayor Sal-Ongan of Municipality of Tuba highlighted in her talk.
The celebration was packed with different activities for the public. On September 21, the festival opened with a ceremonial “Owik,” that paid homage to their town’s cultural heritage. This was followed by a ribbon cutting for the Mini Agro-Fair Exhibit, which showcased their local agricultural products. Afterwards, food enthusiasts had a treat at the “Ava Medley,” where various Ava and Taro products were available for tasting.
Turn-over and acceptance ceremony of the Kadiwa vehicle as an essential portion of the agricultural activities took place on Kapihan sa Benguet. This served as a platform for municipal officials and department heads to share updates about their municipality.
Furthermore, the celebration continued on September 22 with a Tourism Summit, where a sharing of success stories was conducted. Additionally, an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) on Salient Features of RA No. 11313 or The Safe Space Act (Bawal Bastos Law), and IEC on “I Love Tuba” Ordinance was discussed by the Sangguniang Bayan members. They also awarded Sharon Bitso as the winner of the Mini Food Fair/Exhibit.
The Ava Festival concluded with the coronation of Mr. and Ms. Tuba 2023, which was held at the Tuba Sports Youth Complex Gymnasium. Mr. Earl Runas of San Pascual and Ms. Shaila Pilo of Camp 3 were crowned Mr. and Ms. Tuba 2023; Richmond Carl Ngolab from Camp 4 and Deli Rose Lamsis from Tadiangan got the 1st runner-up titles; Elijhon Andres from Taloy Sur and Ruffamae Singson from Camp 4 secured the 2nd runner-up titles, Dickson Liwan from Camp 3 and Arlyn Lozada from Poblacion were hailed as the 3rd runners-up. By Hershey Vallo and Adrian Mas