Here’s another news article from Balita.ph.
(Travel/Tourism) “Marilag Festival” adds more fun in the Philippines
March 16, 2012 2:36 am
By Saul E. Pa-a
SANTA MARIA, Laguna, March 15 — Eight months after President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July citing this town’s exemplary “daang matuwid” for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) P30-million farm-to-market roads project accomplishments, Santa Maria is now upbeat as it gears up for its first- ever “Marilag Festival” on April 10 to 12 following the Lenten break.
Santa Maria Mayor, Atty. Antonio Carolino, has mobilized the townfolks here to promote the festival which coincides with the harvest season of the primarily agricultural town’s staple “Santa Maria rice” and a galore of best tropical fruits and vegetables that made this biggest agricultural municipality as “Laguna’s food basket”.
Mayor Carolino has offered this Southern Tagalog northeastern scenic town, about 128 kilometers from Metro Manila to cosmopolitan residents, urban dwellers, tourists and visitors shunning the summer heat to explore and take a glimpse of the eco-tourism destination and nature’s bounty without venturing too far from the metropolis.
As the new summer getaway, Santa Maria showcases its natural attraction known as the “Three Falls,” a spectacular three-tier stream and springs cascading from the slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountain for swimming and picnic.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Reggie Hernandez described the town’s relaxing eco-tourism site in Barangay Laurel as very accessible on a two-hour’s drive from Metro Manila passing through Rizal province’s country side highway. From the town proper, nature lovers and excursionists can reach the natural landmark in about 30 minutes.
Town officials are optimistic of the “Three Falls” attraction this summer, boosting Laguna’s fun and adventure through the province’s over 500 amazing hot and cold springs, mountain spring–fed resorts, protected forest and watershed areas teeming with lush vegetations and clustered natural gardens.
The town’s unique and natural attraction also sustains Laguna’s claim as the country’s “Spring Resort Capital” and the “Marilag Festival” shares in the Department of Tourism (DOT) marketing blitz that “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
Owing to folk lore that inspired the town festival’s name derivative, “MARILAG” which means beautiful, attractive and noble is a contraction of MARIA and LAGUNA.
The festival kicks off with the mountain bikers’ parade at 7 a.m. on April 10 followed by a Thanksgiving Mass.
Farm workers, agricultural tillers and residents of the town’s 25 barangays will showcase their products at 10 a.m. as the Agri-Trade Fair opens and features the Santa Maria rice sold at promotional prices.
The “Three Falls” exploration tours are also opened for swimmers and picnic-goers in the morning followed by the open-mic jam sessions and merry-making after lunch at the town proper after.
Traditional food lovers are also treated to the gastronomic delights of the “kakanin” (native delicacy) Queen and King who will demonstrate their culinary expertise in the traditional fares such as bibingka, suman, sinukmani, kalamay and pinaltok.
Afternoon activities include the “Gandang Tanghali, Kuya Egay” variety show and the Sanggunian Kabataan Dance Fest.
On April 11, the early morning grand parade begins at 5:30 a.m. followed by the street dance competition.
The rustic town’s “Palarong Pinoy” also adds more fun and excitement as it showcases the traditional games tiyakad, palo sebo, juego de anillo, kadang-kadang, hilahan ng lubig (tug-of-war), pagulong and hampas palayok.
As is customary, the cultural sports event features the “bunong braso” as the traditional test of strength for the Filipino “macho.” The “Mayor’s Night” caps the second leg of the three-day festival.
On April 12, Santa Maria’s “Marilag Festival” features the talent search for brawn, brain and beauty among the kids titled “Munting Makisig” and “Munting Marilag”.
Not to be outdone is the Filipino farmer’s “beast of burden”- the carabao – highlighting the harvest festival with a parade, a beauty pageant and a race.
The three-day festivities wind up to a fireworks display in the evening. (PNA) DCT/LOR/SEP/mec
For more info about Santa Maria, Laguna, please visit http://www.santamarialaguna.gov.ph/.