June 17, 2024

The surge in Covid-19 cases and the threat of the new variant have impacted on the efforts of local government units in the Cordillera to revive their economies through the holding of their cultural and foundation festivities.
LGUs set to conduct festivals in the first quarter this year have either cancelled or suspended the festivities in view of the increasing number of cases and the detection of the UK variant in the country recently.
In Mountain Province, Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Jr. upheld the recommendation of the sangguniang bayan to cancel the Etag Festival, which is celebrated annually from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.
“The 2021 Etag Festival is cancelled. Despite this, we hope to still keep the vision of our municipality in heart and in mind as we continue to survive this pandemic,” the mayor’s office stated in a social media post.
The municipal council, in a resolution passed on Jan. 4, has recommended for the cancellation of this year’s Etag Festival, citing the increasing number of cases and the threat of the new Covid-19 variant.
The council added the local government has started its plans and promotions to allow the locality to slowly get back with economic, social, and cultural development, but has to forego with the efforts because of the threats of the new Covid-19 variant.
In Baguio, the Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. has postponed to a later date the holding of Panagbenga, set from February to March.
Panagbenga Media Committee Chair Andrew Pinero said the BFFFI executive committee and Mayor Benjamin Magalong came up with the decision during their meeting on Jan. 15.
“With the health and safety of residents as the primary concern due to the detection of the UK variant of the Covid-19 in the country and pending the roll out of the vaccine, both decided to move the conduct of the Panagbenga to a later date,” Pinero said.
The city government earlier said it intended to hold this year’s Flower Festival without the street dancing and float parades, which are the highlights of festivity that starts from February to the first week of March.
The 2020 highlights of the Panagbenga were cancelled due to the threats of the Covid-19.
In Benguet, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda who chairs the Strawberry Festival executive committee also announced through his office’s Facebook account the cancellation of the annual festivity.
The month-long Strawberry Festival is held every March, immediately after Baguio’s Flower Festival.
In Kalinga, the provincial government also cancelled its 26th founding anniversary and 5th Bodong Festival celebrations, set in February.
“The observance and commemoration of the province’s 26th founding anniversary will be through a simple thanksgiving mass following all minimum health and safety protocols on Feb. 14,” the provincial government announced in its Facebook page on Jan. 18. – Jane B. Cadalig with reports from PNA