Ilagan City, Isabela”•The Bambanti Festival, awarded as Best of All Festivals for three consecutive years by the Aliw Festival and celebrated annually in this province, officially kicked off Tuesday with a Thanksgiving Mass at the St. Michael Parish Church in Gamu, Isabela.
The festivity has showcased the province’s natural charm and culture and its increasingly expanding economy, Governor Faustino G. Dy III said.
Lawyer Noel Manuel Lopez, the provincial administrator, said the event seeks to keep Isabela’s status as an investment haven in Luzon.
Bannered by the “Victory of Isabela Spirit” (Tagumpay ng Pusong Isabela), the festival highlights all the victories the province has achieved through creative concepts and images.
This year’s feast capitalizes on the province’s gains in agriculture, tourism, and other drivers of the economy, Lopez said.
Bambanti, the local word for a scarecrow, is the Isabelinos’ thanksgiving for their consistently abundant agricultural harvest.
The festival also celebrates the resilience and diligence of the Isabela farmer, who dreams to see the province as the country’s biggest corn and rice surplus producer, Vice Governor Antonio ‘Tonypet” Albano said.
Rep. Rodito T. Albano III said: “The festivity is equally a celebration of the victory and triumph of the province in various competitions awarded by the government and the private sectors on good governance.”
Isabela has “reached its vision” in several national prestigious awards, Albano added.
Meanwhile, Board Member Rolly Tugade stressed that this year’s festivity is a grander celebration of Isabela alongside the provincial government and organizers who have successfully raised the bar in promoting Bambanti for tourism and investment.
The province is bidding to enter the Guinness book of world records for the longest line and most participants in street dancimg, with the involvement of 25 contingents coming from the different municipalities of the province, Tugade said.
Officials also graced the grand opening of the Bambanti Village, featuring the different cities and municipalities of the province.
They showcased their respective Agri-tourism Booth and Giant Bambanti entries using only natural, organic, and biodegradable materials indigenous to the province.
In line with the 2019 Bambanti Festival, a medical, dental, surgical mission was conducted at the Governor Faustino N. Dy Memorial Hospital.
Among the highlights of the six-day festivity was the opening of the Bambanti Village with colorful scarecrows in each booth; the competition for the best Giant Bambanti; best street dance and festival dance showdown; Festival King and Queen; and Isabela’s Master Kusinero Cooking Competition, among others at the Isabela Sports Complex.
Named after Spanish Queen Isabella II through a royal decree issued by the King of Spain on May 1, 1856, the province has celebrated the Bambanti Festival since 1997.