By Jessica M. Bacud
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – The Local Government of Cagayan kicked off its 440th Aggao Nac Cagayan celebration from June 1 to July 2, 2023 here.
With the theme, “Gapu iti panagkaykaysa, balligi inpaay na!” (In unity, victory is gained), the celebration stresses that in the spirit of unity among the Cagayano populace amid the challenges, the province has surpassed all hurdles and attained its goals.
Lawyer Mabel Villarica-Mamba, the First Lady of the province and chairperson of the Aggao Nac Cagayan 2023 Steering Committee, said this year’s theme is also centered on Governor Manuel Mamba’s advocacy against corruption and other issues like vote buying.
“We have always endeavored to make the current Aggao Nac Cagayan celebration the best one yet. As in prior festivals throughout the Mamba regime, we recognize the excellence of the Cagayano and proudly display the color, culture, and talent of our province. It is undoubtedly a celebration of the Cagayano as a people,” Atty. Mamba said.
“Our 28 towns and one city each have unique and distinct characteristics but share a common dream and aspiration of a more progressive, developed, and competitive Cagayan.”
“We want to showcase where we have come from and where we are headed, as well as everything that is finest of and in Cagayan. Also, the overwhelming support of Cagayanos for Governor Mamba’s advocacies prove that in unity lies our strength as a people,” she emphasized.
Bannered by the “Victory of Cagayano Spirit,” the festival highlights the triumphs the province has achieved through unity, and capitalizes on the province’s gains in agriculture, tourism, and other drivers of the economy.
The festival is equally a celebration of the triumph of the province in numerous competitions granted by the government and the corporate sectors on good governance.
Meanwhile, Jenifer Baquiran, Provincial Tourism Officer, said the event strives to retain Cagayan’s status as an investment haven in Luzon.
An array of new and exciting activities is set for the historic fete of the province’s anniversary that lasts for more than a month.
Among the highlights of Aggao Nac Cagayan 2023 is the Pabbarayle Cultural Dance Parade and Showdown on June 29 that will feature merry and colorful street dancing, with the various towns and their local Mutya (beauties) portraying their unique cultural identities.
The Aggao Nac Cagayan kicked off with a parade at the Cagayan Sports Complex led by Governor Mamba and First Lady Atty. Mamba. The opening activity will be the Basketball Tournament of GEOs led by the Provincial Administrator’s Office, Task Force Lingkod Cagayan, and Cagayan PDRRMO.
As part of the “I Love Cagayan River Movement” program, tree-growing activities will be held throughout the month of celebration each Wednesday starting June 7 alongside the river clean-up in other towns in the province.
The prestigious Dangal ng Lahing Cagayano awards “will exemplify the greatness of a Cagayano, whose integrity, determination, dedication and service will be featured,” Mamba said.
The Trade Fair “Paddarafunan” will feature the various products of Cagayano business owners, entrepreneurs, and exhibitors, while the different towns of the province will bring together agricultural products, technology, and other tourism offerings.
Some of the new activities include a drone show, a songwriting competition, Chinese arts and culture day, Cagayan Museum re-opening, Pistang Health, Pretty Preggy, Rural Improvement Club (RIC) Search, tattoo expo, animal expo, aquarium show, and agri-skills competition.
The Cagayan Art and Creative Writing Awards (CACWA), art workshops, and sand sculpting are among the other activities.
“This year’s Aggao Nac Cagayan is a simple but full of heart, a celebration for the Cagayanos’ festival of culture, natural charm, and thanksgiving for a victorious fight. You have to experience it to know what we mean,” Atty. Mamba disclosed.