Heroism and unity beckon this year's Timpuyog Festival
By Joel Pinos and Renan Garcia
Kiamba, Sarangani (February 11) -- A huge multitude of local and foreign tourists and feast-goers, not to mention lovers, are expected to flood in at the heart of the town ? painting it red ? on Valentine's Day, February 14, commemorating the tri-people's 62 years of beautiful, heroic and legendary romance.
The land was vastly barren then with resources unspoiled.
However, Christians, Muslims and tribal forebears, despite their diversity in tongue, belief and norms, combined their individual strength and shared one common vision in transforming the rough wilds into a rich and promising agricultural land.
Now, with the present government's efficient and transparent leadership, Kiambans of today and tomorrow's generation are proudly marching on to a destiny ? a community of sustainable peace and progress.
With this year's anniversary theme: "Maging KIAMBAyani, Makipag-KIAMBAyanihan!"(Let us unite and be a hometown hero) people are called for a perpetual display of commendable character and keeping up the harmonious relationship and understanding among Christians, Muslims and Lumads living together as one peaceful and progressive community.
"Pagsikapan natin na mapag-isa tayong mga Kiambans at magkaroon tayo ng mas angat na antas ng pamumuhay sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaisa, that is why we came up with this theme," explained Mayor Rom Falgui.
Kiamba also celebrates its 6th Timpuyog Festival. Timpuyog is an Ilocano word connoting unity.
Kiamba was created a municipality in August 18, 1947 by virtue of Executive Order No. 82.
On February 4, various Christian and Muslim religious leaders have convened and gathered at least a thousand believers at the municipal kiosk, offering prayers through an interfaith service which officially opened the week-long festivity.
This year, the festivity also showcases the fisher folks' ingenuity in fish-catching. About 100 fishermen-participants will compete for the first ever Ramon T. Falgui Fishing Festival, honoring Mayor Rom's father, Ramon, who is said to have pioneered Kiamba's fishing industry during the early 70s.
Binugsayay (a Visayan term for rowing) and the Bancarera (motorboat racing) are also included in competitions intended for the fisher folks.
Aqua-marine production besides agriculture is said to be the town's main economic facet where 70% of its people's source of living relies much on fishing activity. Accordingly, Kiamba shares 30% of sashimi grade tuna to the General Santos City fishport.
With the local government's effort in installing a municipal fishport at the poblacion, the fishing sector is now anticipating lesser input yet greater income for their industry.
About P9 million was allocated for the first phase (site development), funded by Sarangani provincial government and Department of Agriculture's SELAP (Support to Emergency Livelihood Assistance Program), and is said to be completed early this year.
Immediately afterwards, P10 million will be allocated for the project's second phase (market hall) which will be funded by the Philippine Fishport Development Authority.
Meanwhile, five outstanding citizens will also be acknowledged on February 11. Now on its second year, The Kiambayani Awards is the local government's recognition to natives who brought regional, national, or international fame and honor and shared great contributions significant to the pride and progress of the municipality.
"This is a calling for all Kiambans to share a part of their lives, and go beyond an extra mile to help in taking part for the development of Kiamba," said municipal councilor and Over-all Events Coordinator Eva Eramis-Villamor.
Also included in the selection are students from all levels who have shown exemplary performance in academics or extra and co-curricular activities such as sports, music and the arts.
On February 13 at 7pm, 10 young ladies of brain and beauty will vie for the crown as Miss Kiamba 2010.
Indeed, Timpuyog is a celebration of unity and brotherhood.
Sufficing to say, that it was the Kiambayanihan Spirit ? by which people have inherited from their Kiambayani ? the founding fathers, not only a township, but a paradise to cherish with. (Kiamba News Center/PIA SarGen) [top]