Abra marks 89th founding anniversary
By Maritess B. Beņas
BANGUED, Abra (14 March) -- The joyous and colorful annual celebration of this year's ARYA ABRA Festival is embedded in the 89th founding anniversary of Abra as an independent province on March 9, 1917.
The ARYA ABRA is a five-day celebration with the participation of all sectors as one big Abreņo family. This year's celebration revolves on the theme "Rang-ay ken Ragragsak: Bunga ti Panagkaykaysa."
The first day of the celebrations started with a "Diana", wake-up call by the different bands around the town proper together with Abra Joggers Club and Abra Riders Association. Also on the same day was the youth day celebration with competitions among school groups on various events like drum & Glockensiel, cheering, and street dancing making use of Abra's indigenous musical instruments.
The special featured activity for the day was the turn-over and blessing of the mango dryer facilities in Brgy. Mudiit, Dolores at the OISCA (Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement) Center on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of OISCA.
The local wine festival dubbed as "Basi Festival" was another come-on as it showcased the 'Abrazzi", a concoction of basi made of sugarcane, honey and green mango juice.
Day 2 was extra-ordinary as the celebrations integrated the implementation of PGMA's poverty alleviation program. Abra's local products which are agri and aqua-based were paraded around the town proper. Sports complimented the morning's farmers/fisherfolks/entreprinoys parade. A dog show was done at the Bangued Town Plaza followed by the usual horse racing & exhibitions at the Arya Abra Oval. Exhibition games and basketball clinic were conducted in the Bangued Town Plaza. The all-star basketball team of the San Miguel Corporation played against the Abra Horsemen.
March 8, the international women's day the women of Abra paraded in their colorful traditional costumes together with Ms. Arya Abra-Earth candidates in gowns made of the municipality's main product. After the parade, a women's lifestyle check and pampering was done at the "Kikay's Corner" . This promotes Pres. Proc. No. 958, declaring Year 2005-2015 as the Decade of Healthy Lifestyle. The Arya Abra took the opportunity to promote local Abra Medical Tourism with the local Abra traditional massage and wellness practices at the capitol atrium.
The "karambola" kept everyone awake after lunch at the Viva Farms atop Emerald Hills in Zone 7. The karambola was a simultaneous fight among four or more cocks and hack fight for bantam and regular cocks. The lolos and lolas were never out of the limelight as they enjoyed their grand sosyalan of caring and sharing at the Bangued Municipal Hall.
March 9 was the highlight of the ARYA ABRA Festival, it being the founding anniversary. After the Holy Mass officiated by Very Rev. Nilo S. Peig at the Arya Abra Oval, the grand parade followed. The parade showcased PGMA's Flagship Program - "OTOP" (One Town One Product) and a special feature on the "Fire Dog" in celebration of 2006 Year of the Fire Dog.
In the afternoon, the Tingguian Fest portrayed the "Begnas", a rice harvest thanksgiving. Other Abra indigenous rituals and artifacts were also presented at the Capitol Atrium.
The nights were as colorful with the Ms. Arya Abra-Earth 2006 Pre-Pageant on the first night, Rock Abra Rock on the second night, Coronation of the Ms. Arya Abra-Earth 2006 on the third night all at the Bangued Town Plaza
The Arya Abra Festival is never complete without the Veterans and Men in uniform - the defenders of our liberty. After the usual parading around the town plaza, there was a medical and dental mission and a photo exhibit of the vintage weapons at the Capitol Atrium.
The festival culminated with the drawing of raffle tickets in the afternoon at the Agri-Aqua Entrepinoy Trade Fair. (PIA) [top]