Pagsanjan holds 12th Bangkero fest
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 2, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Pagsanjan, Laguna holds the 12th edition of the Bangkero Festival starting today until March 6.

With the theme Turismo at Kapaligiran: Ating Ingatan at Alagaan, the festival aims to promote local tourism for economic development and environmental protection.

“The five-day festival promises to be bigger and better, with new added attractions. Events include boat regattas, a fluvial and land float parade, street dancing competition, drum and lyre band contest, palarong bangkero painting contest, native games, the search for Lakan at Binibining Pagsanjan, and a host of special events,” says Mayor Jeorge (ER Ejercito) Estregan Jr.

He adds the festival is a tribute to the skilled boatmen who shoot the rapids at the Pagsanjan River all the way to the world-famous Pagsanjan Falls, Laguna’s iconic tourist attraction.

 The festival culminates on March 5 with street dancing exhibitions, the regatta finals, the most-awaited colorful fluvial parade competition and a cultural show by the world-renown Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company.

“The bangkeros are natural navigators as they safely steer the tourists’ bancas in an exhilarating, spine-tingling, adrenaline-pumping shooting-the-rapids-experience,” Ejercito says of the town’s boatmen who are the frontliners of the local tourism industry.

Once Laguna’s provincial capital in the 1800s, Pagsanjan is home to Spanish-era historic spots such as the Arco Real (the town’s royal arch), ancestral houses and the Church of the Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The town, which is known for its shoe industry, was declared the tourist capital of Laguna by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because of its timeless tourist-drawing allure.

For details, call (049) 808-4057.

ARCO REAL ATING INGATAN BANGKERO FESTIVAL BAYANIHAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY BINIBINING PAGSANJAN CHURCH OF THE OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE EJERCITO ESTREGAN JR. MAYOR JEORGE ONCE LAGUNA PAGSANJAN
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