A Fiesta For The Ocean: Navigate The Country's Cleanest River Via Colorful Boats
Bernard Supetran | Jun 02, 2017
Pangasinan's annual Pistay Dayat is a traditional summertime festival held at the vast stretch of sand at Lingayen Gulf, one of the country's largest bodies of water.
Dating back to decades ago before street dancing became a fad, this summertime event celebrates the bounty of the sea in the Gulf which teems with marine life and colonial history. Back then, local folks from all over the coastal towns would troop to the nearest beach with their families and friends for spontaneous merry-making, picnics and community activities in a fiesta atmosphere. The excursions usually peak on May 1, being a national holiday, where the beaches get an influx from the urban areas.
Over the years, more activities were added to the Pistay Dayat make it a more interesting tourism event for visitors. Thus, a jazzed up version of the sea festival was born. Today, the celebration is highlighted by the Banca Parada, a fluvial parade at the Agno River which features gaily-decorated boats showcasing municipalities, government offices and establishments in Pangasinan.
According to the LGU, the river parade showcases Agno as one of country's cleanest and most navigable river systems. The river underwent rehabilitation in the previous provincial administration, which he is pursuing to be a showpiece of environmental sustainability. He added that Pistay Dayat also stresses the need to protect the natural resources, marine, coastal, river and mountain ecosystems for the next generation.
The 206-km Agno River, whose headwaters emanate in the Cordillera Mountain ranges, is the country’s largest river in terms of water discharge, draining around 6.6 cubic kilometers of fresh water into the Lingayen Gulf.
Spicing up the festivities were fringe events such as paramotor, paragaliding and sky diving exhibitions, sandcastle-building, shootfests, musical and entertainment shows, beach volleyball, air soft competitions, tourism and trade expo, art exhibits, various sporting events, and the Limgas na Pangasinan beauty pageant which selected the ambassadresses of tourism and goodwill of the province.
The month-long festivity concluded with a coastal cleanup at the Lingayen Gulf to protect the marine ecosystem. Check the gallery above to see exclusive photos of this fun festival!
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