History and Culture

Valor and adventure at CamNorte’s Bantayog Fest

Camarines Norte

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 18, 2013

Named after the Rizal Bantayog, the first Monument built in honor of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in 1898, the festival will showcase CamNorte’s rich cultural heritage and natural wonders, as well as its largely unexplored tourist attractions.

The province was created under the American Civil Government on April 15, 1920, separating it from Camarines Sur which used to form the Ambos Camarines province.

Celebration opens on April 14 with the tribute to local heroes at the Daet Revolt memorial monument to remember the Katipuneros who died in the uprising against Spain from April 14-18, 1898, as well as those who were martyred in the ensuing reign of terror. Some 500 participants and supporters of the revolt were either tortured, killed or imprisoned. Their marytrdom only strengthened the people's resolve to liberate the Bicol region from the colonizers.

Also to be remembered are Spanish-era Reformer Jose Ma. Panganiban, revolutionaries Gen. Vicente Lukban and Lt. Col. Francisco “Turko” Boayes, Daet Revolt leader Tomas Zaldua, and Japanese-era resistance leader Wenceslao Vinzons, among others.

According to Governor Edgar Tallado, the Bantayog Festival pays tribute to the libertarian ideals of Rizal and the home-grown heroes, and the nobility of the people of CamNorte who look up to these leaders as models in good governance.

He said that the festivities will also bring to the fore the province’s attractions which offer a complete tourist experience.

Its top tourist magnets include the island groups of Calaguas in Vinzons and Siete Pecados in Merdedes, Bicol National Park in Basud, Mt. Labo and Busig-on River in Labo, Mampurog River in San Lorenzo Ruiz, Paracale Church and Pulang Daga Beach in Paracale, Mananap Falls in San Vicente, Black Nazarene Church in Capalonga, the scenic zigzag roads in Sta. Elena, and Bagasbas Beach in Daet.

Bagasbas, which forms part of the Philippines’ surfing circuit, is an emerging site for international kiteboarding and aerosports. Meanwhile, the neighboring Baybay Beach in Mercedes is getting known for kayak surfing and mid-distance marathons due to its Pacific waves.

The locus of the celebration is on April 25 with the Grand Parade and Street Dancing Competition featuring the various municipal festivals reflective of local cultures and products.

Among the town fests taking part in the parade are Daet’s Pinyasan, Labo’s Busig-on, Paracale’s Pabirik, Mercedes’ Kadagatan, San Lorenzo Ruiz’s Boyoboy, Basud’s Rahugan, and Vinzon’s Mabakasin.

Adding color to the historic event are a tourism trade fair, surfing and kayak surfing clinics, mountain treks to Mt. Labo, football games and cycling tourneys, and a host of socio-civic activities.

Article and photos contributed by Camarines Norte LGU

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