BY GERRY LEE GORIT
CAMIGUIN ISLAND – Opening with a vibrant celebration on October 15-28. 2023 the 44th Lanzones Festival did not only showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage but also the impressive strides it has made in various sectors.
“Our celebration and its success are the work of so many people who have come together to contribute their efforts, their time, their resources, blood, sweat, and tears all for the love of Camiguin,” said Governor Xavier Jesus Romualdo.
He officially inaugurated the festival at the Cong. PPR Tourism and Sports Complex via “Pabuenas,” joined by local officials. He expressed gratitude to the people of Camiguin, acknowledging their collective efforts that contributed to the success of the Lanzones Festival.
For his part, Rep. Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo highlighted the province’s achievements, signaling a promising start to the festivities.
Among the notable accomplishments mentioned by Rep. Romualdo are the widening of roads, the establishment of more resorts, the construction of a new runway to accommodate larger planes, the installation of satellites for improved communication, a partnership with reliable investors to enhance power services, and advancements in water systems and solid waste management.
He also announced the acquisition of a dialysis machine and CT scan by November 2023, the allocation of a P40 million budget for facilities in Catarman District Hospital, and increased flights to and from the province.
“Makita nato kada tuig na’y bag-o nga makita sa giingon nako pero ang planning nato, 100 years na gikan karon [We see changes every year, but our planning should be 100 years from now],” Romualdo emphasized, underscoring the province’s commitment to sustainable development.
The festival’s opening also featured the Ugmad Agro-Industrial-Tourism Trade Fair and the Lanzones Eat-All-You-Can, providing a platform for local businesses and a delightful treat for spectators.
The Thanksgiving Mass at the historic San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church set a reflective tone for the festival, with Rev. Fr. Bernard Elvin Q. Simene leading the community in prayer and gratitude.
The vibrant Lanzones Festival Grand Parade colored the streets of Camiguin with participants from national line agencies, local government units, schools, the private sector, and various organizations. The parade, starting from the Provincial Plaza and concluding at the Cong. PPR Tourism and Sports Complex, also showcased the island’s diverse culture and community spirit.
Highlighting the role of bats in the production of Lanzones, the Lanzones Festival Bat and Music Showdown added a unique touch to the festivities. Tupsan National High School, LGU Mambajao, and Camiguin National High School took the top three spots in the Kabog Showdown. In the competition for best musical performance, LGU Mahinog triumphed over Mambajao National High School and Tupsan National High School.
As the 44th Lanzones Festival unfolds, it continues to be a testament to Camiguin’s growth, resilience, and commitment to preserving its cultural identity.