New festival, tourist experience in Isabela

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The Isabela City Panubli-on Festival is back on the streets from September 8-10 with the theme “Kadalag-an kag pagkilala sa banwa nga tinubuan”. (Photo added)

TO HIGHLIGHT the identity of the city and its people, Tourism, Culture and Arts of the Municipal Government of Isabela has reinterpreted its Panubli-on Festival with its #DiscoverIsabela and sustainable tourism promotion campaigns.

In its fifth year of celebration, the three-day festival, from September 8-10, will highlight the city’s rich cultural heritage, with a focus on its Indigenous Peoples (IP) community and its relevance to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Mayor Irene Montilla expressed her excitement to bring back the festivities and face-to-face gatherings after a two-year hiatus, as this year’s most anticipated celebration that will embark on this new brand and identity.

She said it will be an avenue to showcase the best of Isabela, while prioritizing and giving opportunities to the people of Isabela, showcasing their talents, products and services.

The Panubli-on festival was launched during the tenure of the late Mayor Enrique “Quito” Montilla.

It was designed to encourage city dwellers to come together and join in the celebration to honor the saint of his city’s parish on his feast every September 10, his sugar cane industry and some traditional aspects and cultural.

“We saw the need to establish the festival to reach its potential, and as an advocate, I want Isabela’s tourism to be outstanding every year and to have contributed to the sustainability of its rich cultural heritage,” Francis Ryan Pabiania , director of the festival and member of their local cultural and artistic council, said.

He added that it is “high time” they should establish a distinct approach to celebrating their festival that will also remind people that their city’s rich cultural heritage plays an important role in making Isabela what is famous today.

Pabiania said Isabela is home to the Marikudo Ati settlement, the first indigenous settlement established around the 1970s.

“We are also blessed with diverse destinations, historical sites and cultural wonders,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the promotional campaigns #DiscoverIsabela and sustainable tourism will be an ongoing plan to learn more about the city’s untold stories, untold destinations and unexplored gastronomy.

“We want to take a leap forward in terms of identity and tourism, while ensuring the satisfaction and unlimited experience of locals or tourists with sustainable tourism practices and promoting cultural understanding,” said Pabiania.

Celebrating heritage

The Panubli-on Festival is back in the streets with the theme “Kadalag-an kag pagkilala sa banwa nga tinubuan”.

Tourism manager Jacel Jane Pineda said the celebration was primarily aimed at showcasing Isabela’s rich culture and heritage to its people and nearby towns and municipalities.

“Isabela has so much more to offer, and through this cross-sectional celebration, we want to bring the past to life and celebrate the present. Let’s all experience Isabela, the Sweet Heart of Negros,” she said.

Additionally, Jard Montilla, chairman of the city council’s committee on tourism, shared that the city’s parish is also celebrating the 161st patronal feast dedicated to its patron saint, San Nicolas De Tolentino.

He said city dwellers should reflect and remember traditions and values ​​as a people.

Activities will include “Gabi sang Palanubli-on” (Cultural Night), Laro ng Lahi, Indigenous Peoples Community and Farmers Day; local cuisine, fantastic cultural heritage face painting, photography, karabaw-karo contest; and Pasundayag kag Pasigarbo, street dance festival and arena competition, among others on September 10.

The festival dance competition will feature six contingents from barangays and schools grouped together and choreographed by all Isabela artists or choreographers, portraying new narratives and relating to SDG.

“As we look forward to the future, I fervently hope that our future celebrations and feasts will serve as an inspiration and trademark to many Negrenses as we introduce our hometown, the darling of Negros, a town named after a queen and a regent and a city with a rich history,” he said.

He praised the support and efforts of his fellow executive officials, Sangguniang Bayan, and all municipal employees for making the festival possible. (RP)

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