Sunday, 01 February 2015 16:11
(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Barangay eMedia featured on Friday, January 29, the one of a kind’s celebration ever in Zamboanga City, the Sta. Maria’s Lechon Festival. Many curiously checked its float parade and, more of all, proceeded to the boodle fight where the main course was the paraded lechons then, which were chopped.
The celebration was partly a brain-child of the Sta. Maria’s barangay captain Abraham “Abe” Tan, whose family has been in the business of pork-roasting for decades in the same barangay. With Sta. Maria as the festival’s host, are other barangays—like Tetuan and Tugbungan, which as well are known to be places of lechon businesses.
Many were somehow comforted despite of the pains, generally, Zamboanga City is undergoing at present because of the bomb explosion in Guiwan and the SAF massacre in Maguindanao, both happened last week. The celebration at least reminded the Zamboangueño people that life must go on, because if those fallen heroes could only revive, they as well may cheer us to continue to live positively.
The Lechon Festival attracted a good attention by many because it is yet so far the first in the City. Kap Abe Tan and the rest of the organizers remarked that they intend to do the said festival on a yearly basis. They added that it is their way of thanking the almighty and their regular customers who patronized their products all through these years.
To an average Zamboangueño family, in any big or significant event, the lechon tradition cannot be absent. It has been such a loved custom for generations, thus the organizers thought of to celebrate the same custom by allotting a one good day for a big festival. The concept was easily bought by the locals, especially the lechon lovers.
There were certain floats the organizers came-up to and paraded them to as far as the Sta. Cruz market and ended at the Sta. Maria Open Court, Multi-purpose Hall. Lechons’ were dressed in different styles and hilarious motifs, in fact there was a couple of lechon dressed and adorned as a newly-wed.
Those same lechons were donated by the different lechon businessmen as their contributions to the festival. The Sta. Maria folks and everyone wish that hopefully, one day the City government will ultimately support the festival and that it can become a big thing in Zamboanga which may draw a good number of tourists, similar to other festivals in the country.
Due to the alleged problem of peace and order in Zamboanga, tourists, accordingly, do not anymore usually travel here down. They only go south to as far as Davao or Cagayan de Oro City. Their common reason is the volatile peace and order situation in La Bella.
Anyways, assuming that such is indeed a real issue here in Zamboanga, but why Israel does still have a very high rate of tourism the whole year round? Believably, Israel developed their creative way to allure international tourists which they can never say no but instead will only flock into their invitations.
Can we possibly do that here? I affirmatively say yes! A good strategy and a superb packaging can definitely nail it. Let’s remember, Zamboangueños are naturally creative. We’ve pink sands in Sta. Cruz. You can never find it anywhere in the world. It’s a one-of-a-kind nature’s phenomenon which tourists can helpless say yes for a good marketing approach.
Hence, the Lechon Festival can be a relative example. The organizers found its potential capacity to attract both local and international tourists. Same organizers sighed at the end of the program for a very good result of their efforts.
Lechon fanatics, beside of their curiosity, did really go to participate the boodle fight for the sumptuous lunch. Many have been used already to do it with sardines or dried fish as the boodle fights’ dishes, but last Friday it was lechon! Friends, who were there, exchanged jokes to each other, to take good cautions on their blood pressures after the celebration.
Spotted in the Baranggay eMedia’s camera were office employees from the different departments of the Zamboanga LGU, residents from other baranggays, and of course there was reporter Partner Gino Franco Torres!
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1 Tim. 4:4-5, NIV)
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