Kaamulan's concerts: big crowd drawers, security risk, too

The crowd grows wild as the night goes with many revelers getting drunk, he said. 

"There were incidents of customers lobbing beer bottles. And to think there are drinking bars everywhere," he told this reporter in the sidelines of a briefing to reporters about covering the Kaamulan starting February 16.

Melendez cited the experience of CSU and police in last year's revelries.

The worst was the night of the fireworks display when a band from Manila performed on stage, he said. 

“The crowd was so unruly, the others became violent,” he said. 

He cited an incident about a group of revelers who went amok in the inner part of the crowd while the concert was going on. 

He said there was nothing the security personnel could do because it was part of the celebration.

Melendez said he prefers guarding a crowd with a band playing reggae or other genre of music. "The crowd is calm and orderly," he said. 

He said other activities of the Kaamulan Festival are "manageable".

However, he said, controlling the crowd during day time activities is a challenge, too. 

Especially in keeping order of the crowd on stage. He said many people resort to name-dropping of politicians just to find a seat in the stage to watch the ground presentation of street dancers.

Melendez cited that the other bigger security concern during the festival's highlights is the limited parking space. 

He said the traffic situation at the capitol grounds after the fireworks display last year was terrible. 

He cited a problem on parking space allotment for vehicles coming from other places.

Traffic control was since moved to the Traffic Management Center of Malaybalay City, he said, while assuring the traffic hassle will be addressed. 

He said traffic managers had difficulty accommodating the big volume of vehicles in the grounds for the revelries. He cited the Kaamulan Pines View Park as an alternate parking space. "But motorists didn't want to use it because of its distance," he said.

He said security personnel are also training their eyes on pickpockets, cellular phone snatchers, and holdup gangs preying on revelers. 

The suspects pose as revelers, too, so they could not be easily spotted.

Senior Police Office 4 Noel Marabe has assured a 24-hour police patrol as they focus their attention on the activities in the capitol grounds during the celebration.

He cited five police positions around the area.

The festival highlights were slated on February 27 for the grand opening, street dancing and fireworks display on March 7 and the celebration of the 92nd Foundation Day of the province on March 10. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)