MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 February) — The provincial government of Bukidnon has invited Senator Loren Legarda as guest of honor of the foundation day rites of the province, provincial administrator Romeo Cardoza said.
Cesar Apao, spokesperson of Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., told reporters Monday Legarda's office has confirmed her attendance.
The province will celebrate its 92nd Foundation Day on March 10.
Former Senate president Manuel Villar, whom Zubiri declared was his choice for the highest office of the land in 2010, was the guest of honor last year.
But Villar was ousted late last year as Senate president.
Incidentally, a poll by Pulse Asia said a Loren-Chiz (Sen. Francis Escudero) tandem could get 40 percent of the votes cast in 2010.
Meanwhile preparations for the 22-day Kaamulan 2009 festival have been scaled up, with a “soft opening” scheduled on February 18, a brochure produced by the provincial tourism office said.
The food fest, bazaars, agri fair, garden and livestock shows will open on said date. The festival's grand opening, however, is on February 27, the tourism office added.
The 403rd Brigade's Peacemaker Band will start the nightly band performances on February 18. Local bands and those based in other cities including Manila will also perform nightly throughout the festival.
This year's Kaamulan carries the theme "Rekindling the spirit of Kaamulan through the 7 Hill tribes."
A traditional opening ritual at the Kaamulan grounds, ribbon cutting for shows and fairs, the "panangkila" of the seven tribes, motorcade of sponsors, parades of school bands and mountain bikes are among the attractions for the grand opening.
There will also be a school band competition on February 27.
The 8th Kaamulan Invitational Basketball Tournament will open on the same day at the Bukidnon State University gymnasium.
On March 1, the Kaamulan rodeo opens at the city grandstand.
The talent night of Laga Ta Bukidnon, a beauty contest, will be held on March 3. Its pageant night of the beauty contest is on March 5 at the Kaamulan open theater.
There will be a Bukidnon ethnic songwriting workshop on March 4 at the provincial planning and development office.
A motocross competition will take place on March 4 to 6.
The ethnic street dancing competition, Kaamulan's main attraction, is on March 7, followed with an ethnic dance clinic in the afternoon and fireworks display in the evening.
Ethnic sports among the different tribes kick off on March 9.
The Zubiri administration is yet to announce publicly its reaction to a commentary by anthropologist and former tourism consultant Luduvina Opeña on the conduct of the Kaamulan festival.
A five part series of the commentary was published last year in time for the preparations for the festival.
Apao announced in a media briefing on February 16 the province will be launching its website in time for the celebration. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)