03 August 2010

Subic braces for ‘purely Pinoy’ festivity this month

The Subic Bay free port community is gearing up for a full-blast barrio fiesta celebration on August 14-16 to commemorate the feast of San Roque, Subic Bay’s patron saint.

Everything from food, music, decoration and presentations will feature the countryside Filipino lifestyle for this year’s version of the Subic Bay “Karakol” festival, which since its inception in 2000 has drawn people to its core religious message.

To drive home the “Authentic Filipino Fiesta at Subic Bay Freeport” theme this year, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has also sponsored a “building dress-up contest” here, whereby building facades will be decorated with the best of indigenous materials to create a truly festive atmosphere throughout the celebration.

“So don’t be surprised to see nipa huts, farm implements, and ‘banderitas’ suddenly sprouting all over the Freeport,” said SBMA deputy administrator Raul Marcelo. “These native decorations will also be complemented by lights and sounds that will really set the mood for our rural-inspired festivity.”

The Subic Bay Karakol Festival, Marcelo explained, has become a form of thanksgiving for the sustained economic success of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone over its 18 years of existence.

“We give thanks specifically for having weathered the recent global economic slowdown, and then experiencing growth in the first half of 2010,” Marcelo added.

Subic’s upcoming barrio fiesta celebration will kick off on August 14 with a sand sculpture competition for 10-member teams at the Boardwalk Park here. This will be followed by indigenous games for children on the next day at the San Roque chapel grounds, as brass bands and various presentations will rev up the excitement.

The festivities will culminate with the Karakol Parade on August 16, the actual feast day of San Roque.

Marcelo added that on the last day, tourists and locals alike could also look forward to a street-dancing competition, highlighting colorfully-costumed participants and ethnic-designed floats that would make a round of the central business district here.

Group contests during the festival will be open to employees from the private and public sectors, non-government organizations, and schools in and near the Subic Bay Freeport.

Cash prizes ranging from P2,000 to P10,000 await the winning entries. Contest mechanics and registration forms are now available at the SBMA Human Resource Department at Bldg. 255, Barryman Road, Subic Bay Freeport. (SBMA Corporate Communications)