By Philippine News Agency
Calamba City launched its “Buhayani Festival 2018” season in time for its 17th cityhood anniversary celebration on Saturday.
The celebration was also in line with the city’s a bid to mark the National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s birthplace as home of the fallen heroes and the lives of living heroes.
City Mayor Justin Marc SB Chipeco led city hall officials during the kick-off rites of the Buhayani Festival 2018, which would run until Rizal’s 157th Birth Anniversary celebration on June 19 this year. The celebration is being led by the City Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Sports Development Department (CATSDD).
In an interview, Larissa Malinao, CATSDD department head, said this year’s celebration also highlights and recognize the role of two city compatriots – the late Lt. Geronimo Aclan of the then Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC), who fought during World War II; and Corporal Jaffee Omabe Amisola of the Philippine Army (PA), who fought at the siege of Marawi City last year.
“This year’s Gawad Buhayani will be conferred to the late Lt. Geronimo Aclan who embodied the values, ideals and patriotism of Rizal during World War II and the Philippine Army trooper Corporal Jaffee Omabe Amisola, as a living hero of the Marawi City battle,” Malinao said.
The late Lt. Geronimo Aclan is hailed as one of the five heroes that the city has produced – in the company of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Rizal’s mother Teordora Alonzo, Rizal’s brother Paciano, and World War II hero Brigadier General Vicente Lim – whose heroism and sacrifice the city will perennially pay tribute to during commemorative and special occasions.
Malinao said the “Buhayani Festival” also features those considered as living heroes, who have shown excellence and patriotism in their own fields of endeavor, besides several colorful activities that advocate Rizal’s heroism, inherent spirit of heroism and the values cherished by Calambeños,
Meanwhile, the soundtrack for the “Buhayani” Festival 2018 was officially aired with the special presentation of Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial School Drum and Lyre Band, which bagged the first prize in the recently concluded Laguna’s annual “Anilag Festival 2018” last month.
The playing of the soundtrack served as the opening salvo for the Buhayani season up to the run-up for the week-long festival slated on June 12-19, 2018 in honor of the National Hero Dr, Jose P. Rizal who was born here.
Chipeco initiated the “Buhayani Festival” and institutionalized it through City Ordinance No. 575 in June 2015. The festival has clinched the first and second runner-up honors as “Best Festival Event” from the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
While Calamba marks its 17th year as a first class city, historical accounts reveal that Calamba evolved as part of the then Tabuco district, now known as Cabuyao City, and was separated as a pueblo (distinct town) from Tabuco on Aug. 28, 1742.
It eventually became a component city of Laguna province by virtue of Republic Act 9024, authored by Representative Joaquin M. Chipeco Jr., and signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 5, 2001 and ratified through a plebiscite held on April 21, 2001 as a full-fledged city.