By Carla Bauto-Dena
BIÑAN CITY, LAGUNA – With modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) making it impossible to hold mass gatherings, the local government here is celebrating the city’s 10th Puto Latik Festival with one major adjustment – instead of the usual stage and street venues, they’re holding it online.
It is claimed to be the first online celebration of a festival in the Philippines, and features several activities conducted and delivered through the internet from May 15 to May 23.
According to Biñan City Culture, History, Arts and Tourism Office (BCHATO), headed by 2019 Most Outstanding Tourism Officer of the Philippines Bryan Jason Borja, this year’s festival aims to give people something positive to look forward to amid challenges faced due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The two-time Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP)-Department of Tourism (DOT) Pearl Awards awardee for Best Tourism Event got its name from the local delicacy Puto Biñan, and a type of folk dance that originated in the city called Maglalatik.
Fittingly so, this year’s lineup of events includes a “Puto Biñan 2.0” online cooking demo by award-winning cookbook author Chef RV Manabat, as well as an online tutorial of the Maglalatik dance.
There are also online concerts, performances, and cultural workshops broadcast through the festival’s social media accounts.
Puto Latik’s Facebook and YouTube videos have reached a viewership of over 55,600 in the first four days of the week-long virtual event.