ANGONO, Rizal — Angono’s “higantes” or giant effigies are now part of the anti-narcotics campaign of the local government.
Residents of Barangay San Isidro saw a few of the town’s giant effigies roaming around the communities together with the top local and police officials recently.
The office of Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon said the presence of the “higantes,” which are the traditional representation of the residents of Angono especially during fiestas and big events in the Art Capital of the Country such as the Higantes Festival, is part of the anti-criminality and illegal drugs campaign of the municipal government.
The special appearance of the “higantes” during the conduct of Oplan Bandillo, the community awareness campaign of the Philippine National Police, particularly against illegal drugs in some communities in Angono, was a hit among residents including young children.
The Angono Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), headed by the daughter and father tandem of Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon and Vice Mayor Gerardo Calderon, and Police Lt. Col. Noel Andrade Campos of the Angono Police Station, vow to continue making the rounds of communities to remind the public of their role in making their community free from crimes and illegal drugs.
Alan Maniaol, chief of staff of Mayor Calderon, said the town’s giants which has a head made of either paper maches or fiber glass and has a body made of light aluminum frame that is worn by a teenager, has long been used as an effective instrument in the public information campaign of the town.
Richard Gappi, a poet and author, in his previous article on Angono Dream News, a local tabloid in Angono, said the ‘giant mascots of Angono were either regarded as political effigies during the post World War II in the town, while another study identified the “higantes” as part of the agrarian protest of the locals during the waning years of Spanish colonialism.
In recent years, the “higantes” became the trademark of the town during local and international tourism events highlighting the gigantic achievements of the people of Angono in various aspects.
During the conduct of Oplan Bandillo, one of the giant effigies had a sash written in bold letters, the words, “No To Drugs” while the others had anti-drug related slogans to emphasize awareness on their ill effects.