Events & Attractions of Iriga
“Tinagba Festival is a harvest-offering celebration which also coincides on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Farmers parade in carabao-drawn carts filled with the best of local produce, these are blessed at mass and are distributed to the needy. This feast originated from the early rituals of ancient Bicolanos who offered their harvest to their Gods as a way of thanksgiving and to ask more bountiful harvest.” - http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Tinagba_Festival
The Tinagba Festival was held last February 11, 2009 around Iriga City major street participated by various schools/university and barangays of the city.
Iriga City in Bicol will come alive as the city celebrates its annual Tinagba Festival which started Feb. 5 and ends tomorrow, Feb. 11. Tinagba Festival is an ancient Bicol first harvest offering that features a caravan of gaily-decorated bull carts/motorized floats. It also features revelers in mardi gras and native costumes who dance and parade around the city.
Iriga Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen and the Irigueños are preparing for this big celebration. Highlight of this week-long festival is a spectacular street parade competition tomorrow which coincides with the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The festival will transform Iriga City Park into a Science and Technology Park. Various activities are also lined up such as acrobatics, animalandia, quiz show, film showing, technodance expo, wall climbing and science exhibit.
Iriga City is a fast growing urban center in the Bicol Peninsula which offers breathtaking natural wonders, a safe community and the warm company of kind, creative people. It is known as the City of Crystal Clear Springs with more than 30 natural springs spread everywhere in this booming city. It is also famous for its most prominent natural landmark, the majestic Mt. Iriga that offers a captivating view of the Bicol River basin area.
The city’s other major activities this year include the annual Miss Iriga, Miss Rinconada and Miss Tourism Pageant and the Charter Foundation Anniversary.
Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen and the Irigueños invite everyone to visit Iriga City to celebrate the festivities and experience the hospitality, honesty, and warmth that Irigueños are known for.
Iriga City celebrates Tinagba Festival 2010
(The Philippine Star) Updated February 06, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Iriga City in Bicol will come alive as the city celebrates its annual Tinagba Festival from Feb. 5 to 11. Tinagba Festival is an ancient Bicol first harvest offering that features a caravan of gaily-decorated bull carts/motorized floats. It also features revelers in mardi gras and native costumes who dance and parade around the city.
Iriga Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen and the Irigueños are busy preparing for the grand celebration. The highlight of the week-long festival is a spectacular street parade competition on Feb. 11 which coincides with the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Highlights of the event include the character float parade, the 2010 Tinagba Gayon Bicol Festival of Festivals Showdown (moving choreography) where nine contingents will participate, the 2010 Tinagba Gayon Bicol Festival of Festivals Showdown (exhibition proper), musicians exhibition of competing contingents, fantillusion parade, awarding ceremonies, fireworks display and the ceremonial turn-over of Gayon Bicol Pinnacle.
The nine contingents — which are Bicol’s famed festivals — that will compete for the 2010 Tinagba Gayon Bicol Parade of Festivals include Palong Festival (Camarines Norte), Lapay Bantigue Festival (Masbate), Pinili Festival (Pili, Camarines Sur), Paraw Festival (Province of Sorsogon), Catandungan Festival (Catanduanes), Tabak Festival (Tabaco City), Sosogon Festival (Sorsogon City), Ibalong Festival (Legazpi City) and Pulang-Angui Festival (Province of Albay).
Iriga City is a fast growing urban center in the Bicol Peninsula which offers breathtaking natural wonders, a safe community, and the warm company of kind, creative people. It is known as the City of Crystal Clear Springs with more than 30 natural springs spread everywhere in this booming city. It is also famous for, the majestic Mt. Iriga that offers a captivating view of the entire Bicol River basin area.
Star-studded Tinagba Festival in Iriga City
Not very often does a small city in far-off Camarines Sur hosts a platoon of movie/TV stars at one time.
But last month, Iriga City, birthplace of superstar Nora Aunor, was momentarily star studded, and the locals were all star struck, even Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen who orchestrated this year’s Tinagba Festival.
On the 11th of February, Kapamilya stars Jericho Rosales (whose maternal roots are from the nearby town of Bula), Kristine Hermosa (whose parents are from Masbate), Jon Avila, and Iya Villania were welcomed by the Mayor to the city along with Kapuso stars Mark Herras (whose adoptive father is from Naga City), Rainier Castillo, and Chynna Ortaleza. These stars would later be in the parade, occupying a float each and waving to star struck fans.
The city also played host to Senator Lito Lapid and his son Mark, who is now head of Philippine Tourism Authority.
Presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, who we were told would be the festival’s guest of honor, never made it, but his running mate Eduardo “Edu” Manzano was in the nick of time, moments before the festivities closed. He handed the prizes in the festival’s competition among floats and entries to the street dancing showdown.
Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen said that the Tinagba Festival 2010 coincides with the annual Gayon Bikol Festival of Festivals Showdown, which is rotated among the different cities in the Bicol Region.
Tinagba, in the Rinconada dialect spoken in Iriga and neighboring towns, means the first harvest offering of the natives to the gods that would later filter into the Catholic folk practice of the Christian natives in the settlement bounded in the east by the imposing Mount Iriga and the municipality of Buhi, and to the west by the municipalities of Nabua and Baao, and to the south by Bato.
Tinagba would be adapted by the local government as the name of the festival meant to attract local and foreign tourists, in the same pattern as the Sinulog in Cebu. This year’s parade featured floats, representing the different baranggays of the town, and a mardi-gras like street dancing with locals in native costumes around the city.
The week-long festival coincided with Marian feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on the 11th of February.
Highlight of the 2010 Tinagba Gayon Bicol Festival of Festivals Showdown (moving choreography) had nine contingents from the different cities and towns in the region, among them were: Palong Festival (Camarines Norte), Lapay Bantigue Festival (Masbate), Pinili Festival (Pili, Camarines Sur), Paraw Festival (Sorsogon), Catandungan Festival (Catanduanes), Tabak Festival (Tabaco City), Sosogon Festival (Sorsogon City), Ibalong Festival (Legazpi City) and Pulang-Angui Festival (Polangui, Albay).
Judging the competition were Douglas Nierra, Shirley Halili-Cruz, Eric Pineda, Dr. Larry Gabao, and Jess de la Paz who declared Lapay Bantigue Festival (Masbate City), as the first prize winner, with the Sosogon Festival (Sorsogon City) second, and the Pulang-Angui Festival (Polangui, Albay Province).
It is obvious how far the influence of the Sinulog has gone around the country, and in the Bikol region, while the Sto. Niño wasn’t the star in the contingents’ choreographic presentations, it was still very much in the same thematic pattern as the Sinulog’s dance routines, musically and literarily.
But what the Tinagba festival has shown is that anywhere in the Philippines, the success of the Sinulog can be replicated. It is just a matter of political will, and hard work, including belief that a small city, like Iriga, can also be a major festival destination.
The judges also handed out Special Awards, including Best in Moving Choreography to Lapay Bantigue Festival (Masbate City) and Best in Sound and Rhythm to Sosogon Festival (Sorsogon City). The Masbateños also won the Best in Costume (Lapay Bantigue Festival of Masbate City).
In the Character Float competition, Cluster 5 (Kalikasan) was voted first place. The cluster is made up of baranggay Santiago, Sta. Elena, La Anunciacion, Sto. Domingo, and San Juan. The second place went to cluster 9 (Pagka-Maoorot) made up opf Wise Resource Mgt. Iriga Water District and CASURECO III, and the third to Cluster 4 (Maka-Diyos) made up of baranggay San Jose, San Nicolas, San Roque, San Miguel and Francia.
Iriga City is a fast growing urban center in Camarines Sur in the whole of Bikol. The city has some of the beautiful sights in the whole peninsula. It is safe at any time of the day. It’s people are warm and friendly.
It is far different from the Iriga I have known as a kid when with my parents we used to drive to Naga City to visit some relatives. The city hall is no longer where it used to be…it is now a spanking two level of modern architecture along the road that leads to Bato. The Ibalon Hotel is now Iriga Plaza Hotel, and beside it is a small departments store and a convention center just below the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes that Nora Aunor helped to build.
It is known as the City of Crystal Clear Springs with more than 30 natural springs spread everywhere. Its most prominent natural landmark is the imposing Mt. Iriga from which visitors can see a captivating view of the entire Bicol River basin area. Gk character village perpetual help baranggay Mayor Gazmen-Alferlor also built a new Public Library, where now students go to work on the computers (and internet café in the library). Wi-fi is also available to the users of the library.
When we were there, the hotels were fully booked, and so the members of the print media who went to cover the event stayed at Lemar’s Hotel, owned by a gracious lady named Purita M. Lee, who in her kindness cooked a special laing for me. Her daughter, Arlene Lee de Lima, is the manager of the small tourist facility. (For reservations call: (054) 2992594)
While the hotel is far from the ones we are used to stay in other countries and big cities in the country, there was that homey feeling provided for us by the owners.
Iriga City has been largely affected when the national government decided to construct a diversion road from a point in Baao onwards to Nabua, skipping Iriga. But the city has been resilient, in fact, its economic growth, notwithstanding the diversion road has been steadily growing. With rapid urbanization facing the city, it should eventually grow into Metro Iriga, with Nabua and Baao as part of the booming metropolis.
Iriga is also the educational center in this part of Camarines Sur, with two universities to boot—University of Northeastern Philippines (owned by the Alfelors) and St. Anthony University (owned by the Villanuevas). The two families, original political rivals, seemed to have reached an accord, and are now allies in all political, social and cultural endeavors for the city.
Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen says that Iriga is proud of being a Character City. A character city is an ideal community where neighbors are friendly, homes and streets are safe, families are strong, businesses operate honestly, institutions effectively support and encourage the practice of good character, and media regularly feature positive news.
So, she along with the half a million Irigueños invite everyone to visit their city, anytime, Tinagba or no Tinagba, and experience the hospitality, honesty, and warmth that Irigueños are known for.