Celebrating Bamboos with a Blast
People often build fences around their houses to mark property boundaries, increase one’s privacy, and serve as barriers against unwanted entries. But for the people of Bacoor, Cavite, an even deeper meaning lies underneath this seemingly ordinary mindset.
The town of Bacoor, considered as Cavite’s Gateway to the Metropolis, derived its name from the Tagalog term “Bakood,” which refers to a bamboo species dotting the town with which old folks used to surround their homes during the early days. However, beyond its literal implication, it also signifies the tough barricade constructed by the people of Bacoor during the Spanish colonial period to serve as protection against foreign intruders; hence, the significance of the word.
And because Filipinos, with our innate penchant for merrymaking, are known all over the world for putting up grandiose celebrations and festivities, what better way to pay homage to a valuable contribution than to come up with one that would remind the people of the town’s glorious past and unite them towards a common goal – an even brighter future.
For that reason, Cavite’s first-class urban municipality mounts its very first Bakood Festival. The celebration aims to bring the Bacoorians together and boost their awareness of the town’s rich cultural heritage being the site of many historical events that molded the country to what it is at present. The week-long event, which began on the 22nd of September and will last until the 29th, includes several activities not just for locals to enjoy but for visiting tourists as well.
As a preview of what lies ahead for the celebration, marching bands, folk dancers, and a feast of Bacoor delicacies welcomed the media during the press launching of the eight-day festival. The entire festivity is packed with a truly enjoyable lineup of activities beginning with an event similar to the religious rite held every Easter Sunday of the same name – Salubong. Adhering to the theme “Bacoor: Tungo sa Pagkakaisa,” it signals the commencement of the festival with the participation of local officials, sector leaders, and representatives marching along the Zapote–Kalinisan Intersection Road, coming from opposite directions and meeting right in the middle to officially launch the highly anticipated festival.
Among the major events is the Bacoor Food Festival, which will highlight one of the local products that the town is best known for – mussels or tahong. Local cooks and food aficionados reveal over a hundred ways to cook this famed seafood that has been among the main sources of employment to many of the town’s residents. A trade fair exhibit showcasing some of the town’s most well-known food products such as tahong chips and the original Digman halo-halo will also take place.
To add more life and color to the lackluster walls situated along Aguinaldo Highway, some of the town’s budding artists lent their creativity and transformed these from mere walls into endearing sights filled with vibrant murals that reflect the theme “Bacoor: Noon, Ngayon at Bukas.”
At the same time, to coincide with the Bacoorians’ pursuit to uphold cleanliness, there will be an art exhibit featuring tahong shells and trash cans turned into art pieces which aim not only to demonstrate the people’s ingenuity but their utmost concern for the environment’s preservation as well.
The splendor of Bacoor goes beyond its rich history, customs, and traditions spanning several decades, as it also takes pride in its women who possess wit, grace, and charm; thus, the staging of Mutya ng Bacoor 2008. Festivals never run out of reigning beauties, and Bakood is no different. Many young women vie for the title not only because of the prestige that goes with the crown, but more importantly, it gives them an opportunity to actively partake in various programs of the local government to further encourage goodwill, development, and empowerment among the people of Bacoor.
For many years, Bacoorians have proven themselves worthy of people’s admiration for their abilities, and surely, these gifts did not go unnoticed, as many of them managed to carve a niche for themselves in various fields. And to honor these outstanding residents of the town, the Dangal ng Bacoor Award will be launched. Bacoorians who have become paragons of excellence in many areas of expertise including visual arts, designs and crafts, contemporary cinema and music, and judiciary will be given this award for their remarkable contributions.
But aside from these highlights, participants will also be treated to other activities such as cultural extravaganzas involving the youth and the senior citizens of Bacoor, interschool street dancing competitions, sports fest, mobile services for a more hassle-free distribution of basic government services, medical and dental missions, round-table discussions with the local officials, job fairs, thanksgiving mass, and many more.
Undeniably, these festivities mirror the local government’s vision of a better, more progressive town of Bacoor. Furthermore, it is also a perfect venue for Bacoorians to enjoy themselves and have a good time while gaining a better appreciation of their homeland.
(photo by Rudy Liwanag)