APAYAO-- Unique floats fascinated the viewing public as they were paraded around the thoroughfares of Luna during the 28th Apayao Foundation Anniversary celebration and the Say- am Festival 2023 this February.
With the theme “Kapaligiran at Kultura’y Pagyamanin para sa Matagumpay na Mithiin,” the floats were conceptualized to promote and align with the overall festival objectives and environmental advocacy and were inspired by the tourism destinations and the best products of their respective municipalities.
The parade floats using traditional tractor or elf truck were decorated with at least 90 percent natural or indigenous materials and vegetation. Among the materials used are the locally produced palay and rice grains, seeds, legumes, corn,bamboo, grassand fruits such as bananas and pineapples.
The municipality of Flora was declared the champion of the float competition winning P100,000.00, followed by Calanasan in second with a cash prize of P80,000.00, and Santa Marcela in third with P60,000.00 cash prize. All the other municipalities received P50,000.00 each as consolation prize.
The winning float of Flora town showcased the Kabinnulig Festival featuring the remarkable comradeship of the farmer and his best friend and partner, the carabao. The float symbolizes hard work, perseverance and love of every Floranian. It is made out of raw materials that abound in the municipality such as palay and corn which are the major crops that the farmers grow and cultivate for their subsistence as an agricultural community.
The float also featured loom weaving upholding the province's cultural identity amisdst the modern age.
The floats of Santa Marcela, Pudtol, Calanasan and Conner carried their respective version of the Philippine eagle which found habitat in the rich virgin forests of Apayao.
The float of Luna town featured a deer which still is found in its forested areas. Kabugao showcased the traditional boat and river system of the locality which until today is being used as a major transportation of the residents.
The float of Pudtol added the effigy of the late Apayao patriarch Elias K. Bulut Sr., the author of the Republic Act 7878 which separated the province of Apayao from Kalinga.
Provincial Tourism Officer Rebecca Mamba said floral floats of Baguio City’s Panagbenga inspired them to create floats and make it part of the annual Say am festival prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but this year the LGUS levelled up with these awesome floats.(JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)