By JONAS REYES
SAN MARCELINO, Zambales – Residents of this municipality made famous by its sweet singkamas have started the month-long celebration of the town fiesta by opening a bazaar here on February 1.
The event was spearheaded by town councilor Irene Canlas, event organizer Ameer Cabahug and municipal tourism officer Edna C. Mauricio.
According to Canlas, the month-long San Marcelino Town Fiesta Bazaar 2017 which is one of the longest-running events in the province, will feature various activities such as dance contests, battle of bands, singing contests, grand ball, and parade.
“We want tourists who happen to pass by our town to get a glimpse of how we celebrate fiesta. Usually, tourists would just pass by our town since most of them would go to beaches in northern Zambales, so we concocted an event that would make tourists stay in San Marcelino,” Canlas said.
The month-long celebration aims to drum up the beauty and culture of San Marcelino, showing that the town is more than just about singkamas, a native turnip variety peddled along the highway in the town during the summer.
According to the organizers, the bazaar will be highlighted by a mini-event every night, giving local and foreign tourists a show of talents and other wonders in town.
Despite having only a population of 34,000, San Marcelino has one of the biggest land masses in the province and is located only a few kilometers away from Mt. Pinatubo.
One of the best-known tourist spots in the town is Mapanuepe Lake, a freshwater lake that was formed when lahar from the volcano dammed the exit of the Mapanuepe River and submerged the Mapanuepe Valley, including the barangays of Aglao, Buhawen and Pili.
PHOTO: Fiesta Bazaar 2017 organizer Ameer Cabahug (middle) leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick the month-long celebration of the town fiesta, along with Councilor Irene Canlas (middle right) and Tourism Officer Edna Mauricio (middle left). – Jonas Reyes