Defining festival

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    TWENTY YEARS! Has it been that long since Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan came to being and stirred Angeles City’s re-borning from the volcanic ashes?

    Twenty years, turning full circle from Mayor EdPam’s sowing the seeds to Mayor EdPam’s reaping – and sharing – the fruits of the city’s toils and privations.

    Here’s a lookback, written in 2008 yet.

    WITH THE
    Abacan River back to its placid state, Angeles City stirred to life anew. Edgardo Pamintuan, with an overwhelming mandate as elected mayor, electrified his constituents with the clarion call Agyu Tamu (We Can!) to inspire confidence that the city could rise, phoenix-like, from the volcanic ashes.

    Pamintuan was inspire by a few intrepid city entrepreneurs who refused “to heed the voice of reason” and stayed put in the city to rehabilitate their factories and revive their productivity, foremost of whom was Ruperto Cruz who resumed his manufacture and export of high-end furniture within 45 days after the eruption.

    To jumpstart the local economy, Pamintuan and his confidant, the activist Alexander Cauguiran, hit the buttons that sparked the city’s vibrancy – the entertainment industry.

    Thus was birthed Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan, street dancing and music in the Mardi Gras mold.

    The whole stretch of MacArthur Highway in Barangay Balibago was closed to traffic.

    The strip shone bright again in a kaleidoscope of lights. Bands on a makeshift stage on the highway itself played all types of music, from country to rock, rhythm and blues to OPM. Restaurants set their tables on the sidewalks.

    Food was aplenty. Beer flowed like – in the spirit of the times – lahar. Thousands rocked and rolled in a celebration of renewal, of rebirth.

    The shroud of grief over the Pinatubo tragedy had been lifted – in Angeles City.

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    THAT WAS the capping piece sub-titled Happy days of the chapterLahar! in our book Pinatubo: Triumph of the Kapampangan Spirit.

    Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan marked a defining moment in the deathly struggle and ultimate victory of the Angeleno over the devastations of the Mt. Pinatubo eruptions.

    Much similar to Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival which signature smiles defined that city’s rise from the hardships that came in the wake of the collapse of the sugar industry in the ‘80s, if I have my chronology right.

    That Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan became the signature festival of Angeles City was a testament to its lasting impact the psyche of the city residents, and a recognition of its prime value to their survival as a people.

    So at its staging in the last weekend of October since 1992,Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan serves as a look-back to the nights of fear and anxieties, to the days of hope and struggles until the rebirthing of the city now soaring in the firmament of economic development. Truly a cause for celebration.

    Thus it came to pass, year in, year out from the city hall tenure of Ed Pamintuan to the reign of Carmelo Lazatin, better known as Tarzan – a city pulling all stops in gay abandon, in glorious celebration of Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan.

    Until Blueboy Nepomuceno came around.

    “Octoberrific Weeks” cries the Angeles City hall collateral in the local dailies, itemizing all activities of Twin Fiesta ’08 for a month-long celebration.

    Yes, Blueboy’s fiesta for Angeles is, unarguably, the city’s grandest ever. More activities running the gamut of socio-politico-economic concerns, with a heavy – and heady – dose of the cultural and, but naturally, the religious.

    Sadly, Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan is found nowhere in the scheduled activities.

    In its traditional date and place, appear “Angeles City – City of Friendship STREET JAM & PARTY ‘O8,” a most brilliantly banal, most expressedly unimaginative substitute for a most cherished festivity. Pray, tell, what is so terrific with an Angeles fiesta celebration devoid of its signature festival?

    So, what’s in a name, some city hall minion might ask? Like the Bard’s rose, will not a street party by any other name rock and roll as lively?

    No. Not with Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan. For this street party is imbued with history. Of courage and grit in a time of chaos. Of hope and determination in a period of despair.

    Of the very soul of the Angeleno in triumph.

    Sad, so sad for a people who have absolutely no sense of history.

    We are reminded of what the people of Masantol are wont to say:”Tigtig at turak a lingo-lingo keng dalan, ing aske ding dakal a manungkulan.” Translation? Some surfeit of stupid leaders this nation suffers from.

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    AND NOW its back to TTKD, in all its fun, in all its history, in all its glory.

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