The Province of Tarlac celebrates its 149th foundation anniversary on May 28, known as “Araw ng Lalawigang Tarlac,” with activities promoting the culture, the native products and the different tourist spots of the province and the launching of the countdown for next year’s 150th celebration.
The three-day celebration which starts on May 27 features a trade, agri and job fair, a flag ceremony commemorating the May 28 National Flag Day, a Holy Mass, a press conference, the launching of provincial dish called “Bagis,” marching bands, cultural and variety shows, the launching of the countdown clock for the 150th foundation anniversary, fireworks display, and the Tarlac Enduro Attack.
“Tarlac is recognized as one of the eight rays of the sun (in the Philippine flag) that fought for the country’s freedom. It was once the cradle of the revolutionary government against the Spanish and Japanese invaders…it is also the cradle of great Filipinos,” said Gov. Susan Yap in a statement for the occasion, noting that Tarlac has a very colorful history worth to be celebrated.
“Today, we are in the midst of economic boom. We now have the New Clark City, scenic tourist spots, great food and a diverse culture. We are also looking forward to our 150th founding anniversary next year,” Yap furthered.
Home of Famous Filipinos
Tarlac was founded on May 28, 1873 when municipalities from the provinces of Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Pampanga were joined together thereby making Tarlac a multi-cultural province composed of Pangasinenses, Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Kapampangans, Muslims, Filipino-Chinese and the indigenous Aetas.
Tarlac is also the home province of several notable Filipinos in the persons of former Ambassador and Tarlac Governor Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., former Senator and Tarlac Governor Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., former Presidents Cory and NoyNoy Aquino, former United Nations Secretary-General Carlos P. Romulo, Tarlac political icon Jose “Aping” Yap, to name just a few.
NCCA and CCP Partnership
This year’s celebration will likewise mark the partnership of the provincial government of Tarlac and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts [NCCA] and the Cultural Center of the Philippines [CCP].
This, as CCP president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso commits to help develop Tarlac arts and culture through educational activities.
Lizaso said this during his meeting with Governor Yap recently in connection with CCP’s participation in the festivities to celebrate the province’s 150th founding anniversary.
The CCP chief also pledged to help develop the arts in Tarlac province through the Outreach Program of the CCP Office of the President aside from bringing CCP’s resident companies to Tarlac for free public performances.
He said that the Office of the CCP President is willing to undertake a myriad of educational activities to help develop and nurture the home-grown talents and artistry of Tarlaquenos.
As part of the one-year long celebration of Tarlac’s anniversary, Lizaso offered to Yap an outreach educational program that would further develop artists in the province including visits from national artists to give master classes in the visual arts as well as performing arts.
He mentioned the possibility of PPO members giving training workshops in instrumental playing. He also broached a possible seminar series on Filipino heroes and other enlightening topics related to Philippine history to be given by prominent historians and history professors.
Calendar of Festivities
On the opening day of the celebration, a trade fair at the Rotary Lane, Agri Fair at the Centro Organico and a Job Fair at the Bulwagang Kanlahi of the Diwa ng Tarlac will simultaneously start.
On May 28, the province will likewise commemorate the National Flag Day and a flag ceremony at the capitol grounds will commence at 7 a.m. A Holy Mass at the Bulwagan ng mga Gobernador is scheduled at 8 in the morning to be followed by a press conference. The celebration will also feature the launching of the province’s official dish—the Bagis at the Centro Organico and the marching bands, coming from the different municipalities of the province, will traverse the streets of Tarlac City. In the evening, a cultural and variety show and a fireworks display will be featured at the historic Maria Cristina Park.
On the last day of the celebration, a whole day Tarlac Enduro Attack 7 is scheduled at the Tarlac Eco-Park.
“I call on all our fellow Tarlaqueños to celebrate this historic event and watch the scheduled activities,” Yap said. Arvin F. M. Cabalu/Tarlac-PIO