By Joey Natividad
LAGONOY, Camarines Sur (BicolToday.com/28-April-2012) – Showbiz couple Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales on Wednesday started the ball rolling for the Samhod Festival in Lagonoy town, Camarines Sur.
With the celebrity couple during the festival launching are Lagonoy Mayor Delfin Pilapil, Jr, Vice-Governor Fortunato Peña, town and public officials, and guests amid thousands of townsfolk watching.
A unique town fiesta, the Samhod Festival adopted the samhod (soft broom, walis) as its center-piece theme as symbolic gesture from thousands of Lagonoy townsfolk who derived their income from growing tiger grass, which is the raw material of soft brooms being sold in Metro-Manila which have misleading “Baguio City” markings on them.
Gerard “JJ” Pilapil, head of the town tourism council, said the Samhod Festival is one way of attracting investor interest in making stakes at the thriving samhod industry which has money-earning export market potential, and to showcase Lagonoy tourism spots.
A giant samhod as festival symbol encapsulates Lagonoy’s thriving cottage industry that gives livelihood to thousands of rural townsfolk.
“The “Baguio City” soft brooms being sold in Metro-Manila and the raw materials actually came from this town,” said Pilapil, as he pointed out that traders buy bundles of tiger grass in Lagonoy mountain villages, and produce the soft-brooms with misleading “Baguio City” markings on them, a marketing gimmick that pushes up the price.
The tourism head also disclosed that the municipal government is promoting tiger grass as plantation crop which enjoys sustainable demand from the household product industry, and good source of income among townsfolk who live on the mountainous areas. Lagonoy, a mountain area with rich mineral resources, has limited fertile agricultural lands for a viable agriculture economy.
The one-week festival started Wednesday, April 25, and will culminate on May 1, Tuesday, the main fiesta event. The event features beauty contests, motorcade, parades, street dancing and concert, sport competitions and boxing, trade show, drag racing and other fun-filled events to give more ambiance and excitement during the Samhod Festival. BicolToday.com
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