LEGAZPI CITY- Legazpenos celebrated their fiesta and welcomed the return of the Ibalong Festival with much funfare characterized by month-long festivities. Among the highlights of the celebrations were the CEBIKA Art exhibit; Agri-Fair; 1st Ibalong Airsoft Challenge; Mayon Trail Run; Drum, Lyre and Bugle Competition; Brass Band Competition; Fiesta Parada de Legazpi; the Mutya ng Ibalong Pageant and the Street Presentation of the Ibalong Epic.
The 1st Ibalong Airsoft Challenge featuring 25 teams from Sorsogon; Naga City, Camarines Sur; Daet, Camarines Norte; Legazpi City; Polangui and Daraga, Albay was hosted by Cagsawa Airsoft Tactical Company and was held last October 26, 2008 at the Bicol University grounds. It was co-sponsored by the Saint Agnes Academy Batch Grade School ’80 and High School ’84. The challenge gave cash prizes ranging from P3,000 to P10,000 aside from recognizing the most honest, most disciplined and best in uniform teams.
The Mayon Trail Run was sponsored by the JCI Legazpi and was conceptualized to promote awareness of Global Warming.
The Fiesta Parada de Legazpi Band competition was won by Legazpi City High School- 1st in the High School category; 2nd place went to Felix Alfelor High School while 3rd place went to Dominican School of Pilar, Sorsogon. In the Elementary Division, the winners were 1st- Iriga Central school; 2nd- San Isidro Elementary School and 3rd- Bagtang Elementary School.
However it was the Brass Bands of Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC), Mariners Baras and Legazpi and University of Saint Anthony (USANT) which was the main attraction of the Legazpi Parade aside from the Miss Earth beauties who anchored the parade. Mariners Baras showed why they were the best marching band in the recent Penafrancia Military Parade while USANT showed Legazpi why they were the best majorettes in Bicol for this year aside from being the overall champion in the Penafrancia Military Parade last September in Naga City.
In the Mutya ng Ibalong Pageant, Patrixia Sherly Santos of Daraga, Albay was this year’s fairest. Dianne Necio was 1st runner-up while Catherine Lagrimas was the 2nd runner-up. The coronation night was held at the Albay Astrodome in Legazpi last October 29, 2008.
The highlight of this year’s Ibalong festival was the Street Presentation of the Ibalong Epic and 14 contingents from all over Bicol participated and vied for the hefty cash prizes. After the smoke of the battle cleared, Camarines Norte State College was the Overall Champion. For the minor category, Legazpi City High School was adjudged the Best in Sound. Camarines Norte State College was Best in Costume. In the major category, Best in Moving Choreography winners were: 5th- Bulan National High School; 4th- Pagasa National High Shool; 3rd- Legazpi City High School and the Champion was Camarines Norte State College who won P100,000.
In the Exhibition category, 5th- Tabaco National High School; 4th- Pagasa National High school; 3rd- Banquerohan National High School ; 2nd- Legazpi City High School and Champion was Camarines Norte State College who pocketed P200,000.
Truly, the month-long festivities of the Ibalong Festival was one happy occassion for the City and its residents, the business community and the events winners who trained and worked hard to to claim the glory they rightfully deserve. It is also a tribute to the various sectors, too many to mention- who worked hard to make the month-long festivities meaningful and successful, worthy of another encore.