“Our recently concluded Tinabu-ay Festival was a fiesta which will linger in our memories as the first patronal fiesta of our patroness, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, after the pandemic and after two devastating typhoons in Typhoon Odette and Typhoon Paeng,” said Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas in a press release.
“The festival was also a heart-felt celebration of our gratitude for God’s protection and blessings which allowed us to survive the life-threatening COVID-19 virus and the damage of the two destructive storms,” the mayor added.
With the theme, “Bugay kag Bugana sa Murcia” (Blessings and Abundance in Murcia), the 26th Tinabu-ay Festival kicked off last December 5 and culminated on December 8, the feast day of the town’s patroness, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
Almost all sectors of Murcia society turned out in full force during the launching of the festival, which opened with a holy mass and a grand parade participated by all departments of the local government, local offices of national agencies, barangay officials and workers, schools, civic organizations, local clubs, businesses, farmers and producers, youth, LGBTQ and other sectors.
The festival saw the revival of the Tindabu-ay Farmers and Producers Trade Fair and the launching of the Farmers Day at the public plaza to honor farmers and producers, the backbone of the town’s mainly agricultural economy.
Moreover, the trade fair also provided a venue for farmers and producers to display and sell their products and get directly in touch with buyers, eliminating the need for middlemen who cut into the proceeds of the farmers and producers.
Health buffs had a heyday dancing to the Zumba Pazkwa, while Murciahanons were treated to colorful lights and designs in the plaza with the “Stars of Hope Christmas Tree and Lights”.
Kids felt the spirit of Christmas during the Gift-Giving and Free Rides for Kids and the Pahampang sa Murcia, while sports enthusiasts were treated to the Shootfest, Motocross Race and GoKart Race, as well as the boxing tournament graced by the presence of no less than four-weight classes world champion Donnie Nietes, a native of Murcia.
The LGBTQ community had their night featuring the “Runway Diva” show, while the youth, barangays and the local government employees also had programs designed specifically for their respective sectors.
Third District Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez joined almost all the festival activities, and he also sponsored a day of fun, prizes and surprises dubbed as Cong. Kiko Benitez Day.
Further, artists showcased their wares during the Pinta Payong on-the-spot painting contest, the Rap Battle featuring Negros Rap Artists and in designing the costumes and props for the lively, entertaining and highly-energizing Tinabu-ay Festival Street Dance & Dance Arena Competition.
“We thank all Murciahanons and the private sector who went out of their way to ensure that our 26th Tinabu-ay Festival was a huge success. I also thank Vice-Mayor Johnny Reosura, our SB Members, barangay officials and workers, municipal employees and all sectors of Murcia society for their support,” Mayor Rojas said.
“As we celebrate the triumph of our memorable and meaningful fiesta, we pray for God’s continued guidance and abundant blessings for the coming Year 2023 so that we can have a grander fiesta,” he concluded.*