By Maria Teresa B. Benas
DOLORES, Abra, May 20 (PIA) — This year’s celebration of the Sakuting Festival highlighted the first ever Search for Mr. and Miss Elite Dolores that really brought the best of Dolores.
True to the guiding motto of the administration of Mayor Robert Victor G. Seares, Jr., the search brought out the “best of Dolores” with the winners in the Search for Mr. and Miss Elite Dolores the opportunity to join the rooster of fashion models in the country as they are given a one-year contract with the Juan Models International based in Makati City in addition to the P10,000 cash prize to each of the winning candidates, Mr. Jaril P. Turqueza and Miss Mariel Zapata Matino.
The search was graced by the fashion models from Manila who arrived on the first day and added attraction to the grand event as they performed a fashion show during the search held at the Civic Center.
Judges in the search were distinguished personalities in Manila and in the province led by Myke Labuguen the manager of the Juan Models International; Carlo Mapa, manager of Chowking-Bangued; Mayor Ryan S. Luna of Bangued; Dr. Marilou Bobila-Gasa the provincial medical officer of the Department of Education; and retired education supervisor, Dr. Editha Alcanzaren.
The Sakuting Festival celebrated last May 11-13 was introduced and adopted by the young mayor last year. On its second year of celebration, the theme is “A quest for peace.” Seares said, “let us show the best image of Abra so that we do not project only the criminality,” as he added, he wants to show the visitors, each Abrenio desires for a peaceful place to live.
The festival is not just merriment; it also displayed the piety of the people as they started the activities with the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary enthroned at the Our Lady of the Sorrow Parish Church in Poblacion followed by the Santacruzan and torch parade.
The second day started with the Eucharistic Celebration followed with the Grand Parade highlighted by the Street Dancing Competition. The winner in the street dancing contest which featured the Sakuting is the cluster composed of the barangays of Cardona, Isit and Salukag. The grand prize is P30,000 though all entries were given each a consolation prize of P5,000.
The culmination program was highlighted with the recognition of Ten Outstanding Dolorenios who have brought good name to the municipality of Dolores.
For the first time in the history of Dolores, ithe awarding of outstanding men and women of the municipality who have excelled in their careers and brought fame and glory to Dolores which is dubbed as the “Home of Great Leaders in Abra” was initiated. The awardees include Lourdes Barbero-Ramos of the Overseas Workers Pensioners, Professionals and Employees Association of Kimmalaba (OWPPEAK); Cerefina Arquitola; Obdulia Rigor-Castillo; Marlowe Banaga; ex-Provincial Board Member, Dr. Clarito Valera; ex-mayor, Atty. Cipriano Blanco; Ceferino Trinidad; and Estrelita Ardaniel, president of the Isit Namin Association.
A posthumous award was given to Atty. Jeremias Zapata, a long-time Assemblyman and Congressman of the lone Congressional District of Abra who died only a few days before Festival.(MTBB-PIA CAR, Abra)