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Ibon Ebon dancers delights DOT exec

Ibon Ebon dancers delights DOT exec
By Joey Pavia

Punto ! Central Luzon
February 6, 2009

Ibon Ebon dancers delights DOT exec

CANBADA, Pampanga – A prelude of the Ibon Ebon 2009 festival here happened yesterday as residents in colorful costumes performed dances and rituals delighting an official of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Eduardo Jarque, undersecretary of the DOT who represented Sec. Ace Durano, said other tourist destinations such as Cebu “should be aware of Candaba for it will be the next major destination in the country.”

“It’s not the birds that make this place click but the people themselves. I am truly delighted with the performance and music,” added Jarque. “The Sinulog festival in Cebu had been threatened by the Ibon Ebon festival.”

He was welcomed by Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo, Arayat Mayor Chito Espino and Bird Watchers of the Philippines (BWP) President Mike Lu.

“I have been with the DOT for 32 years and went to famous events such as Mardigras and Brazil festival but Candaba festivals are also good and unique in their own ways,” said Jarque, who disclosed that Durano could not make it due to health reasons.

Pelayo said the 2nd Ibon Ebon Festival “will start today and end on Saturday.” He added that “it will be more beautiful compared last year because they prepared well.”

“Expected to visit the annual festival are Senators Ramon Revilla, Richard Gordon and Manny Villar.

“No politics and everyone are welcome to join. This is a festival which unites the people, making Candaba a peaceful place,” said Pelayo.

Candaba is just beside Bulacan and some of its residents in 14 villages speak Tagalog. Last year, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced the 1st Ibon Ebon festival. Pelayo said Arroyo could not attend because she is on an official mission to the United States.

Pelayo and Lu accompanied Jarque at bird watching area in Barangay San Pablo.

The DOT official was able to see migratory birds mostly coming from China.

Pelayo said the migratory birds are expected to stay until March when the winter season ends in China.

Jarque, for his part, said “Candaba was used to being known as mere bird watching area.” He said Pelayo had hit the mark in introducing festivals to attract visitors for prolong stay in the town.

“The food is also an attraction,” said Jarque.