Angono’s Higantes flying  to Davao for Kadayawan 

By John Robert Ducabo

FASCINATED by the gigantic paper-mâché puppets of her and that of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s image, Vice President Sara Duterte hinted on taking Higantes of Angono to her hometown in time for two major festivals – the the Araw ng Dabaw in March and the Kadayawan in August.

“I am so amused with what I just saw. In fact, I’m asking Mayor Jerimae Calderon if she could lend us their Higantes for our festivities in Davao,” the Vice President said – a request which the Angono local chief executive readily agreed to.   

Duterte, who was the guest of honor at the culmination of the annual Higantes Festival in Angono, Rizal, cited the need for the government to help propel the local tourism if only to ensure that economy will take a shorter route towards recovery from the adverse effects of the pandemic and the global recession in view of the Ukraine-Russia war.

Duterte, who admitted having personally watched the internationally acclaimed Higantes Festival for the first time, cited the local government’s efforts to preserve culture and heritage, which according to Duterte, is essential in the government’s bid to boost tourism.

“The fact that the Angono local government unit has been consistent in its effort to preserve culture is in itself noble work of ensuring that we do not forget the historical significance of this festival,” the Vice President said in her speech.

“Through these colorful and gigantic papier-mâché puppets, our forebears expressed their deep-seated yearning for freedom that planted the seeds and the call for change,” she added.

Duterte, also the Education Secretary, reiterated how art, through countless published articles, benefits children’s growth and development, including its impact on early childhood education and the development of their creativity, skills, and talents, among others.

She likewise emphasized the importance of education as a tool for developing children. She said education would keep children away from the hands of groups like the New People’s Army and their front organizations and away from the lure of illegal drugs.

Duterte  likewise acknowledged the Angono LGU for bagging a long list of recognition, which includes topping 1,498 other municipalities in terms of infrastructure during the recently concluded 10th Cities, Municipalities Competitive Summit, ranking as the sixth most competitive municipality. Its Seal of Good Local Governance from the Department of the Interior and Local Government from 2015 to 2020, among others.

“From a third-class municipality in 1998, Angono is now a first-class municipality. At dahil iyon sa pagkakaisa ninyong lahat,” she said.

“Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, your town’s economy grew with gross sales of registered firms reaching over 14 billion,” she added.