NASUGBU : Sugbuan Festival

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The town of Nasugbu launched a first-ever Sugbuan Festival to stimulate tourism to the town as well as to promote better interaction with the many barangays and communities. I was one of the 40 bloggers/photographers invited to cover the three-day event. The Kakanin Festival, a segment of the Sugbuan Festival is covered in a separate blog I wrote earlier.

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Nasugbu is a first class municipality and the largest town in Western Batangas. I have been to this town famous for its beach resorts many times before – –  as this town covers both Terrazas de Punta Fuego and the Peninsula de Punta Fuego  which I often go to. It is also from a private wharf on this town where I once boarded a boat that took me to an island resort owned by the Levistes.

Nasugbu is defined by the rolling hills, mountain and sea. Quite naturally, its main industries are agriculture and aquaculture. Hectares and hectares of sugarcane fields plus some farms planted with rice and vegetables and fish from the oceans make Nasugbu self-sufficient and wealthy. Good reason to celebrate and create a festival highlighting the towns wealth thru its crops.

The main event of the festival is the whole-day parade that features floats and street dancing, with students from the various schools in this town all dressed up in creatively designed costumes and chating to their hearts’ content. The floats featured the muses from each barangay, escorted by the dashing barangay chiefs.

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The Floats were ingenious in their design in spite of the limited budget, this being Year 1 and no major sponsors were tapped. With the concept, and the innate creativity of the people of Nasugbu, this can be another Kadayawan or Panagbenga in the making.

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"live" fish on the net

“live” fish on the net

Huge skirt makes this beauty look like a giant

Huge skirt makes this beauty look like a giant

low budget but high on impact

low budget but high on impact

STREET DANCING. The street dancers ranged from 6 year old grade schoolers to senior high school students. There were bands with pretty majorettes, props to highlight the stories in their dance, and attention-getting devices like lighting a fire on a pot.

Majorettes

This street dance sequence used nets and prawns to highlight one of the town's industries

This street dance sequence used nets and prawns to highlight one of the town’s industries

Bountiful Harvest

Let Us set this on fire

MISS NASUGBU: The crowning of the town’s most beautiful girl was scheduled in the evening and it seemed the whole population of the town – – all the way to barangays in the town’s fringes as well as the mountain barangays seem to have descended and rooted for their own muses. The girls performed the night before for the thrilled crowd, showing off their talents and special skills.

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I must commend the good mayor for such an initiative. This is a major undertaking. From what I saw on the first SUGBUAN, this festival will grow to be a much anticipated yearly event. And will draw visitors from faraway places. And fill in the town’s many hotels and resorts. Great idea, Mayora

Gift for the good mayor

Kakanin Festival at SUGBUAN in Nasugbu

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We were invited to the first ever SUGBUAN Festival in Nasugbu, Batangas last Friday, November 30. It is a 3-day event that includes a KAKANIN FESTIVAL.

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The Kakanin Festival started with teams from all the barangays of Nasugbu descending upon the town’s plaza with their calderos, talyasis, kudkurans, stoves, and all cooking paraphernalia. Plus of course the ingredients of the finest delicacy the intend to prepare for the competition.

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Even the men were involved, pouring condensada on the kakanin

Even the men were involved, pouring condensada on the kakanin

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This old man was cooking "bibingka" with fire on top and below

This old man was cooking “bibingka” with fire on top and below

I though this was pancit (noodles) but was told this was also rice cake

I though this was pancit (noodles) but was told this was also rice cake

Nasugbu Sugbuan D800 009

In the end, all of the kakanin turned out to be “merienda” fare. Rice cakes of different shapes, sizes, colors, and different ingredients and ways of cooking. All of the participating barangays made sure their kakanins did not only taste good, but were presented well to make them look clean and appetizing. To make sure that the taste “test” was un-influenced by the taste of the kakanin from the other stalls, they all prepared bottled water to wash down the rice cakes, as well as special tea formulations to clean up the taste buds before trying the next delicacy. I learned about the avocado tea : 20 fresh avocado leaves and 10 fresh pandan leaves boiled in a kettle. I will definitely try this at home.

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I was asking them if "siete" was for chismis, and they all laughed

I was asking them if “siete” was for chismis, and they all laughed

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Each barangay had a stall and the stalls were all around that section of the town plaza.

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Everyone had a chance to sample the fare, but most especially the judges whom they had to please.

a colleage from We Are FUNtastic Philippines, a group of travel photographers, sampling one of the kakanins

a colleague from We Are FUNtastic Philippines, a group of travel photographers, sampling one of the kakanins

two of the judges, and I say it is not hard to please anyone with the yummy rice cakes

two of the judges, and I say it is not hard to please anyone with the yummy rice cakes

The project was initiated by the good lady mayor of the town. I am told that the SUGBUAN was conceived only two months ago, and the level of participation indicates that the SUGBUAN next year will be an even bigger success. This is guaranteed because the good mayor was hands on, and was there as the event was going on.

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I will cover the other SUGBUAN activities in another post. The kakanin overwhelmed me (and so filled me up) it deserves a special post on my blog.

Fellow travel photographers and bloggers came in full force

Fellow travel photographers and bloggers came in full force

I shall return when they mount Kakanin Festival in 2014.

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