Month-long Dagupan fiesta opens

DAGUPAN CITY–The Daniel Maramba National High School of Sta. Barbara town won the Drum and Lyre Competition at the city plaza here Tuesday night as part of  the opening salvo of the month-long Dagupan City fiesta.

Mayor Belen Fernandez and Councilors Marcelino Fernandez and Jose Netu Tamayo handed the cash prize of PHP50,000 to the winning group during a program held right after the ceremonial lighting of a giant Christmas tree in front of the city museum.

Before the competition, Fernandez told newsmen they invited drum and lyre groups from various towns of the province to enliven the opening of the city fiesta and in order to reestablish Dagupan’s status as the center of arts and culture in Pangasinan.

“We have to also learn the music and styles of different groups from various parts of Pangasinan,” Fernandez said as she revealed that the city government is constructing an arts and culture building at the Dagupan City National High School dedicated for young artists and musicians.

First runner-up in the drum and lyre competition was the San Nicolas National High School which received a cash prize of PHP30,000; the Lobong National High School in San Jacinto was second runner-up and received PHP20,000.

Adjudged as top performer in street dancing during the opening parade along Dagupan’s major thoroughfares is the Carael National High School of Dagupan which won a cash prize of PHP10,000.

All the other entries in drum and lyre competition were awarded consolation prizes.

Meanwhile, the Balon Dagupan Children Choir, the national champion in the recent National Music Competition for Young Artists (NMCYA), entertained the crowd during the formal opening of the city fiesta by singing Christmas carols.

The fiesta opening was graced by the contestants of the Mr. and Miss Dagupan, the winners of which would be crowned on December 26 at the city plaza.

The activities of the city fiesta will shift to the Jose de Venecia  Expressway Extension in Barangay Lucao  with the opening of the Paseo de Belen, featuring different nativity scenes (Belen) and the Dagupan City Carnival on Thursday night.

Fernandez said the month-long festival forms part of the celebration of Dagupan’s Platinum Year, that would last till June 20, 2018.

The theme of this year’s fiesta is “Our City, Our Home, Our Pride Beyond Platinum”.