Solon lauds Samar’s local festivals

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar – Senator Cynthia Villar lauded the local government here for honoring the historic past of Samar province through the Tandaya Festival.

“I would like to congratulate all the organizations and people who are behind the preparation for this festival and all the activities and events. It shows that you really worked hard to make it more colorful and meaningful,” Villar, a guest of honor of the celebration on Saturday, said.

Tandaya Festival, celebrated every August 11 during Samar Day, showcases local talents and artistry as well as various products in Samar province.

She asked the younger generation to keep the sense of pride alive in the future through cultural celebrations.

Villar believed that celebrating festivals is an effective way to promote local tourist destinations.

“We are the most effective tourism ambassadors of our country,” she said.

“People of Samar should be proud of their own culture and heritage. Festivals show what the town and cities as well as the people are all about. They also reflect the aspirations and advocacies,” Villar added.

Meanwhile, since Samar province is a predominantly agriculture area, she urged local government units to help improve farms and open it to tourists.

She said the Department of Tourism earlier launched the “Farm Tourism More Fun in the Philippines” campaign aimed at promoting farm tourism, to re-invigorate tourism activities in rural areas

“I am ready to support the program to promote farm tourism here. You have a big competitive edge because Samar is highly agricultural and tourism-oriented area,” Villar added.

Tandaya Festival, formerly dubbed as Samar Day Festival, is already on its sixth year.

Tandaya is the ancient name of the province, the term being used by the local government in their tourism promotion under Spark Samar campaign.

Samar Day was previously celebrated every November 10 to commemorate the election of the first officials of the province. During Martial law era, the celebration was moved to August 23.

In the late 1970s, officials change the date to August 11 to commorate the day Queen Isabel of Spain signed the royal decree that established Samar as a separate province from Leyte. Lizbeth Ann Abella/