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The provincial government of Aurora launched its 1st Pasidayaw Festival at the Capitol Grounds in Barangay Suklayin here on Monday.

Aurora Provincial Tourism Chief Ana Riza Mendoza said the weeklong festival is a celebration of culture, heritage and faith of the people, sharing of bountiful harvests from the land and the waters, and a new beginning with the break of dawn (bukang liwayway).

The launching of Pasidayaw was part of the 45th Aurora Day celebration with the theme “Aurora, sa Muling Pagsibol ng Liwanag.”

“Pasida” is a common term among the locals which means “paulam” or sharing one’s viand or harvest from nature.

“Dayaw” means celebration or to present with pride. The culture of Aurora residents includes the celebration of fiestas and thanksgiving ceremonies, strong faith, close family ties and gatherings for various occasions and “bayanihan” (unity and cooperation).

Present at the launching, aside from Mendoza, were Department of Tourism-Central Luzon (DOT-3) Regional Director Richard Daeños, acting Governor Reynante Tolentino, acting Vice Governor Jennifer Araña, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Philippe Jacobson Galban, San Luis town Mayor Ariel de Jesus, Maria Aurora Mayor Ariel Bitong, Dingalan Mayor Shierwin Taay and other local officials.

Daeños thanked the people of Aurora for their hospitality, saying he felt at home in the province.

He said the initiatives of the local government in staging another Aurora Day celebration and other activities will boost tourism and encourage more tourists to visit the province.

“During our stay here, tourism is strong and tourists are exploring Aurora. As we say in Central Luzon, Aurora goes beyond being a destination,” Daeños said.

Tolentino lauded the efforts of the provincial and local tourism offices that joined the Tourism Fair 2024 and Siempre Aurora: Trade Fair as part of the celebrations.

He promised to provide all the support needed as a high number of tourists are expected to visit the province this week. (PNA)