Antique’s Binirayan Festival opened on Wednesday evening and brought a message of hope to residents amid a drop in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases and loosening of social restrictions.
Governor Rhodora Cadiao, who led the opening salvo of the Binirayan Festival, said Covid-19 cases in the province are declining which made it possible to hold the event.
“The Antiquenos, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, had shown enough courage and strength that we could now confidently say we are ready to face any similar challenge that might come our way,” she said in her message.
Antique is entering into the new normal, hence activities for the festival until December 19 will already be a combination of virtual and face-to-face.
Last year, the province had to cancel all crowd-drawing activities such as the Search for Lin-ay or Miss Binirayan because of the threat of the virus.
Juan Carlos Perlas, the Antique Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer (APTCAO), in a separate interview Thursday, said all the 18 towns of the province sent their candidates for the beauty pageant.
They were presented to the large crowd that gathered at the capitol ground during the festivities’ opening salvo.
Perlas said other activities are lined up until the December 19 culminating activity.
He said there are 50 stalls set up for the Fiesta Binirayan 2021 where people could buy various souvenir items such as handwoven fabric or patadyong t-shirts, shoes, and bags.
“People could also dine at the Fiesta Binirayan 2021 provided they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” Perlas said.
The Tanuman Festival or Agricultural Fair also started its run on Wednesday evening.
Other activities for the festival included the floats parade of local government units (LGUs) on December 12 with floats display until December 18; the coronation of the Lin-ay Kang Antique on December 13; and Binirayan Sikad Lagaw or Bike Race and Pet Day on December 18; and trail run from December 18 to 19.
The celebration will culminate with the Malay Ati Competition or tribe competition of municipalities on December 19. (PNA)