Now on its 2nd year

TACLOBAN CITY—Lope De Vega town clinched the top prize, besting 22 other towns in the second edition of the 2024 Ibabao Festival Float Parade held in Catarman town.

Located around 30 kilometers from Catarman, Lope De Vega, which primarily depends on coconut and other farming products, won a P50,000 cash prize.

In 2023, Lope De Vega secured second place among 19 participating municipalities during the inaugural Ibabao Festival Float Parade.

This year, San Roque town took second place, winning P250,000, while Pambujan secured third place with a P150,000 prize.

Each colorful float showcased and reflected the unique history, identity, culture, heritage, products, livelihood, and tourist attractions of the participating towns using indigenous materials.

The parade route started from the provincial capitol grounds in Catarman, proceeded to the town proper, and returned to the starting point, attracting an estimated 18,000 spectators along the main street of Northern Samar’s capital.

The strong support from the people highlighted the festival’s role in fostering unity and cultural pride, reinforcing the province’s reputation as a vibrant and welcoming destination for both tourism and investment.

This year’s 23 float participants exceeded the 19 participants from 2023 when San Jose town won the title in the inaugural run.

The float parade marked the beginning of the month-long Ibabao Festival, celebrating the 59th founding anniversary of the province.

“The previous years have been good to us, and we have every reason to celebrate the 59th founding anniversary of our beloved province,” said Governor Edwin Ongchuan during the float parade awards ceremony and the opening program for the 2024 Ibabao Festival.

“Through the Ibabao Festival, we hope to foster cultural awareness and a deeper appreciation of the history, cultural heritage, and development of our province,” Ongchuan added.

He noted that this year’s festival activities span an entire month, compared to only two weeks last year, to attract more visitors and promote the province’s tourism potential.

The preparation for the month-long festival, to culminate on June 19, was headed by Vice-Governor Clarence Dato.

Other activities for the 2024 Ibabao Festival include a business conference, cultural exhibits, local history lectures, a trade fair, the Mutya san Ibabao beauty pageant, a concert, the Ibabao Festivals of Festival, the State of the Province Address, and the 59th founding anniversary program. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)