Now on its 10th year

TACLOBAN CITY- The Oktubafest is not just merely promoting the region’s premier locally-made wine, tuba, but it also helps transform the lives of those in the industry.
Thus said former congressman Florencio ‘Bem’ Noel of the An Waray party-list group which is behind the annual event, now on its 10th year.
Noel said that while the main goal of the Oktubafest, which was patterned after the beer-drinking Oktoberfest of Germany, is to serve as an avenue in promoting tuba or coconut toddy and its other uses like using as a food concoction, doing so also pave the way in helping those in the industry with their group providing the needed assistance.
“We have come a long way since we started the Oktubafest 10 years ago. We have sent some of the children of those in the industry to school (through our scholarship program),” Noel, who is the party’s number one nominee, said Friday.
This year’s Oktubafest was held at the Tacloban Convention Center which was attended by Senators Grace Poe and Sonny Angara, Rep. Zajid Mangundadatu of Maguindanao, mayors from different provinces and directors of various regional offices and officials and students of state universities and colleges.
For her part, Rep. Victoria Isabel Noel said that the An Waray is proud of this particular activity considering that tuba is the region’s most noted locally-made wine.
She said that the main idea of the Oktubafest is to ‘promote the product(s) of Region Eight which includes tuba.’
She also said that tuba gathering is not just something as a source of livelihood among the tens of thousands of people but it also ‘showcase the way of life of the Waray people.’
The one-day event serves as a competition in various categories like best ‘bahal and bahalina’ and dishes infused or with concoction with tuba.
And during the event, the An Waray party-list group launched its ‘One Eastern Visayas” program which aims to help promote the region’s other products and tourist attractions. (JOEY A. GABIETA with LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA and ROEL T. AMAZONA)