By Henrylito D. Tacio
Pompous but not lavish. Such is the apt description of the 59th anniversary of Bansalan, one of the emerging municipalities of Davao del Sur.
With the theme, “Panaghiusa: Tulay sa Kalinaw ug Kauswagan,” the local government and its constituents were united in bringing peace and progress of the municipality.
“Progress can also be attained if there is peace and unity among the people,” said Edwin G. Reyes, who is now in his second term as town mayor. It was during his first term that Bansalan was named a first class municipality by the Department of Finance.
This year’s celebration of Bansaulog – as the founding anniversary is called – was totally spectacle in scope and in preparation. For seven days, the town was in the mood of various programs.
After a well-attended opening program, a jobs fair followed the following day. At night, a search for Little Miss Tourism was held at the ABC Gym. Lorreyn Mae Porquiado was the winner with Kimberly Purawan, Jura Marie Lumen Duhaylungsod, Pearl Ma. Jassen Bodiongan, and Clydell Jan Anical as runner-ups.
The cooking contest and agriculture day were participated by all the barangays of the municipality. One of the highlights of agriculture day was the parade of the carabaos with costumes and the search for the most talented carabao caretaker. Getting the top prize was barangay Poblacion Uno. The runner-ups were the barangays of Marber, Anonang, Tubod, Tinongtongan, and Dolo.
Two days before the anniversary celebration, two lively presentations were held. The drum and lyre presentation was done at the athletic ground of Bansalan Central Elementary School (BCES). Among the schools which participated were Nazareth High School, Holy Cross of Bansalan College, Global School of Information Technology, Marber National High School, St. Therese School, and the University of Mindanao Bansalan College.
The drum and lyre presentation, held at the ABC Gym, became grand with the participation of the three high schools located in the heart of the town and five elementary schools.
The most anticipated of the celebration was the street dancing which started at the municipal hall and culminated at the BCES. Among those that participated in the high school division were Nazareth High School, Holy Cross of Bansalan College, Marber National High School, and Dr. Pedro Arches National High School.
In the elementary division, the participating schools were Bansalan Central, Villa Doneza, Rizal, Marber, Mabuhay, and New Clarin.
To attract more participants in next year’s celebration, Mayor Reyes said that street dancing will be declared a competition. “We will get support from our sponsors to make this affair more challenging and engaging,” he said.
Bansaulog ended with the Parada ng Mga Karetela. “This is the first
time we did this,” said Geraldine Batal, the municipal tourism officer.
There were six barangays which participated in the parade. The winner was barangay Marber under the leadership of Roding Awe. The second and third places went to barangays Mabuhay (Jerry Culango) and Anonang (Eldy Ambat).
The three other participating barangays were New Clarin (Costodio Luayon, Jr.), Buenavista (William Enricoso), and Poblacion Uno (Mindanito Mabanag).
Bansaulog comes from the two words: “bansa” (from Bansalan) and “saulog” (the local dialect for celebration).
Among the famous people who were born or grew up in Bansalan include Serapion Metilla (touted to be the person who popularized bonsai in the country), Jay Sonza (a multi-awarded broadcast journalist), Dr.
Teofredo Esguerra (the Mount Everest team physician), singer Jojo Adlawan (of London’s Miss Saigon distinction), Atty. Israelito Torreon (one of the most brilliant lawyers in town), and Benjamin Lao (a two-time outstanding awardee of Gawad Saka from the Department of Agriculture). – ###