Ligao City: On Homecoming Celebration and a Farewell

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St. Stephen ProtoMartyr Parish Church

Drumbeats and sirens woke me on the last day of my vacation at my hometown in Ligao City. It was too early to nudge myself out of bed so I decided to end my last day in hibernation. The bleakness of the weather and the constant downpours for the past ten days had finally rubbed off on me. I wasn’t keen on checking out the festivities that early because I was still tired from my two day escapade in Naga City and I got home late the previous night. It has been more than a year since I last visited my hometown, except on this day I was home alone – everyone has left for Manila to attend my sister’s graduation and I would join them the next day.

 

Parade of Beauties

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After breakfast and packing up my things, the weather cleared a bit and fortunately the parade was still on-going. I grabbed my camera and went to Centro (town proper) to check out the event. Ligao City was celebrating its 10th Cityhood Anniversary and had prepared a 10-day event celebration packed with interesting activities. It was my first time attending such an event and although the weather hadn’t been cooperating lately, I was glad I was home to see it.

 

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It was more than an hour since the parade started but I was still able to glimpse several participants from both grade school and high school bands. Mascots of Jollibee and Supra feeds, a float with a miniature City Hall and Kawa-Kawa Hill, marching C.A.T. cadets from Ligao National High School and representatives from NGO’s and different government sectors joined the long procession around the town proper. It ended in front of the City hall with an exhibition of the marching bands.

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Ligao City70 600x400 Ligao City: On Homecoming Celebration and a Farewell philippine featured articles posts review albay

Some highlights of the 10-day event were the agri-fair and exhibits featuring fresh produce and other agricultural produts, Ligao History Book launching, fireworks at Kawa-Kawa Hill and native games and boat races hosted by the coastal villages of Cabarian and Catburawan. There were also seminars and training conducted to support the livelihood programs of the city. Too bad I wasn’t able to visit the beautiful beaches along Cabarian coastline. I had been putting off my visit until the weather cleared up and so I ended up not going at all.

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But it was food tripping on my favorite homegrown delicacies that I enjoyed the most during my stay. I had a daily diet of pancit rinuguan (egg noodles with pig’s blood) and sinapot (Bicolano’s version of maruya) as well as puto sa abab and latik. My father also prepared my favorite kinunot (sting ray’s meat with coco milk) when I first got home as well as the staple Bicol Express, laing and daily serving of dried fish in the morning for breakfast. So much for dieting, I’ll worry about it when I get back  to Manila or perhaps i’ll join one hiking trip before I leave Philippines this April.

Local Favorites

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Puto sa Abab is a rice cake steamed in coconut shells and filled with some type of coconut jam. A variation of the puto sa abab uses purple yam added to the ground rice.

 

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Pancit Rinuguan:fresh egg noodles in meat broth, sauteed garlic and spring onions, topped with a tart and savory stew of cubed pork, tripe, various innards and pork blood.

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Balisongsong is made of milled glutinous rice or cassava added with shredded buko meat and sugar wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed.

I also tried the melon and strawberry milk sold at the trade fair produced from Albay’s very own dairy farm. I originally planned to visit its farm after reading an article about the “New Zealand of the Bicol Region” but the weather was too unpredictable.

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Bonsais and other ornamental plants

 

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Entries on “Pinaka” the best fresh produce were also on exhibit at the fair.

 

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Bottled Bicol Express and other local delicacies on sale at the fair

 

Later in the afternoon, I had my last serving of pancit rinuguan and I snacked on balisongsong before heading to Kawa-Kawa Hill come rain or shine. It was my last day in Ligao and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go back this April so I didn’t take any chances. I had been holding off revisiting the many attractions in my hometown before because I know they will always be there. But now that I will be moving overseas for a few years, I suddenly had a sense of urgency to see these places and to feast on our local favorites. I’m glad I made it home at this time of the year. Happy 10th Anniversary Ligao City! See more pictures here.


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Outskirt of Kawa-Kawa Hill

 

 

Next Post : Kawa-Kawa: A Hill Without a Top

 

 


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