It’s the biggest celebration in the province this month.
Here in Alaminos, all is set for the grandest celebration of city fiesta now dubbed as Gali-La Hundred Islands Festival from March 17-22.
“We have lined-up so many activities to ensure that there is something for everyone," said Mayor Hernani A. Braganza at the Kapihan sa Lenox just recently at Lenox Hotel in Dagupan City.
“Gali-La! Hundred Island Festival is a week-long celebration is in honor of and in thanksgiving to our Patron Saint Joseph, added the mayor.
“Our festival aims not just to promote tourism but also development in the city and the whole province.”
For the first salvo, it’s the 3rd edition of the Inter-School Learning Activity (ISLA) Challenge, an inter-school quiz show on March 17at the Don Leopoldo Sison Auditorium (DLSA).
There’s also the Family Trade House Corporation’s Amateur Singing Contest-Year 15 in the evening.
On the 18th, City Mayor Hernani A. Braganza will lead the opening of the Bayanihan Venture Booths at Plaza Enrique Braganza and the Photo and Art Gallery and the Hundred Islands Youth and Sport Council (HIYSC) Mini-fair at the Golden West College.
The Photo and Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 28, when the city celebrates its 8th charter day anniversary.
Basketball games for the youth and the gay community will be held in the afternoon including the 3-point shoot-out.
Tricycle, public utility jeepney and van drivers and market vendors will have a chance to show their singing prowess and laugh their heart out as they watch the stand-up comedians perform during the Transport and Vendors Night.
An Island Night for the city’s balikbayans and foreign guests will also held on Wednesday evening.
The next morning, there will be a Thanksgiving Mass at the Saint Joseph Cathedral Parish at 6 AM to be officiated by Bishop Marlo Peralta of the Archdiocese of Alaminos.
Anacleto Orfinada, city’s technical consultant on information and media affairs, said a grand civic military parade at the city’s central business dubbed as Gali-La! Viva San Jose pays tribute to the city’s Patron Saint Joseph.
During the said procession, performers from various schools in the city will mesmerize the crowd with their dazzling moves in this year’s Hundred Islands Street Dancing showdown.
At noon time, fiesta lovers, guest and city residents will feast on sumptuous food for free during the Gali-La! Mangan Tila! Ihaw-ihaw and Salo-salo.
For the kids, magical afternoon awaits them at Plaza Marcelo Ochave for this year’s free live magical show.
The city’s children will entertained once more during the search for Little Mr. & Miss Alaminos 2009 at the DLSA.
The Barangay Night known as ‘Suwayan” will be held at San Jose Drive (SJD) which include a variety show and other activities for the barangay folks.
There’s also the Senior Citizens and Veteran’s Night at the DLSA.
The highly anticipated Peoples’ Party will also be there every night at the SJD where select rock bands are expected anew to provide live entertainment to all the revelers.
While on March 20, the city will showcase its best products at the Techno-Caravan which features pinaka-contest on crops, livestock and fishery sector and tackle the problem on solid waste through an environmental lecture.
It will also the day for those who wish to venture on handicraft making as exhibits, demonstrations, seminars and lectures are lined-up on the E-Kawayan project, charcoal making, bamboo carving and painting.
For the city’s youth, there’s an enterprise development contest open to all schools with the province dubbed as “Handog sa Kabataan Para sa Kabuhayan.”
The contest include bangus deboning, floral arrangement vegetable & fruit carving, basket weaving, dish gardening contest, poster making and marketing slogan.
Two of the highlights of this year’s Hundred Island Festival are the Gabi ng Parangal and the selection of Mr. & Miss Hundred Islands Pangasinan.
During the cocktail with Balikbayans, the city will honor the major sponsors of the Gali-La Hundred Islands Festival 2009 and, the Alaminian investors and there will also be a pledging session for the Gawad Kalinga project in the city.
For this year’s beauty pageant, twenty pairs of handsome young men and gorgeous ladies from different towns and cities in the province will vie for the title.
The winners will soon serve as goodwill ambassadors for the city and the province as a whole.
And for the first time, there will be a DepEd Night at the SJD Bonifacio stage in recognition of the city’ educators major role molding the bright future of the city’s children and sustained development of the city.
Those who like to cook could watch professional chefs prepare the best menus in Comida Pangasinan, an Iron Chef Style-Cook Fest for Professional Chefs-Pangasinan Open.
The Comida cook-off will be on Saturday and is open to college and professional chefs in the whole province who will compete in such categories as flair and bar tending (college & professional); menu design (college); Pangasinan tour package making (college) and catering service contest and table setting (college).
Other activities on Saturday include chess tournament (city library) and Hundred Island Sports and Youth Council (HIYSC) hip-hop dance competition for all amateur dances in the province.
In the evening, there is the “Baile” (grand ball and coronation night) at DLSA, the province-wide battle of the band, the NGO night and the Farmers’ and Fisherfolks Night.
Finally on Sunday, the volunteers, beneficiaries and investors will erect the first Hundred Islands Gawad Kalinga (GK) Eco-Village in Lucap right after the GK “Batik Palekan” (fun-run).
The annual mountain bike challenge known as “Rockrakan” will be held in the afternoon along with “Sayaw tan Cansion na Pangasinan (folk dance and chorale competition open).
Another first is the “Cawes”, a fashion show featuring vintage Filipina dresses as well the Media Night.
The week-long festivities will be capped by a spectacular fireworks display set at midnight.
Braganza said he expects that Gali-La! Viva San Jose could lure more tourists to his beautiful and peaceful city.
He also hopes that festival could become another permanent national interest in City of Hundred Islands and come close or even match the popularity of Ati-Atihan Festival of Aklan and the Sinulog Festival of Cebu.
"(Through this forum), we are inviting our kabaleyans here and abroad, our town and city mayor friends and beloved provincemates to come and visit Alaminos and celebrate with us on our festivities.” (CIO)