Santo Tomas, Pangasinan again celebrated its town fiesta together with the anticipated Corn Festival 2014. It is an annual event to show respect to the townspeople, especially the farmers, behind the main product of the municipality, which is corn. This year’s festival highlighted the Grand Streetdance Competition, Corn Barbeque Grilling and the PinakaMAIS-Sabaw Sarap Cookfest.
GRAND STREETDANCE COMPETITION
Six competing groups on two different categories (elementary and secondary) showed their refined dance moves bejeweled by the colorful props to snatch the most coveted title and to represent the town on the Bangus Festival’s Festivals of the North competition. San Antonio National High School (winner of the secondary category) literally set the floor on fire as they synchronized to the energetic beat of their accompaniments.
On the other hand, Antonio P. Villar National High School didn’t give them an easy win. Criteria wise, both group performed well, but I enjoyed the performance of the latter. They didn’t only dance to the roars of the drums but also showcased the practices of the local farmers in corn production: from tilling the land, to planting and harvesting, that really signified the adversities of being a corn farmer.
For the elementary group, technicality was not the name of the game but of the wittiness and joy the kids exemplified during the routines. Doña Aurea Elementary School adjudged as the winner for this year’s competition.
CORN BARBEQUE GRILL
In 2008, during the centennial year of the town, they acquired the Guinness World Record for the longest barbeque grill set along the stretch of the municipal road covering 3.8 kilometers. The event that made history is being held every year where townsfolk gather to celebrate another prosperous harvest.
This year, 106 barbeque grills (each spanning about 2.4 meters) were interconnected to grill the 12,000 white glutinous corns that were given to the people and visitors.
PINAKAMAIS-SABAW SARAP COOKFEST
For the previous years, cook fest standards required all participants to create a recipe out of corn as the main feature. This year, the criteria were still the same except that the joiners were mandated to discover a corn soup recipe; hence, the contest was entitled PinakaMAIS-Sabaw Sarap.
Every group gave the assurance to present a twist to the traditional corn soup with some of them utilized dimsum, noodles, or seafood as added ingredients. The cookfest was also tied up with the DSWD to serve as the monthly feeding program that the participants also guaranteed the nutritional value of their entries.
Barangay Poblacion West with their Corn Squash Soup with Vegetables infiltrated the taste buds of the judges and declared as winners. Runners up include San Jose for their Corn Soup with Siomai, and San Agustin for their Ginataang Mais.
I’m from this town and seeing such effort to celebrate this kind of milestone is an inspiring move for every member of the community. Tourists, local and international, are starting to observe the festival but the core vision of the event which is to celebrate another bountiful harvest is still apparent during the festivities.