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No ‘Ibon-Ebon’ festival in 2014

Candaba, Pampanga – A former Candaba chief executive has expressed dismay over the scrapping of the ‘Ibon-Ebon’ festival, a colorful event popular in the province and elsewhere.

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Jerry Pelayo said he was very disappointed with the move of incumbent Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque to stop the festivity despite its contribution to tourism and the pride it brought not just to the municipality and the province but to the country as well.

Manila Bulletin

IBON-EBON FESTIVAL – The popular bird festival in Candaba, Pampanga will not be staged this February, with some pining for days of old when villagers in bird costumes, as this in file photo, perform a dance number for local and foreign tourists. (File photo by KJ Rosales)

The festival, celebrated every February, had been showcased in various channels worldwide, including Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

“We became known because of this (festival). It’s a treasure. Tourists, particularly foreign tourists, come here to watch the activity. This was a proof that the festival was a success,” said Pelayo.

“Now all the efforts to promote tourism in our town have been laid to waste. International media had already listed the festival for annual feature, and that opportunity has been abolished for reasons hard to comprehend,” he added.

Maglanque, who assumed office in 2010, said the move to axe the festival was to save funds, adding the previous administration has spent more than P6 million annually for the activity alone.

“Instead of spending it there, we will utilize the funds for the scholarships of indigent students,” he said.

According to Maglanque, he will create another festival but will only allocate P1 million for it.

The festival, literally meaning ‘bird-egg’, features the municipality of Candaba as the home of thousands of migratory birds from different parts of the globe.

It also showcases its growing duck-egg industry and promotes its delicacies such as salted duck eggs and balut.

The activities featured during the two-day event include street-dance performance by Tribung Dumara and other schools’ contingents, exhibits and trade fair at the Ms. Earth Park, bird-inspired kite flying exhibition, itik race and boat race along Pampanga river.

  • Rocky Arce

    how about the tourism income that the festival will generate, mayor? maybe you are a LP who hates everything started pro-GMA people.