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                An anniversary is one of the most joyful celebrations among other occasions. It is observed only once a year and the most thrilling part is, it lets them count hundreds of days and later on realizes that they have already reached that far.

In the municipality of Governor Generoso, the people celebrate their founding anniversary every first day of August along with the culmination of the Almasiga Festival. The municipality has been known as part of the province of Davao Oriental for 65 years and is celebrating the festival for the 6th time.

Almasiga Festival is a celebration of the richness of history, culture and arts. Also, it is a thanksgiving of the prosperity of natural resources within the municipality. It is a festival that reconnects and unites the cultural minorities and local constituents. It envisions heightening of environmental awareness and concerns among locals through sustained protection and preservation of the town’s vulnerable and threatened biodiversities.

The 65th Founding Anniversary of Governor Generoso and 6th Almasiga Festival with a theme: “Attaining a fecund and well-conserved biodiversity improves ecology and boosts local economy.”  (“Ang pagkabaton sa usa ka abunda ug maayong pagkadumala ug pagkaatiman nga biodiversity makapalambo sa ekolohiya ug ekonomiyang lokal”) was being commemorated for 8 days which started from July 25-August 1, 2013.

The very first event which took place on the 25th of July was a tree planting activity  held at Taguibo in barangay Upper Tibanban headed by Mr. Joey Gamao. Several LGU employees, police officers, teachers and college students (GGCAST) volunteered themselves and made an act to help save Mother Earth. The trees being planted were Almaciga which was targeted to become a livelihood program to the people of Governor Generoso.

Courageous men and women came on July 27 at the municipal gymnasium to join the first Mayor Vicente D. Orencia’s 10 man invitational amateur boxing derby and successfully defended themselves from being knocked out by their opponent.

There were few ball games that made the founding anniversary livelier. It includes volleyball and basketball games. For days, inter-barangay volleyball for men’s and women’s division and an inter-barangay and invitational basketball games took place at the municipal gymnasium – main venue of every event. The championship games for volleyball happened on July 28, basketball inter-barangay on the 29th and 30th in the invitational basketball. The winning teams were barangay Poblacion (men) and barangay Manuel Roxas (women) for volleyball, barangay Luzon for the inter-barangay basketball and the DMF for the invitational basketball games.

On July 29, one of the activities was the outreach program by the members of ANTS (Anak ng Taga Sigaboy) at barangay Tamban. Also, the opening night for the whole festival was opened at the municipal mini-park hosted by Ms. Aiza Aspacio wherein several barangay captains made their way to the event to raise the banner of their respective barangay. The 13 lovely candidates for the most awaited beauty pageant were also presented that night. What made the stage burst into flames was the performance of the fire dancers of the Tribu K’ Mindanawan – a resident performer of Davao’s Crocodile Park.

On the following day dated July 30, several employees from LGU-GovGen and a number of visitors from the neighboring municipalities of Lupon and Mati came to join the Zumba Party held at the Old Casa. The event was facilitated by the professional Zumba instructors from Davao City known as Z-girls who helped everyone get sweat and eliminate toxins from the body. The battle of the bands which is now on its 6th year also took place at the municipal gymnasium with two categories: the high school and the open category. The Maryknoll High School of Sigaboy, a first-timer in the competition, has rocked the stage and won the first prize while the Extention band went home victorious for the open category.

As a national celebration, the nutrition month culmination with a theme using their own language: “Gutom at Malnutrisyon sama-sama nating wakasan” took place on July 31 at the Old Casa. In the municipality of Governor Generoso, it became one of the activities of the founding anniversary that adds more fun in the festivity. Out of 20 barangays, 10 have participated to manifest the abundance of healthy foods from their places. At exactly 5:00 P.M. of the same day, a Holy Eucharistic Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated at St. Francis Xavier’s Parish Church. And before the day ended, the stage was all set for the search for “Mutya ng Governor Generoso 2013” which served as the highlight for the whole celebration. The most astounding beauty on that fateful evening that brought home the crown was Ms. Genevieve Bersonda who represented the Honorable Municipal Councilor Ana Sheira Mae Almacin.

And, finally, the most significant day dated August 1 which made the Governor Generoso be recognized as a municipality, has arrived on a gloomy Thursday. In just a single day, six events have occurred. These includes the civic parade which was participated by the schools and different sectors, a flower offering as a tribute to Governor Sebastian Generoso, a Drum and Bugle Corp. (DBC) competition of the elementary and high school levels at the Sigaboy Agricultural Vocational High School (SAVHS) ground. The Enrique Orencia Elementary School won the first place in the elementary and for the high school level was Nangan National High School. The launching of the Almaciga Livelihood Project also took place. The memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was being signed between Mr. Christopher Ubas of the CRU International, the official buyer of the Almaciga tree extracts; Joselin Marcus Fragada - Regional Director XI of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Honorable Mayor Vicente D. Orencia. On that event, two employees, namely: Crisanta T. Crodua and Ma. Adelaida L. Mejos were given the award as best employees for their unfailing services.

A socio-cultural night with a theme “Showdown of Costume by Decade” which turned out as the finale for the entire celebration also happened at the municipal gymnasium. The showdown was presented through dancing wherein a group of teachers and students from the Governor Generoso College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (GGCAST) won the first prize wearing the costumes in the earlier days of the year 2000’s.  Sheryl Carios

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