Quezon province holds from Aug. 16-26 the 7th edition of Niyogyugan festival, considered the most awaited spectacular event of the province that highlights primarily its premier crop, the coconut.
Conceptualized in 2012 by Quezon 3rd district Rep. Aleta Suarez, Niyogyugan is a playful combination of two Tagalog words, ‘niyog’ which means coconut and ‘yugyugan’ which means to beat, shake or dance. As a single word, Niyogyugan means simply to celebrate for the coconut tree, hence it is being played merrily to dance beats for the entire duration of the festivities held at the provincial capitol grounds and Perez park here.
It all began simply as an agriculture and tourism fair which Rep. Aleta and her son, then Gov. David ‘Jayjay’ Suarez had thought to expand to a festival. Since then it has drawn yearly huge crowds of visitors, tourists and sightseers from all the 39 municipalities and 2 cities of the province, and neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal and from Metro Manila.
This year, the incumbent Gov. Danilo Suarez had thought up to introduce his innovation which included the Tagayan
sa Niyogyugan and Employees’ Night and the more than 2,000 coconut seedlings placed as decoratives at the park.
The Tagayan sa Niyogyugan, also the brainchild of Rep. Aleta Suarez, was held for the first time in this year’s festival to revive the traditional tagayan ritual of drinking Lambanog also called coconut vodka which came from the sap of coconut flower. The tagayan booth drew the participation of various provincial government officials and personalities of the province who want to partake of the riotous drinking celebration still being practiced in several remote barangays in Tayabas city, Sariaya and other towns of the province.
The 11-day festivities kicked off with the live television
coverage of ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda and in the afternoon the formal opening and ribbon cutting which was attended by the Gov. Suarez, Reps. Aleta and David Suarez, vice governor Sam Nantes and several members of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan, provincial government officials and several municipal and barangay officials.
On the second day, a dog show was held in the morning and in the evening the Bb. Niyogyugan pre-pageant show. Lucena Half Marathon event was held the next day which drew the participation of more than 400 runners for 25 kms., 15 kms., 10 kms. and 5 kms. distance run from the capitol ground to Dalahican port area and back. On the evening of same day, Gabi ng Kulturang Quezonian was held which showcased the diverse talents of the youth in song, dance and poetic performance.
On Aug. 19, provincial officials led by Gov. Suarez and various representatives of different government and nongovernment agencies trooped to the monument of the late Pres. Manuel L. Quezon for flower offering ceremonies then immediately followed by Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan awards for the 7 outstanding citizens of the province held at Queen Margarette Court in Bgy. Domoit here.
The 16-man QMK awards committee led by Atty. Vicente Joyas has chosen for this years awardees Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar for police service, Azucena Romulo for education, Edelissa Ramos for agriculture, Hamilton Villapando for education, Lloyd Luna for literature, Genoveva Verdaguer for education and Joy dela Pena Talens for educational research.
A huge multitude of the young jampacked the Cocojam on Aug. 20 at the Convention Center featuring Sponge Cola and Itchyworms and the following evening, Aug. 21, the Bb. Niyogyugan coronation night was held.
On Aug. 22, Sen. Cynthia Villar was invited as guest of honor and speaker at the Araw ng Pamilyang Magsasaka which saw the gathering of a huge number of farmers all over the province at the Convention Center.
A movie of the late Pres. Quezon was shown at the same venue in the morning the following day and more than 5 thousand students from various high schools came to see Quezon’s yet another story of heroism about hundreds of Jews he
rescued from the death camps of German dictator Adolf Hitler before World War 2.
Movie heartthrobs Bella Padilla and RK Bagatsing graced the grand parade and street dance competition on the following day and by evening on Sunday, another cocojam featuring Aegis and Wacky Kiray was held with a jampacked audience at the Convention center.
During the last day of the festival, awarding ceremonies was held for various competitions such as the street dance competitions and best floats during the grand parade. For the booth competition which showcased the artistry, creativity and skills of Quezonians in every town, the following were declared winners.
There are also consolation prizes of P100,000 for the rest of the competing booths which did not make it to the winners list.