Pro-Friends kicks off 10th anniversary celebration & Explore Guimbal through Bantayan Festival

By: Maricyn A. De los Santos

Photos by: Ricky D. Alejo

PROPERTY Company of Friends, Inc. (Pro-Friends) kicked off its 10th anniversary in Iloilo in ceremonies held at SM City Iloilo recently.

Theme “10 Solid Years: Building Together and Beyond,” the celebration showcased 10 Great Stories that featured the inspiring stories of 10 homeowners, and how Pro-Friends affected their lives, and helped them survive their struggles.

The homeowners are Zenaida Perucho, Jerome and Janet Pornan, Ma. Luz Ortaliz, Elmer and Mary Joy Billano, Gina Gilongos, Darlene Vasquez, Fernan and Maria Christine Pineda, Mhernette Margallo, Bob and Grace Llorico, and Reina Belluga.

Pro-Friends also lined up other activities throughout the year. A Family Fun Run in August will highlight the anniversary celebration.

Pro-Friends started in Iloilo in 2007 and has built two master-planned communities – Parc Regency Residences and Monticello Villas – both in Pavia, Iloilo, which are now home to more than 2,000 families.



Explore Guimbal through Bantayan Festival

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

GUIMBAL, Iloilo is celebrating the 15th Bantayan Festival, April 4-8, 2017.

The community, under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Garin, enjoys the effort to make this celebration happen each year, giving them the opportunity to share their local history and culture.

All events are family-friendly and fun for all ages.

April 4 (Tuesday) Foundation Day Opening, Food Festival and Agro Fair, Liturgical Mass at 2 p.m., Grand Parade with Float and Street Dancing Competition at 3 p.m., Drum Beat Competition at 7 p.m.;  April 5 (Wednesday) Search for Anyag Kang Bantayan at 8 p.m.; April 6 (Thursday) Boat Racing, Pinta Lawas and Canvass Painting Contest at 8 a.m. at Bantayan Beach Resort, Re-enactment of the Moro Raids in Bantayan Beach Resort at 2:30 p.m., 13th Bantayan Film Festival at 8 p.m.;

April 7 (Friday) Motorcross in Guimbal River at 8 a.m., Car Show at 4 p.m.,Bantayan Celebrity Night and Intensity Dance Competition; April 8 (Saturday) Festival Day – Tribal Dance Drama Competition at 2 p.m., Merry Making at 5 p.m., Awards Night and Fireworks Competition at 9:30 p.m.

The annual Bantayan Festival celebration is not only an intrinsic part of local culture but also a celebrated art form. This is especially true for the dance-drama presentation that continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Guimbalanons.

The presentations nurture a positive mindset among its people, especially the younger generation.

The presentation promotes sharing of local history and culture, bringing out identity of Guimbalanons to its visitors.

In the early 17th and 18th centuries in the Philippines, Muslim pirate havens were established along the central coast of the Visayas. Many of the settlements, including Panay, were devoted to piracy.

The Moros of Jolo and Maguindanao on board their piratical fleet, the caracoas, swept the coasts of Panay and ravaged everything.

The towns were looted and burned and the inhabitants carried off as slaves. Some areas were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants.

Parish priests and the townspeople set up their own defences by building watchtowers or Bantayans made of stone along the coasts to spread warning signals to the nearby towns.

The Bantayans in the streets of Barangays Tuguisan, C. Colon and Pescadores were among the chain of fortifications erected by the Spaniards throughout the area. These Bantayans have become instrumental in securing the area for defense and to protect their peaceful community from constant piratical attacks.

The guimba – an ancient instrument that resembled a drum – was beaten by hand to send messages from Bantayan to Bantayan and warn the community of an incoming raid.

There are many more historic festivals throughout the province of Iloilo, reminding us of our vibrant community and the thriving culture, in spite of the many challenges. If you are exploring local history in Iloilo, festivals are a great start.

Guimbal is a southern town 29 kilometers or a 35-minute drive from the city of Iloilo. It shares borders with Tigbauan on the east; on the northeast by Tubungan; Igbaras on the northwest; and west by Miagao. It has a land area of 44.61 square kilometers politically subdivided into 33 barangays.

For more information, please contact Karen Gayanilo-Felicio at 09082865480.

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