Dimiao celebrates ‘Salamat Festival’ 2023

By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 12:23 PM September 08, 2023

Two years after the town devotees of San Nicolas de Tolentino can only look out of their windows to watch the parade of festival queens of the annual Salamat Festival, Dimiao unrolls the carpets for the assertion of their tagline as town of music, beauty and glee as the parishioners light candles for their age-long devotion to the Augustinian Recollect patron saint of Holy Souls.

For this year, Mayor Randolph Ang and Vice Mayor Gilberto Lagua have to scrape whatever they can spare to bring out a more festive and Dimiao town Fiesta celebration top-billed by the Hugyaw sa Dimiao events.

And when last year’s successful Salamat Festival was the first physical festive reoffering after the lockdown, this year promises to be a levelling up, the mayor in an interview said.

It would be more festive, more colorful and should be showcasing the taglines on music, beauty and glee, tourism and information officer Virgilio Laguitao said.

For mayor Ang, who has an extensive experience with the corporate world of investments and product marketing as a former executive of the Boholano superstores, the last four days leading to the big day in the feastday of San Nicolas should be showcases of such: September 7 with the Department of Education Night featuring the music traditions of the town with the Dimiao Children’s Rondalla and the local talents performing for the halad pasalamat.

By September 8, the Parish pastoral Council and San Nicolas Academy brews another night of music with local talents performing.

By September 9, it would be a Night of Beauty, with Bohol’s own Pauline Amelinxx hosting a variety show that also features the beauty of Dimiao women, with LGU Dimiao sponsoring the night.

On the feast day, September 10, the day would be of glee: as students from two schools and out of town street dancing groups claim the streets and the church plaza for the offering and thanksgiving rituals.

The same venue would also host the night of glee with Missing Felimon and Crewcrocs with Iping Amores jamming the town fiesta revelers.

In fact, Hugyaw sa Dimiao started August 31 with the launching of the LGU night Bazaar, a night market that features 35 merchants, mostly food and refreshments in an array in front of the town market.

The night market runs until September 10, and also puts up nightly acoustic bands and performances, Mayor Ang said, adding that the opening night amassed nearly a thousand people who visited and ate at the night bazaar.

Although now on its test run, the night bazaar, according to the mayor, would be hopefully stretched if the first 10 days of selling rates a success, highlighting the need to spur up the local micro-small and medium enterprises in generating employment and additional income.

And in celebration of local artists, Dimiao Aspiring Young Visual Artists put up the panels for an art exhibit that runs from Aug 31 to Sept 10 at the Ground Floor of San Nicolas Academy and the Public Market.

Participating amateur artists include Andrie Castillo, Antonio Lagura, Amabel Gallemaso, Barbie Yecyec, Eljohn Balaba, Ellaine Reomales, Godfrey Gamaya, Jayson Tabiliran, Joelito Padayao, John Alifer Lagata, Junrey Balista, Melyn Acson and Russel Hilot.

Salamat Festival is a word coined from three words: SA from saulog (celebrate), LA from Halad (offering) and MAT from Salamat (thanksgiving),explains Darlene Magtajas, who along with now municipal engineer Joel Dahiroc and then parish priest Efren Bongay, cooked up the festival to integrate in one word the town’s 254 years of faithful devotion to San Nicolas Tolentino.

Since 2007 when the themed Salamat Festival started to dominate the fiesta events, it was only in 2020 and 2021 when the festive events shifted to the more controllable Parade of Festival Queens that featured handpicked LGU and barangay picked beauties paraded in their decorated floats, while the devotees admire and whisper their prayers of thanksgiving from their windows. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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