Welcome back, Lubay-lubay


It’s festival time in my hometown, Cauayan.

Lubay-lubay, like practically all other celebrations across the country, is back after two years of pandemic-caused disruption.

The festival, on its 23rd year, starts late this week with the opening of the agro-product booths.

Mayor John Rey Tabujara and Vice Mayor Clarissa Soriano, along with 6th District officials and Sangguniang Bayan members, will cut the ceremonial ribbon for the exhibits showcasing the finest produce of the town’s 25 coastal, mountainous and inland barangays.

A highlight of the celebration, which runs until Wednesday, Jan. 25 – which is the feast day of the town’s patron, St. Paul – is the groundbreaking for the community housing project located on a scenic, hilly part of the Poblacion overlooking the mountains.

Mayor Tabujara said the project is a joint initiative of the LGU and Pag-IBIG Fund which will benefit 236 families of town employees and other residents. The groundbreaking will precede the turnover of basic medical equipment for all barangays which be held right after the opening of the booths.

Another community-focused event will be the Jan. 23 mass wedding, which will be officiated by Mayor Tabujara for at least 40 couples from different barangays at the Cauayan Arts Center.

The Cauayan Campus of Central Philippine State University and the Department of Education are sponsoring activities – the university parade and the DepEd Night on Sunday which will feature the Philippine Army Band, and the Search for Mr. & Ms. CPSU in the evening of Jan. 23.

Two sports events are included in the festival calendar – the multi-category mountain bike race for amateurs and pros on Sunday as well as the three-day inter-barangay boxing tournament, with championship bouts set on Monday.


Former Miss Universe title holder Gloria Diaz will grace the Lin-ay sang Lubay-lubay pageant as chief judge on Jan. 21 at 8 pm. Nine ladies, representing clustered barangays, are vying for the title (see opposite page – for the candidates’ photos).

The coronation of the Lubay-lubay Queen, an LGU interdepartment-sponsored activity, will be held on the night of Jan. 25 after the final canvassing on Jan. 24.

The coronation will be followed by grand fireworks and concerts featuring Metro Manila-based recording artists Barbie Almalbis, a singer-songwriter, and Rocksteddy, a rock band, with DJ Franz Dela Torre.

The Lubay-lubay dance parade and competition, the biggest crowd-drawer among southern towns, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 25 starting 3 p.m. Performances of the nine participating groups will be held at the grounds of Cauayan Central Elementary School.

A holy mass will highlight the feast day celebration at St. Paul’s church on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Indeed, the ‘revival’ of the festival is a testament to its rhyme and reason – the resilience, pliancy and endurance of a community and its people as seen how the ‘kawayan’ adapts and sways with the strong winds amid challenges, adversities and trials.


I take this opportunity to greet ethnic Chinese friends and readers a Happy New Year.

In the Chinese lunar calendar, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, which, believers say, is an animal symbolizing “longevity, peace and prosperity”, thus it is anticipated as “a year of hope”.


You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. (Hebrews 10:36) – NWI