DOT SPEECH CAVITE 31 MAY 1999
Regada ’99’ Cavite’s Water Festival
Secretary Gemma Cruz Araneta
Department of Tourism
Launching and Press Conference of Regada ‘99
DOT Conference Room, 31 May 1999
Mayor Timoteo Encarnacion
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press
Friends and colleagues
Welcome to the Department of Tourism, Mayor Encarnacion and our compatriots from Cavite. Allow me to add my own greetings to those given by Undersecretary for Planning and Development , Mrs. Evelyn Pantig.
The Regada ’99 festival which we are launching today is part and parcel of the “Rediscovery “ Tourism program of the Estrada Administration. The DOT is aggressively promoting domestic tourism that highlights the particular traditions, history, arts and culture of our towns, cities and provinces.
Some of my elders have cautioned me about promoting fiestas and festivals because, in their opinion, an overdose of these may give the wrong impression. However, I believe that fiestas and festivals, if properly presented,can boost local economies and awaken a “pride of place” in every Filipino. Through domestic tourism we can help each other’s hospitality sector comprised of hotel, restaurants, tour operators and tour guides and makers of destination merchandise.
The Regada ’99 is an annual water festival of Cavite City. As you know, “Regada” comes from the Spanish word “regar” which means to sprinkle , or shower something with water. There are many festivals in our country that have something to do with water and it is certainly because the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.
The Regada of Cavite is in honor of St. John the Baptist who, according to the Bible, baptized Jesus Christ at the Jordan river. That is probably why the feast of St. John is celebrated with a water festival. In San Juan, where I grew up, we also celebrate, on June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist by dousing each other with water. There are many festivals that are related to water like the fluvial procession in Angono on the feast of San Clemente, the fisherman, Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga city, and the Pagoda of Bocaue, Bulacan, to name only a few. I think Cavite also has a fluvial festival in November, in honor of Nuestra Senora de la Soledad or de Porta Vaga. It commemorates the day a sailor found the miraculous image of Our Lady in Cavite Bay. (Correct me if I am wrong).
Regada ’99 promises to be exciting and unique because the city government will install sprinklers along the main streets, to shower water on the Cavitenos, including their domestic and foreign visitors. May I bring an umbrella, Mayor? Or, is that against the rules?
Mayor Encarnacion, you can be sure that Regada’99 will remain in our list of activities, in the framework of the “Rediscovery” Tourism Program. From June 22 to 24, as we celebrate the Regada, we shall rediscover and bring to fore the immutable history of Cavite and its special traditions. I salute our compatriots in Cavite for their “pride of place.” Mabuhay!
Mayor Encarnacion, you have the floor.