When Mangaldan celebrates its town fiesta, the festivities end up being referred to as 'Pistay Baley' to differentiate it from the fiestas of the different barrios or barangays. The focus of the celebration is, of course, done in the town center, the Poblacion. Traditionally, the fiesta would coincide with the feast of the town's patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, on March 7th. As the occassion moved towards an opportunity for fund raising and to provide opportunity for Mangaldan residents who have moved out of town, the municipal council voted to set aside the first weekend of March as the fiesta celebration days.
The fund raising can be a popularity contest. Little Ms. Mangaldan has become an annual opportunity for mothers to vie their toddler-daughters for the road to stardom. The main event of the beauty contests would be the Queen of Mangaldan. In this pair of pictures, the court of Little Ms. Mangaldan and the 1st princess are paraded through the main streets of Barangay Poblacion.
This year's Queen of Mangaldan is Sheryl Rose. During the parade, the various student organizations, adult civic organizations, the local political leaders trek behind the beauty queens. The 'body guards' of the beauties get to ride in the truck-loaded floats.
Usually, on the weekend before the fiesta, a hilarious and entertaining beauty contest is held at the open air auditorium in the town plaza. Miss Gay Mangaldan draws a massive crowd of devotees who shriek and stomp their feet in approval of every scene in the well-choreographed event.
The crowning of the Queen of Mangaldan is done on the Saturday evening. The following night is referred to as Barangay Night and each barangay sets up a table in the plaza and lay out goodies and foodies on the table. If it happens to be a local election year like 2007, then the tables are laden with gifts from aspiring political candidates to gain the graces of the barangay leaders. The host of the night invariably falls on the Barangay Poblacion Council. Punong Barangay (or Brgy Capt) and concurrent municipal councilor candidate Art Fabia poses with Provincial Board Member Atty. Manuel Ancheta who resides in Brgy Poblacion.
The first couple of Barangay Poblacion, Art and Noemi Yap-Fabia. They also hosted the traditional fiesta dinner to friends and local leaders. Oooohhh! Look at those native food: inihaw na pusit, calderetta kambing, lechon, menudo, steamed bingngalo, lumpia shanghai. Those plastic cups must hold the buko pandan salad.
In this table, Capt. Art Fabia hosts town mayor Hermie Romero (seated right in white shirt). Others are, from left to right: Malabago Brgy Capt Manuel Cabrera, Alitaya Brgy Capt Ben Torio, Lalaine Fabia (from Vancouver, BC), Dra. Fe Soriano, Jun Fabia, and Dra. De Vera (?). Capitana Noemi Fabia hosts other local leaders: Brgy Capt of Banaoang (?) and Guilig Bgry Capt Fred Soriano.
I need help on this picture where Capitana Noemi sits with other Capitanas who just trucked-in from a field trip to Baguio City. In the final picture is the person who took the pictures as he vacationed in our hometown, new Vancouver-resident Architect Edwin Fabia (leftmost wearing orange tanktop). With him is his uncle, Mangaldan Youth Sports aficionado, Jun Fabia, Max Castro, and retired USA citizen Angel Magalong (who is married to Chit Biala).