Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya Mayor Hon. Lucita Tan visited friends and relatives in Toronto and Vancouver, and was asked to be a guest speaker at the UFCABC 120th Philippine Independence Day Gala at the Westin Bayshore in Downtown Vancouver.
Tan said that she is honoured to have been invited to the Gala.
“Vancouver is so beautiful, more beautiful than Toronto if I may say so,” she shares with a smile. “I am so happy I was able to come for the celebration of the Filipino community at this Gala.”
Asked about Aritao, she was very happy and proud of her little municipality.
“We are only 37,000 in population but we are proud of the accomplishments that we have,” she adds. Aritao is found in the Cagayan Valley, and its domestic products include pottery, and agricultural produce such as onions, mango, tomatoes, and rice. She says that they have an annual celebration called Panagsisibuyas Festival. The Panagsisibuyas Festival is a town fiesta with parades, street dancing and drum & lyre competitions, exhibit on agriculture featuring the town’s best products and socialization night during the last day. One highlight of the fiesta is also the cookfest of exotic and local dishes featuring their otop or onion.
Tan is very proud of Aritao-born UFCABC President Joel Castillo, and what he has accomplished here in Vancouver. “I will certainly share his success with the people of Aritao when I go home. We are always proud of our own kababayans, especially those who continue to serve their countrymen even when they are abroad.”
She hopes to come back to Vancouver soon, as she is very much enamoured by the beauty of the nature surrounding her and the hospitality of the Filipinos in Vancouver.
“I will certainly be back soon,” she says with much appreciation.