Accept it or not but tobacco is one of the most important thing among the lives of many Ilocano. Tobacco have been part of the tradition and cultures especially to the city that the biggest budget for its projects and program coming from the excise tax called RA 7171.
Because of this reason, Tobacco festival is celebrated by the city who produces the biggest volume in the whole Philippines—the city of Candon. The citizenry and city officials might be one in campaign against smoking but not the production of it because it’s the main cash crop or livelihood of the people here.
So, here comes the Tobacco Festival, but just to be clear, its not Cigarette Festival but Tobacco Festival, there’s a big difference.
Year 2017 is another spectacular events and activities for the fiesta that started on March 24 and ended on March 28, 2017. There’s the major significance on this dates besides the start of the tobacco season on this year. First important date is March 25—the so called Cry Of Candon. On this date, the first Republic of the Philippines was founded when the local hero Isabelo Abaya raided and conquered the seat of power of Spaniards in Candon. He shouted the first Independence on that date.
The second important date is March 28—the ratification of cityhood of the city through plebiscite 16 years ago. The cityhood brought the progress of this place with the jumping of its Internal Revenue Allotment from the government. It brought progress and development through infrastructure projects, programs for agriculture and fisheries, sprouting of the businesses and the wide assistance for the citizenry.
Now, the city is celebrating the first independence and the cityhood of Candon. Being the business central of the 2nd district of Ilocos Sur and that also includes some provinces in Abra and Benguet who make their business here, the city boost the wide market. People converge here.
Many activities lined up that many of these already remarkable because of years it is being presented every fiesta. Here are the most notable activities for this year.
- Tobacco Streetdancing And Showdown. This biggest crowd drawer of the fiesta. Ten of thousands of people from different places come and converged here to watch the colorful and joyful streetdancing competition and showdown. The streetdancing starting at barangay Bagani Campo and the participants dances through the national road going south reaching final destination which is the Candon City quadrangle where the showdown is held in the elevated wide stage.
- Miss Virginia Tobacco. It’s not just a beauty contest. Miss Virginia Tobacco is so prestigious now. Why? Simple because it’s now the 25th year of the pageant. The beauty contestants usually come from the province of Ilocos Sur, Abra, Ilocos Norte and La Union—the prime producers of Virginia tobacco in the Philippines.
- Agriculture Day. Candon City is still an agriculture based city. The people’s main livelihood still in farm. Planting tobacco, rice, corn, vegetables and peanut. The vast lands are mostly farm fields. We may still depending on farming but we are also living in the modern technology now. So, the Agri-Day is included in the events. It include the contest for biggest cows, carabaos, goats and chickens; crustaceans and fishes like shrimps, tilapia, milk fish; then the crops like squash, string beans, malunggay, ube, and many more.
- Search For Grandma and GrandPa. The beauty contest for Grandma and Grandpa is always a pleasing for us. It dubbed as Lolo and Lola Ti Siudad” where the senior citizens held the beauty and talents among them.
These are only few of the notable activities as there are other parts of the fiesta you should not miss like the Trade Fair and Exhibits, Miss Candon, Educational Day and many more.
It’s good to be here. As the slogan is saying, Candon City, Your Destination.