Tarlac City
December 11, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the awarding of prizes to the five grand winners of the 9th Belenisimo sa Tarlac Festival held at Robinsons Mall Athletic Field in Barangay San Miguel, Tarlac City.

This year, 17 towns and one city in the province of Tarlac participated in the annual tradition of making colorful and artistic Belen (Nativity) using recyclable materials.

Out of the 47 entries, five were chosen as champions. President Duterte himself awarded checks, trophies and certificates to Rizzel Lanoria from the Municipality of Pura (Community Category), St. Joseph Parish from the Municipality of Capas (Church Category), Alice De Vera from the Municipality of Victoria (Monumental Category), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (Grand Municipal Category), and Municipality of San Clemente (Grand Non-Municipal Category).

President Duterte lauded the Tarlac Heritage Foundation, headed by its chairperson, Dr. Isa Suntay, for showcasing the talents and creativity of Tarlaqueños. He also said that he likes the camaraderie of the police and the military in the area, who enthusiastically participated in the annual event.

Before the program started, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) choir offered a surprise song number for the President. The Chief Executive also enjoyed listening to the songs of a group of local male singers, and sang along to the Filipino love song, ‘Ikaw,’ while he was in the audience. The 4th Impact, a group of four sisters, also serenaded the President. The siblings finished fifth place in the 12th series of The X Factor in the United Kingdom.

The Belenisimo festival was created in 2007 to bring awareness on the social significance of the Belen and to attract more tourists during the holiday season. The Belen-making makes the province of Tarlac the ‘Belen Capital of the Philippines.’

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