Tarlac College of Agriculture, Camiling, Tarlac
1 December 2012
For the second straight year, President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the awarding ceremony of the Belenismo sa Tarlac, an annual province-wide competition showcasing the creativity of the Tarlaqueños in crafting their very own belen designs made of indigenous and recyclable materials.
The belen features the traditional symbol of Christmas in the Philippines, the Nativity scene – showing the Infant Jesus surrounded by the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the three kings, donkeys and sheeps in a manger, beneath a bright star.
In his message, President Aquino hailed the winners of the six categories from a total of 128 entries that promoted the values of simplicity, unity and care for the environment. “Sa nakalipas na limang taon ng pagdaraos ng patimpalak na ito, naging maugong ang husay at talento ng mga kalahok sa Belenismo. Hinangaan ito hindi lamang sa Pilipinas, kundi pati na rin sa ibang bansa. Kinikilala na ang Tarlac bilang ‘Belen Capital of the Philippines.’ Balita ko pa po, dumadagsa ang mga turista rito upang masilayan ang katangi-tanging sining ng mga Tarlaqueño,” the President said.
He lauded the spirit of bayanihan and support given by various sectors that made the festival highly colorful and successful. “Nagbabago man ang estilo, laki at hitsura ng mga Belen sa paglipas ng panahon, at sa kabila ng paiba-ibang impluwensiya ng modernong teknolohiya, hindi nagmamaliw ang simbolong taglay ng Belenismo: ang pagbubuklod ng pamilya, pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, at ang matibay na pananampalataya kay Hesukristo. Itinaguyod Niya ang simpleng pamumuhay at wagas na pagpapakumbaba, at nagsilbing ehemplong tunay na paglilingkod upang magbigay ng pag-asa sa kapwa,” President Aquino emphasized.
The Belenismo sa Tarlac is on its sixth year and was launched by the Department of Tourism and the Tarlac Heritage Foundation on November 10 to promote green tourism and highlight the creativity of the people from the province known for its vast agricultural lands and rich natural resources. Indigenous resources like abaca, anahaw, bamboo, talahib (common grass), rice stalks, twigs, rice hulls, sugarcane and palay, while recycled materials such as water bottles, shampoo sachets, soft drink cans and old tires were used in designing the belen.
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