Bohol will be declared during its 156th Foundation Day on Thursday as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cultural capital for the month of July.
This will be a first in the history of the Boholano homeland since its founding as a province over a century and a half years ago on July 22, 1854. Every July 22 has been celebrated as Bohol Day.
UNESCO ASEAN head Huber Gijzen and Gov. Vilma Santos of Batangas, the holder of the title for June, will turn over the ASEAN flag to the Bohol province thru Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim.
Santos, a Philippine screen giant outside politics, will herself be a super-imposing figure together with new Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Alberto Lim in a parade here that will display the higante figures of men regarded as the five giants of Bohol history.
These oversized mascots are of Francisco Dagohoy and Tamblot, two lasting symbols of the Boholano courage against oppression and injustice, Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conqueror Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who forged the historic Blood Compact, also known as the first Treaty of Friendship between the brown and white races, and the first and only Boholano president of the republic ever, Carlos P. Garcia.
The affair will be graced, too, by Santos’ husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, and the officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Masterpieces of Boholano artists, including the great works of national artist Napoleon Abueva, will be displayed in an exhibit called “Remembering Bohol Through The Arts” at the National Museum – Bohol Branch or the old provincial library.
The UNESCO ASEAN head will formally declare Bohol as the ASEAN cultural capital for July 2010 and the new tourism secretary will talk, as the guest speaker, in a commemorative program at the Bohol Cultural Center.
The Bohol Day, also a major part of the yearly Sandugo Festival, takes the theme “Bohol Crossing Borders Towards ASEAN Regional Partnership.”
The celebration will start with a commemorative mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral at 7:15 in the morning. It will be followed by a flag raising ceremony at Plaza Rizal and laying of wreath at the foot of the CPG monument there.
The ASEAN anthem will be played and flags of the ASEAN member nations displayed.
The governor, vice governor, fellow capitol officials and guests will be joined by other Bohol leaders like Reps. Rene Relampagos, Erico Aumentado and Arthur Yap.
The opening of the art exhibit will follow, after which will be the parade/motorcade from Plaza Rizal to Bohol Cultural Center. The guests, aboard two floats, and the higantes of Dagohoy, Tamblot, Sikatuna, Legaspi and Garcia will excite the parade.
The coronation ceremony of the Provincial Agricultural and Fisheries Council (PAFC) will follow the main commemorative program.
The Bohol Day observance will be further highlighted by the launching of Teatro Abatan and signing of the Bohol-UNESCO-Abatan River Development Management Council agreement at the Abatan River Main Village Center in Cortes
The celebration will climax at the Tagbilaran City tourist port in a province-sponsored performance evening featuring the Alicia Pangkat Kawayan and other Boholano talents.