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Candaba marks 1st 'Itik Festival'
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Monday, September 25, 2006
Candaba marks 1st 'Itik Festival'
By Joel P. Mapiles

CANDABA -- "Quack, quack, quack". Ducks sing in thousands as the 14 barangays of the Tagalog speaking region of this bustling town celebrated the first "Itik Festival" in Barangay Bahay Pare here.

The joy and merriment of the festival were so obvious and seen in the faces of the thousands of people who joined the celebration.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

Hundreds of duck raisers brought their itik (Anas Plathrhynchos Linn) - wearing clothes of different colors - in the festival to join in first duck race competition.

The event was organized by the Fiesta Committee of Bahay Pare as part of the three-day fiesta celebration in honor of patroness, Nuestra Senora Dela Merced, with the able and full support of the local government.

The culmination of the celebration is the much-awaited Duck Race participated in by 84 entries from 14 barangays.

The festival was highlighted by the colorful and boisterous duck costume competition participated in by all duck raisers in the municipality. (The photo above shows Mayor Jerry Pelayo interviewing one of the constestants that responded with confident quacks to the delight of the crowd. Inset shows one of the glamorously dressed duck.)

This town, which claims as one of the major balot suppliers in Pateros, is now considered as one of the centers of the multimillion-peso duck industry in the country.

Mayor Jerry Pelayo is optimistic that the occasion would boost the industry's pivotal role in the economic life of the town. He noted that the town's duck industry could be a multimillion-peso economic activity, hence his administration is doing its best to help the duck raisers in the production and marketing of ducks and their eggs.

Pelayo stressed that the "Itik Festival" only shows and assures all duck raisers and buyers that the fowls are free from any deadly virus, particularly the one that causes bird flu.

In spite of this, the Municipal Government's Iwas Bird Flu Task Force is doing a continuous monitoring and inspection to all the poultries in the region to always keep the town free from any dreaded disease.

The task force is also doing a constant information-education and communication campaign that tackles the questions on how to protect ducks and humans from the bird flu-causing virus; how to prevent contamination; and how to deal with a suspected case of bird flu.

(September 25, 2006 issue)
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