Daragang Magayon Festival 2013 honors great Bicolano composer

y Cherry N. Acabado, Elizabeth B. Bellen and Jesil J. Clete (OJT contributors)

LEGAZPI CITY: The ongoing Daragang Magayon Festival 2013 entered its 10th day celebration on Wednesday with the theme “Sarung Aldaw para ki Sarung Banggui,” honoring the great Potenciano Gregorio who composed the popular Bicolano song “Sarung Banggui" in 1897.

Held at the Peñaranda Park here under the supervision of Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, the event was attended by youths and residents of Sto. Domingo, Albay, the native town of Gregorio.

The celebration commemorated the work of Gregorio, who became part of the Kulturang Bikolnon.

Loved so much by Albayanos, “Sarung Banggui” tells of a romantic story dedicated by Gregorio to Dominga Duran, who later became his wife.

Gregorio later sang the song during the town fiesta celebration of Guinobatan where he impressed President Howard Taft, then governor general of the Philippines.

The Bicolano composer joined the Philippine Constabulary Band in 1909.

Coronel Walter Loving, who witnessed his performance in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1939, greatly appreciated his talent.

But while on his way back home, he became sick and died. His remains were brought to the North Cemetery in La Loma, Manila.

In 2005, Gregorio’s remains were brought back to Li-bog, former name of Sto. Domingo, in Albay and laid in an octagonal structure located at the edge of the town park.

According to Abdon Balde Jr., Albay poet laureate, the message of Wednesday’s event is to familiarize the Albayanos and tourists with the immortal Bicolano song.

Also featured Wednesday night were the choreographed speech choir competition held at the Peñaranda Park and the Parade of Lights starting from Vel-Amor Subdivision to the park.

A Zumba Party was held at the Albay Astrodome while Rocklakan in Daragang Magayon took place at the SMB Stage in the park.