MAGAYON FESTIVAL 2017 | Do you miss Tambaluslos?

LEGAZPI CITY—The Higantes parade may be out of the lineup in this year’s Magayon Festival activities, but it has left a mark which is difficult to ignore.

Said parade, which stirred controversy due to the Tambaluslos effigy, divided and continues to divide Albayanos in a heated debate.

Those who say that the Higantes parade, along with the Tambaluslos effigy should be brought back argue that the same is part of our culture and heritage, and thus should be celebrated and not shunned.

Some, however, are jubilant that the Magayon Festival no longer has the controversial figure.

But the debate, which used to focus on whether the effigy was art or pornography, has now turned political.

Observers say that Gov. Al Francis Bichara’s group did not want to include the Higantes parade in the Magayon Festival activities because it is closely associated with former Governor, and now Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, with whom he is not politically aligned.

Erasing Salceda’s trace in the festival that Bichara himself established years back is perceived to be beneficial for the incumbent governor, the same observers say.

Whether there is truth to these speculations, however, remains to be seen.

At this point, what is certain is that Bichara and Salceda had different views on how Albayanos want to celebrate their heritage.

There are no official statements on the matter coming from either camp.