Magalang leaping to progress with Camaru Festival

Chris Navarro

MAGALANG - "The reason why we revived the Camaru Festival is because back then, Magalang was derived from the word 'Magalo' which means a way of moving and waving from one place to another which is our theme "Metung king Panyulung, Luksu ka Balen Magalang," meaning "a leap to a progressive municipality".

Thus said Mayor Malu Paras-Lacson during the four-day celebration of the fifth Piyestang Camaru (mole cricket) last August 21 to 24 in this town.

"This year's activities were aligned with the message that we wish to impart to the people of Magalang, as well as awareness to the people that our town is united in progress and development which is embodied in our slogan ‘One Magalang,’" Lacson said.

She said that the revival of the festival was an overwhelming success, citing that in the past administration the festival was discontinued because of financial constraints.

"We have revived the Camaru festival and had tapped local schools, barangays and the local government unit. It is a joint effort," Lacson said.

The lady mayor recounted that back in the old days, Magalang was an agricultural town and farmers often sell crickets to buyers coming from Angeles City and nearby towns.

Meanwhile, Municipal Tourism Officer Ryan Miranda said that the Piyestang Camaru is a celebration of how rich the Kapampangan culture is.

Miranda said that the festival will boost tourism because of the event which he noted is a socio cultural uplift.

"We are inviting people especially non-Kapampangans, even non-Filipinos to visit Magalang. We are trying to promote the richness of the Kapampangan culture. Every year we are introducing different events and every year it becomes bigger and better," Miranda said.

He said that Camaru is an authentic Kapampangan dish which is famous in Pampanga, known to be the culinary capital of the country.

Miranda said that Magalang is home to a lot of good cooks as well as authentic Kapampangan restaurants.

The Piyestang Camaru was highlighted by the street dancing competition joined by 10 competing elementary and high school students, tattoo competition, basketball tournament, variety show and the declaration of the Heliograph Towers.

For his part, Vice Mayor Norman Lacson said that the Municipal Council has already passed an ordinance declaring August 21 to 24 of every year as Piyestang Camaru.