The image on the left shows the Manunggul Jar on display at the Philippine National Museum of Anthropology. On the right is a close-up of the two figures in a boat on the jar's lid. | Photos by Julan Shirwod Nueva and Gary Todd via Wikipedia.com

The parade staged to kick off Quezon town’s 16th Manunggul Festival, which will be held from May 9 to 15, featured floats of various designs from its 14 barangays.

It was attended by all departments of the local government, headed by Quezon Mayor Joselito Ayala, the Department of Education (DepEd), stakeholders, barangay officials, and national agencies.

Brgy. Alfonso XIII won the Best Float award and took home P20,000. The designs of the floats were inspired by various products found in the barangays, such as coconut, rice, fruits, and even fish shapes.

The Manunggul Jar is a pre-colonial artifact found in the town of Quezon in Southern Palawan. It is a burial jar, believed to date back to the late Neolithic period, and was discovered in 1962 in a limestone cave in Tabon.

The jar features intricate carvings on the cover, depicting a boat with two human figures on each end, representing the journey of the deceased to the afterlife. The jar is regarded as a national treasure and an important piece of Philippine history and culture.

The festivities will include a quiz bee and painting contest on the morning of May 10, the 1st Mayor’s Live Band Concert on the evening of May 11, Governor and Congressman Night on May 12, and “Ihaw-Ihaw sa Dalan” in the afternoon of May 15.

Noli Laurio, information officer of the town, said this celebration is part of LGU’s continued efforts to emphasize the importance of the historical artifact discovered in the town, the Manunggul Jar in Tabon Cave, in partnership with the National Museum of the Philippines, which is renowned worldwide.

Ayala said in his message that the Manunggul Festival, which coincides with the 72nd founding anniversary of his town, will continue to provide significance to the people of Quezon. The discovery of the Manunggul Jar, which is part of its long history, serves as proof of this.

“Ang mayabong na kultura at tradisyon na ating minana sa ating mga ninuno at ang likas na angking kagandahan ng mga tanawin na bigay ng Maykapal sa ating bayan ang ating magiging puhunan upang mapaunlad ang turismo na siyang inaasahang makakatulong sa pag-unlad ng ating ekonomiya (Our rich culture and tradition, which we inherited from our ancestors, and the natural beauty of the scenery that the Almighty gave us, will be our capital to promote tourism, which is expected to help develop our economy),” said Ayala.

Meanwhile, one of the highlight activities is the Manunggul Festival Queen, which will be contested by 17 candidates on the evening of May 14.

Various products and souvenir items are also available for purchase at the Agro-Trade fair, which was participated in by 14 barangays.

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is the news correspondent for Sofronio Española and Narra, Palawan. He also covers some agriculture stories. His interests are with food and technology.