Viva Vigan Binatbatan Festival of the Arts was formally opened on May 1, 2014 (Labor Day) in a ceremony in front of the marker of Isabelo De Los Reyes, the father of Philippine Labor Union Movement. Guest of Honor for the event is Poland Ambassador to the Philippines Mr. Adam Jelonek, who also lead the launching of the Vigan Tourism Code. The Trade and Food Fair along Florentino St and the “Tara na sa Vigan” exhibit at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center were also opened on the same day.To entice more tourists the city government lined up other activities to celebrate the event. Among these are the Bancathon and Fishing Competition at Playa de Oro, Brgy. Mindoro which was held on May 1. A Dog Show and Free Anti Rabies Vaccination was also held at Mira Hills Fil-Spanish Friendship Park on May 2 followed by the Kalesa Parade and Contest on the afternoon. Traditional Games were also played between the Bisikleta Antigua Ylocos Klub (BAYK) and the City Organization of Vigan Employees in front of the City Hills on May 3. The main event which is the Binatbatan Street Dancing Contest was held on the same day where the Ilocos Sur National High School emerged as the grand prize winner in the open category and the Pangada – Cabaroan Elementary School in Category A, both received P100,000.00 each as cash prize.
A Santa Cruzan with Miss Philippines – Earth candidates was staged on the parade route on May 4, following their Gala Night and Presentation at the Vigan Convention Center. Competitions for the Carabao Painting and Pasagad Dressing, Boklan Art and Tile Mosaic Contest were undertaken on May 5 and in the evening Miss Philippines – Earth Cultural Dress Competition was held at the Vigan Convention Center.
The highlight of this year’s Binatbatan Festival of the Arts is the launching of the kick off campaign for the city’s bid for the New 7 Wonders Cities of the World at the Vigan Convention Center on May 1. VIGAN is in a festive mood as it is the only Philippine city to be short listed in the New 7 Wonders Cities of the World. Helping the city in the promotion of the said campaign is GMA Regional TV, the city government’s strategic partner. GMA brought to Vigan the Asian Songbird Regine Velasquez– Alcasid in a GMA Kapuso Day where she treated Bigueños to a night of beautiful music. This is part of the GMA Regional TV (RTV) contingent to boost the city’s bid to the coveted tilt.
Present at the affair were Governor Ryan Singson, Vigan City officials led by Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina; GMA RTV key officers headed by assistant vice president and head of the Integrated Marketing Services Division Oliver Amoroso; New 7 Wonders Foundation executive director Jean Paul de la Fuente; and thousands of proud and excited Bigueños. In her speech, Mayor Eva says that as the lone nominee from the Philippines, let this be a journey where every Filipino shall join hands to bring pride to our country. Likewise in Mr. Amoroso’s speech, he expressed that GMA Network’s Regional TV is happy and very excited to partner with the Heritage City of Vigan for the New 7 Wonders Cities of the World campaign. “We, from the network, are proud to say that we are in full support of Vigan’s bid for we uphold every endeavor that would bring out the best in the Filipino” he added.(Joanne of www.vigancity.gov.ph)