SP HIGHLIGHTS: Kamundagan Festival
Naga City is privileged to be one of the chartered cities of the country. In fact, it is one of the oldest metropolises in the Philippines founded by the Spaniards in 1575 and recognized by the Philippine Republic as a chartered city in 1948 by virtue of Republic Act No. 305 authored by then Congressman Juan Q. Miranda, the leader of the Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit and the man behind Bicol’s liberation from the Imperial Japanese Army.
Republic Act No. 305, otherwise known as the Charter of the City of Naga, was enacted on June 18, 1948 and, by virtue of such, on December 15 of the same year, the city was then inaugurated and recognized by the national government as one of the chartered cities of the country. For a long time, the Naguenos had celebrated the Naga City Charter Day every December 15 of every year– the date of Naga’s inauguration as a chartered city. Republic Act No. 9089 is a testament to such historical practice.
In 2003, however, there was an initiative to move the Naga City Charter Day from December 15 to June 18 – the date of the approval of the city’s charter. On June 11, 2003, Republic Act No. 9210 was signed by Congress effectively repealing RA 9089 and finally declaring June 18 as Naga City Charter Day and as a special non-working holiday in the city. Since then, the City Government of Naga has been following the said statute.
To uphold though the tradition of thanksgiving and merry-making every December, the City Government of Naga has conceptualized and launched the Kamundagan Festival. Kamundagan Festival is a one-month celebration that commemorates the birth of the city and Jesus Christ. It is the time to rejoice and give thanks for the blessings we have enjoyed as Naguenos and Christians.
This year, the City Government of Naga has prepared tons of activities for the Kamundagan Festival. Last December 1, to kick off the festivity, we have unveiled the Christmas Village in Plaza Quezon and, simultaneously, lighted the Christmas decorations in all plazas and public edifices. These lights, aside from giving joy to the people, shall also convey our aspirations as Naguenos for a better and brighter future for Naga.
The Christmas Village is open every night for individuals who wish to relish the wonderful display of lights and images. To boost the security in Plaza Quezon, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga passed Resolution No. 2013-323 authorizing the City Mayor to temporary close the Kinastilyohan Street, as well as directing the Public Safety Office to detain some of their personnel in Plaza Quezon. Through this, we ensure the safety of the public viewing the Christmas Village.
Throughout the month, various colleges of the city have volunteered to showcase their students’ and professors’ talents so as to provide entertainment, inspiration, and delight to their fellows. Last December 6, students and faculty from the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology performed in our plazas. On December 7 and 8, respectively, the Naga College Foundation and Camarines Sur National High School took a break from academics to exhibit their artistic prowess. This coming December 13 and 20 shall be the time for Universidad de Sta. Isabel and University of Nueva Caceres, respectively, to showcase their singing and dancing skills.
Sports events are also to be held this Kamundagan Festival. December 14 is the schedule for the Rotary Club of Isarog and JOMcKAYL Fun Run, while on December 15, GNN Channel 48 Naga will sponsor a walk for cause. On the same day (December 15), an Inter-School Age Group Chess Championship will also be held. The Naga City Inter-Government Sports Fest, which aims to promote camaraderie between and among the different local government units in Metro Naga will also be conducted. This inter-government sports fest will be held on December 16 at Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum.
There are other activities lined up for the enjoyment of the Naguenos, such as the Yuledance on December 15 and the Strings of Hope and Joy on December 22. Ultimately, Kamundagan Festival is intended for the Nagueños to appreciate the good things that happened to us. It is our means to share and convey our delight of having Naga as a progressive city and of having Christ as our savior. Thus, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Kamundagan Festival!