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TARLAC CITY, Dec.12, 2016 — President Rodrigo R. Duterte graced Sunday the Awards Night of the 9th Belenismo sa Tarlac. He personally awarded the plaques and checks to the first place winners of the competition’s five categories namely community, church, monumental, grand municipal (local government units), and grand non-municipal (government agencies and business establishments). In his message, the President lauded the Tarlac Heritage Foundation for uniting the efforts and showcasing the talents and creativity of the Tarlaqueños through this annual event.
“I like the rapport of the police and the military in this area, and I like how everyone is connected in their effort to come up with beautiful Belens. I would like to cite how much effort the police and military exert through the years in order to participate in this tradition,” the Chief Executive said. For her part, Tarlac Heritage Foundation Co-Founder Dra. Isa Suntay shared that since the start of Belenismo in 2007, they were able to discover talents in the field of arts, adding that this has made Tarlac globally famous. This year’s winners for the community category include Rizel Anne Lanoria (1st), Jessie Lapuz (2nd), and Samahan sa Pura (3rd); while for the parish category, the winners are St. Joseph Parish (1st), Sto. Cristo (2nd), and Our Lady of Guadalupe (3rd). Alice De Vera (1st), Nay’s House Resto (2nd), and McDonalds Capas (3rd) bested other entries in the monumental category. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, SM Prime Holdings and Robinson’s Land Corp. (grand non-municipal); and San Clemente, Capas, and Anao (grand municipal), won the first, second, and third prizes, respectively. Belenismo was conceived in 2007 to restore the religious and social significance of the belen (nativity scene) as a symbol of Christmas. It also aims to promote the “bayanihan” spirit among Tarlaqueños, to increase tourist volume in the province during the holiday season, and intensify its claim as the “Belen Capital of the Philippines.”