"...and together, the people has set the candles to the river, let the same to float. It was very dark. The only light of that night is the candle-lit river symbolizing hope and a bright future for the town!"

437 years of existence... 437 years of hard work... 437 years of unity and harmony...437 years of dreams... It was their 437th foundation year as an independent municipality of the Philippines. They opened the celebration by letting the 437 candles to float at the Abra River in Brgy Banaoang just below the New Quirino Bridge.

[SANTA] This is the town of Santa in Ilocos Sur.

It was a very spectacular event. I was able to witness how huge the love of the people to their town is. Presently (as of this post) a third class municipality of the Philippines with a population of not more than 20,000, the town of Santa was able to survive all the challenges. I believe, these tests and struggles have made the town of Santa stronger and better. One good proof of this is their 437th foundation year!

Santa is situated at the mouth of Abra River and this river has been a part of the lives of the people of Santa. On the contrary, this Abra River is always a potential threat to the town.

[SANTA] United people

[SANTA] Circle of Friends

[SANTA] Aggregated

The previous poblacion of the town, where an old and massively built church and town hall are located, was washed out by the wrath of the Abra River during a strong typhoon and flood that hit the town several decades ago.

The Abra River might look so nice and beautiful, so serene and peaceful, so calm and relaxing but this river is a mighty threat to the people of Santa. Until now, this river is slowly eroding the town making it literally shrinking. The town has asked the help of the national government for the construction of seawalls and river control facilities to give solution to this problem.

However, in spite of all the struggles the town has experienced through the years, it is still surviving. From a 5th class town, it is now 3rd class.

[SANTA] Crowd (People)

[SANTA] Crowd (of candles)

[SANTA] No crowding

[SANTA] Kids in town

[SANTA] The river on fire

Although the Abra River might be too harsh, we can not deny the fact that the river is an asset of the town. The beauty of the river and its surrounding mountains, hills and communities is truly magnificent; it has made Santa be known in the world through this. Aside from that, it is also a fishing ground for the people.

In fact, this day, I intentionally set my day off from work to cover this spectacular event. I can say I had no regrets at all. In this blog coverage I made, I learned the value of unity to achieve a goal! The 437 candles symbolize the 437 years of the existence of the town. At this point, let me congratulate the people of Santa!

I was here as early as 5pm but it was already dark when it started (7 PM). Since I was waiting here for about 2 hours, I was able to view and capture the sunset at the horizon over the New Quirino Bridge. It was spectacular as well!

[SANTA] Beautiful Background

[SANTA] Floaters

[SANTA] Float-for-a-Cause

Finally, after a long wait wherein I was so hungry because there's nowhere I can find a place to eat food, the candle lighting ceremony started!

All the candles were designed uniformly but one resident customized his own design. He made a small bangka where the candle was placed. I was able to handle it and have a picture with this unique craft.

The ceremony started with messages from all the religious sects in the town and this has shown how all  religions in Santa are joining hands to celebrate this memorable event all for the love of their town!

After those speeches, all the people who are handling the candles simultaneously ignited the flame and there I saw the glory and beauty, not of the place, but the people in unity! It was so heart warming!

...and together, the people has set the candles to the river, let the same to float. It was very dark. The only light of that night is the candle-lit river symbolizing hope and a bright future for the town!

Young or old, everyone has shown their love to the town. Age is not the hindrance.

All together, joining hands in one accord, one goal and one purpose, the Abra river is shining brightly amidst the darkness showing that through the darkness, there's always a light to defeat the former and that light is the unity and the love of the people for their town.

I was so touched on how the townsmen celebrated their foundation day. I can see their unity, the passion and the perseverance to change their town for the better.

Finally, the ceremony was done and the view of the river is spectacular! I enjoyed it and I was amazed on how unity can bring light, peace and harmony.

By the way, I also have my video blog version for this event and if you want to view more details and watch this video, you may click here!

God Bless you and Congratulations Santa! Truly, unity can shape our future! /end

Santa #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Santa

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Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

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