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444th Araw ng Pasig


Farmer harvets sugar cane in Hacienda Bayabas in Cadiz in negros occidental yesterday. Negros Occidental is the Philippines’ major sugar producer, contributing over half of the country’s total production. (PHoto by Michael Varcas) sugarcane_cadiz_01_varcas_140215

Pasiguenos are enjoying a special city-wide holiday today in celebration of the 444th Araw ng Pasig.

Pasig was founded by the Augustinians on July 2, 1572, and is considered as one of the oldest municipalities in the Philippines. On June 11, 1901, by virtue of Act No. 137, Pasig was incorporated into the newly created province of Rizal and it became the provincial capital. In 1975, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 824, Pasig was made part of Metro Manila.

On July 26, 1994, it was converted into a highly urbanized city through Republic Act 7829, which was signed into law on December 8, 1994, by President Fidel V. Ramos. On January 21, 1995, through a pledbiscite the law was ratified by the people of Pasig. However, Araw ng Pasig is being celebrated on July 2 – the day it was founded in 1572 – through Proclamation No. 656 signed in 2004 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Pasig is located near the southeastern end of Pasig River and bounded on the east by Cainta and Taytay, on the west by Mandaluyong City, on the north by Marikina City and Quezon City, on the south of Makati City, Taguig City, and Pateros. Its early settlers were called “taga-ilog” or “river people.” According to Dr. Jose Villa Panganiban, a noted linguist and former director of the Institute of National Language, the word “pasig” is believed to have originated from a Sanskrit term which means a “river that flowed from one body of water to another.”

From a center of trade and commerce during the pre-Hispanic period, Pasig is now a highly urbanized city. Its residential, commercial, educational, industrial, and recreational facilities are progressively growing. It has been recognized by UNESCO and the National Commission for Culture and Arts as an outstanding culture-friendly local government unit. It has garnered the Crown Award as consistent regional outstanding winner in nutrition, and earned the Green Banner Award of the Department of Health and the National Nutrition Council as the most outstanding city in NCR in nutrition program implementation and management.

With the theme “Towards a Progressive and Sustainable Eco City,” the celebration of Araw ng Pasig started last June 23 with a dance contest and “Serenata ng Kundiman.” Other activities included a soap box derby, a drum and lyre competition, a mega job fair, a fluvial procession, a “Palarong Pinoy,” and a free medical consultation.

Today, July 2, the festivities will begin with a Thanksgiving Mass, followed by a Grand Parade, sales by various establishments located in Pasig, and an organic harvest festival.

Post-anniversary activities include the Biggest Garbage Loser. Galing Pasig Awards,Green Hearts, Dangal ng Pasig Awards Night cheer dance competition, folk dance, buddy run and animal run, variety show, launching of E-health card, a photography exhibit and competition, awarding of sustainable urban gardening contest, aero-zumba marathon, bike race, and mountain bike cross-country challenge, kids day, employees day, golf tournament. To cap the celebration is a tree planting activity in Tanay, Rizal.

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