by - May 04, 2024

Universal Robina Corporation (URC) Flour Division has partnered with the local government unit of Sariaya, Quezon for this year’s Agawan Festival. Aiming to make the festivities bigger and grander, URC will sponsor the “Pinagong” eating activity, “Agawan sa Bagakay,” and the Street Dancing Competition.  URC Flour Division Operations Director Dario Arive Jr. and Sariaya Quezon Mayor Marcelo Gayeta led the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing. Witnessing the signing were (L-R) Graziella Mae Pons, URC HR Officer and HR Business Partner; Gemma Tacata, URC Senior Manager and EHSS; Lanie Mendoza, Sariaya Municipal Treasurer and Public Market Administrator; Marivic Gayeta, Organizer – Agawan Festival 2024; and Renaliz Miguel, Representative of Sariaya Tourism Culture and the Arts Office (STCAO).


(SARIAYA, QUEZON - PHILIPPINES)— Universal Robina Corporation, through its Flour Division, has partnered with the local government unit of Sariaya, Quezon and the Sariaya Tourism Culture and the Arts Office (STCAO) for a bigger and grander celebration of this year’s Agawan Festival. 

The Agawan Festival is an annual harvest festival held in Sariaya, Quezon every May 15 in honor of Saint Isidore the Laborer, the patron saint of agriculture and good harvest. The celebration is known as the “Happy Pandemonium” and is one of the four harvest festivals celebrated in the province of Quezon.

During the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta and his wife, Marivic Gayeta, who is currently heading the organizing committee of this year’s Agawan Festival, welcomed the sponsorship of URC Flour Division.

“Masayang masaya ang bayan ng Sariaya dahil kasama namin ngayong taon ang Universal Robina Corporation Flour Division. Talagang masasabi naming sila ay kaagapay ng ating bayan sa pagpapaunlad dahil sa kanilang bagong bukas na planta na tiyak magbibigay ng trabaho sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Sariaya” Mayor Gayeta shared. 

The URC Flour Division is one of the top flour millers in the Philippines. With plants located in Manila, Sariaya, and Davao, the division has a combined milling capacity of 2,150 metric tons per day. The state-of-the-art flour mills and blending facilities allow the division to manufacture customized products that fit the specific needs of its customers.

URC’s sponsorship of the Agawan Festival 2024 is the company’s way of appreciating Sariaya’s support when the town welcomed the opening and operation of their flour mills and blending facilities located in Barangay Talaan, Aplaya Road in Sariaya, Quezon. 

The company will sponsor some of the activities including: the “Pinagong” eating activity targeting 3,000 people; the “Agawan sa Bagakay” with special prizes to be won by participants; and the Street Dance contest where dancers will be using “upcycled” sacks as their costume. URC will be donating used flour sacks for the dancers to use in their presentation. 

“We creatively developed the “Pinagong” eating activity. Since URC is a producer of quality and world-class flour, we will donate our products to our partner bakeries for them to produce 3,000 pieces of the town’s famous and delicious “Pinagong” breads. Aside from the procession and other fun activities, this unique eating event will be one of the highlights of this year’s Agawan Festival. Exciting is an understatement for this activity!” said Naida Ebora, Sales, Marketing and Distribution Director, URC Flour. 

Marivic Gayeta, wife of Mayor Gayeta and lead organizer of this year’s Agawan Festival, is also thrilled with the collaboration. “Ikinalulugod ng bayan ng Sariaya na kami ay inisponsoran ng URC sa aming nalalapit na kapistahan. Sigurado kami na ang aming mga kababayang makikilahok sa pagdiriwang ng fiesta, pati na rin ang mga turista na dadayo at makikisali ay matutuwa sa mga programang aming hinanda kasama ng URC.”  

The annual Agawan Festival features a fiesta procession where people playfully snatch goodies and other produce hanging from the houses (or “pabitin”) as the parade winds its way down the streets. Colorful buntal hats are festooned all over the façade of houses. String beans are draped on windows like curtains, and banana leaves are used to adorn fences. The most traditional elements in the decorations are the bagakay, or young bamboo branches from which junk food, native delicacies such as the kiping, fruits, candies and money, are hung for people to collect as they pass by. 

The annual festivities will be celebrating its 25th year this 2024. The term “Agawan” was coined by the town’s former parish priest Rev. Fr. Raul Enriquez, who was also the former president of Sariaya Tourism Council, and the proponent of the town’s Quadricentennial celebration in 1999. 

For complete details of Agawan Festival 2024, visit the official FaceBook page of Sariaya Tourism Culture and the Arts Office.

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