THE BIGGEST STREET PARTY ANEW – The country’s most notable dignitaries join the city in leading the ceremonial lighting of grills that formally kicked off the 2019 Bangusan Street Party on April 30. Shown in photo are (from left to right) Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, former PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, former Congresswoman Manay Gina de Venecia, Cong. Christopher de Venecia, former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., Dr. Ashok Vasandani, Coun. Dennis Canto, 2019 Bangus Festival Executive Chairman Coun. Alvin Coquia and Liga ng mga Barangay President Dean Bryan Kua. (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

DAGUPAN CITY – The Bangusan Street Party remains as the biggest street party in the North when it was again swarmed by a multitude of participants from all walks of life when it was held along the Jose de Venecia Expressway in the evening of April 30 that lasted till the wee hour in the morning.

This year, more than 700,000 revelers and visitors attended the major culminating activity of the annual festivities.

Mayor Belen T. Fernandez expressed her elation over the huge turnout of revelers in this year’s street party.

“Thank you to all our visitors for continuously patronizing our Bangus Festival all these years. Every year, our street party draws hundreds of thousands of guests. I’m glad that the De Venecia Highway is able to accommodate all of them. This is the right place for our street party,” added Fernandez.

This year’s celebration also marked a huge turnout of dignitaries who joined Mayor Fernandez and city officials in undertaking the ceremonial lighting of grills that formally kicked off the street party.

This year’s guest of honors include senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Sonny Angara and Jinggoy Estrada; Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa; former MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino; Atty. Michael Manotoc, who represented Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos; former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr.; Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia; and former Congresswoman Manay Gina de Venecia.

Also present were Liga ng mga Barangay President Dean Bryan Kua, 2019 Bangus Festival Executive Chairman Coun. Alvin Coquia, Coun. Dennis Canto, philanthropist Dr. Ashok Vasandani and other members of the Bangus Festival Executive Committee.

In his third visit to the city’s festivities, Sen. Sonny Angara admitted that the Bangus Festival is one of the biggest celebrations he has so far attended all over the country.

“We want to thank Mayor Belen for inviting us. We pledge our support for the leadership of Mayor Belen and the city. We will continue to support in whatever capacity we can. Yung mga scholars natin sa TESDA, yung mga gyms na naipatayo natin, marami pang susundan ‘yan,” added Sen. Angara.

Sen. Estrada, former PNP chief Dela Rosa and former MMDA chairman Tolentino also expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome they experienced in Dagupan.

More than 15,000 pieces of the world’s tastiest milkfish were cooked simultaneously in 900 iron grills that were consumed by the revelers.

Eight stages were set up along the entire stretch of the Bangusan Street Party where people watched their favorite bands like Parokya ni Edgar, Spongecola, Juan Karlos, This Band, I Belong to the Zoo, Moonstar 88, Ben&Ben, Unique, and many more.

GMA’s Kapuso artists like Manolo Pedrosa, Kyline Alcantara, Therese Malvar, Pancho Magno, Sanya Lopez, Yasser Mata, Kiray Celis and Shaira Diaz wowed their fans in their Kapuso Night at the Kapuso stage.

Meanwhile, PNP Dagupan chief P/Supt. Jandale Sulit disclosed that the street party was held peacefully with no untoward incident recorded whatsoever. This was due to the collaborative efforts and extensive preparation undertaken jointly by the PNP Dagupan, the city government and stakeholders.

More than 400 police personnel and force multipliers were also deployed at the site that ensured peace and order during the festivities.

The Bangus Festival has made giant strides since its launching in 2001. On its 18th year, the city’s month-long festivities was affirmed as the happiest fish fest for all families and friends. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)