TANAY, RIZAL- One of the first-class municipalities in Rizal Province, bounces back from the hiccups of the pandemic with a cinematic twist that showcases Filipino movies filmed within its breathtaking landscapes during its 13th HANE Festival.
“Tuloy-tuloy ito, aming ineexplore ang bayan ng Tanay,” [This is an ongoing effort, we are continuously exploring the town of Tanay] Tanay Municipal Mayor Rafael Tanjuatco told BusinessMirror, emphasizing the continued economic growth and development efforts aimed at attracting more tourists to the area.
According to Tanjuatco, numerous well-known local movies have been filmed in various locations in Tanay, spanning both the upland and lowland areas of the town.
These Filipino films vary from comedy, horror, romantic comedy, and fantasy, and have become widely popular among local viewers.
Notably, key attractions like Daranak and Batlag Falls and areas along Mount Sierra Madre, Nagpatong Rock Formations, and other known tourism destinations serve as prominent settings in some local films, contributing to their widespread popularity.
With its close location at the Laguna Lake, lush forests, mountains, and natural wonders such as Tinipak River and Calinawan Cave, it has captivated local filmmakers, artists, and even foreign personalities to include Tanay as one of the settings in their films and contents.
Beyond the natural tourism destinations, Tanjuatco told BusinessMirror that the town is also renowned for its gastronomic tourism, featuring local cuisines and delicacies offered by local restaurants.
Tourists can explore various options, including coffee shops and camping sites – some offer glamorous camping (glamping) with stunning views of the sea of clouds and other outdoor adventure activities.
“Ito ay aming tinuklas, binuhay at binigyang halaga, kung kaya’t ito ay naging matagumpay sa bawat isa,” [We discovered, revived, and appreciated it, hence it thrived for everyone] Tanjuatco emphasized, making Tanay as a premier tourist destination in the province and a key player in the economic development of the eastern part of Rizal.
With the success of the Tanay 417th Founding anniversary celebration and a decade and three of HANE Festival, officials like Tanay Planning and Development Officer Jeffrey M. Pino sees a festival that reflects the town’s vitality, underscoring the importance of “tourism arrival, economic activities sa bayan dahil ito ang nagdadala ng sigla sa ating [in the town because these bring vitality to our] community.”
Recently, at the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Tanay bagged its first Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit (LGU) Award by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) under the Municipality Level 1 category.
This acknowledgment, Tanjuatco believes, solidifies Tanay as a hub for trade and commerce, attracting neighboring municipalities and provinces seeking products and services.
“Ngayon ay lalo nating ipinalalakas at sinusuportahan ang bawat sektor dito,” [now there is a heightened effort to strengthen and support every sector here] he said.
Tanjuatco attributes Tanay’s economic success to toughened trade and business activities, evident in the active involvement of businesses ranging from small to large enterprises, in the People’s Parade of the HANE Festival.
“Higit naging masaya po ito dahil nagtulong-tulong po ang ating business sectors,” Tanjuatco said adding the active participations of the Department of Education,” especially the DepEd Tanay, enabling secondary-level students to join the street dancing competition, a focal point of the festival.
As the festival promotes Tanay’s culture, from arts to tourism, Tanjuatco highlights the town’s warmth and hospitality, acknowledging the significant role of the business sector and the people of Tanay in making the festival a success.
“At doon namin nakita kung gaano kaaya-aya ang bayan ng Tanay sa mga bisita,” [And there we witnessed how welcoming the town of Tanay is to visitors] he remarked.
HANE: Rooted in slang and culture
When asked why the festival is named HANE, Tanjuatco told BusinessMirror that HANE Festival is derived from “an ordinary expression that turns into an extraordinary expression of locals in Tanay,” which means “to seek one’s agreement, to please or convince” that exclusively identifies within Tanay.
For this reason, the slang phrase “HANE” has been adopted as the name of Tanay’s first-ever agri-eco tourism, arts, and cultural celebration in one.
From then, the Tanay LGU gave the acronyms of HANE as “Home of Adventure and Nature Experience” which is widely used in promoting local tourism.
“Ngayong pinopromote lalo namin ang aming kultura hanggang sa pagkain, hanggang sa kabundukan na may magagandang tanawin, tuloy-tuloy,” Tanjuatco said, highlighting the Tanay’s dedication to promoting its rich cultural heritage, evident in the festival’s diverse activities.
He adds that the Tanay Tourism and LGU had made a new tagline for this year’s celebration, ‘Salunga Na Sa Bayan ng Tanay, HANE!’ in embracing the town’s unique offerings.
Since the festival started in 2010, the celebration has seen progress and development in how it should be celebrated and engage its people and visitors from the celebration.
“Ito yung foundation na masasabi nating ipinagmamalaki ng Tanay – to promote Tanay. Isang bayan na punong-puno ng kalikasan at kultura,” he said.
Cultural pride and diverse performances
The Tanay LGU and Tanay Tourism Office (TTO) have organized a diverse range of activities during the nearly three-week countdown leading up to the grand celebration.
These events, including participation from the locals, showcase the town’s pride in various aspects such as food, particularly the “Meriendang Pinoy,” engagement in the “Family Movie Night,” involvement in “Kapaligirun: Salunga at Padyak Para sa Kalikasan,” participation in “Barangay Road Beatification,” contribution to the “Business/Agri Trade Fair & Exhibit,” participation in the “Painting and Local Cooking Contest,” and the festival’s highlight, the Street Dancing Competition.
HANE Festival Vice-Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of Street Dancing Noel Jose Rayco outlined the rules for the grand showdown, featuring contingents performing routines with a touch of concept from local films shot in Tanay.
In addition to incorporating selected local films from each contingent, the performances also showcased varied products, practices, and history of the town.
The TTO has divided the street dancing competition into two categories, A and B, featuring six contingents in Category A and seven in Category B.
This categorization is based on the school’s total population, where Category A requires more than one thousand students, and Category B encompasses schools with less than one thousand enrollees. Despite these distinctions, both categories displayed creativity and showed eagerness in bagging the title.
In Category B, groups like Tribu Uway, Marahuyong Diwani, Tribu Aw-Nabyon, Alipaap Yak-Ai, Tribu Talaghay, Gunitang Ading Amihan, and Tribu Ayngat present their performances inspired by various Filipino films, each with a unique concept such as “Sugo,” “Enchanted Garden,” “Alice Bungisngis,” “Ibong Adarna,” “Bagani,” “Enteng Kabisote,” and “Tiyanak.”
Meanwhile, Category A features Tribu Balaraw, Tribu Lakat-Tarikanon, Dugong Bangwahanon, Sibol Banyuhay, Tan-Ayanan Cultural Group, and La Sangre, portraying concepts like “Panday,” “La Luna Sanggre,” “Engkanto,” “Paroa ang Kwento ni Mariposa,” “Darna,” and “Encantadia.”
Notable winners in the competition received cash prizes and recognition. The crowned Queen of the HANE Festival received a prize worth ten thousand pesos from Tan-Ayanan Cultural Group, Marahuyong Diwani secured 20 thousand pesos for Best in Costume, and Dugong Bangwahano claimed another 20 thousand pesos for the Best in Street Dancing, inspired by the local film Engkanto. Non-winning contingents were awarded 50 thousand pesos along with a plaque of appreciation.
In the HANE Festival street dancing competition, Tan-Ayanon, inspired by Darna, clinched third place in the Street Dancing Showdown. Tribu Lakat-Tarikanon from Category A, inspired by La Luna Sangre, took the second spot and received P100,000. For Category B, Alipaap Yak-Ai, inspired by Ibong Adarna, secured the second place.
The grand champion of the 2023 HANE Festival Street Dancing competition was Dugong Bangwahanon from Category A, inspired by Engkanto, receiving 120 thousand pesos, while Marahuyong Diwani from Category B, inspired by Enchanted Garden, claimed the top spot.
Contingents were also honored with appliances and school materials as tokens of appreciation. Photos and TikTok video by John Eiron R. Francisco