TAMPISAW, AN ANSWER TO A GLOBAL CALL. In l980, delegates from all over the world congregated in Rio de Janiero, Brazil for the Earth Summit. It was the first time that the world manifested unity in addressing the problems concerning the environment. The summit had produced a portfolio calling the citizens of the world to conserve, preserve, and nurture the Mother Nature for the benefit of the present and next generation. In that particular summit April 22 was announced as the Earth Day, an affair of Earth awareness and its ideals for preservation and conservation. The celebration had emanated into a more meaningful and fruitful event in each year since. Billions of people are celebrating the Earth Day in l8l countries the world over proving the magnanimous effect and concern on the issues it involves.Here in the Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in answer to the global calling, had designed, re-designed as well as invented affairs to maximize the awareness of its people regarding the importance and significance of the environment with emphasis on preservation and maintenance.

From the national perspective to its regional level, the effort of the DENR to provide unique ways of providing its consumers with clear message on the issues that the institutions behold is undeniably exemplary.In Western Visayas, the people involved in environment issues were never spared by the call that was emanated from a global viewpoint. They too showed interest and thus spearheaded a purely regional-conscious activity, creating the annual “Pamaybayon sa Kabisayaan” in l996 under the innovative idea of the Director Adeluisa Siapno, Region VI, Head, Coastal Environment Program. From this bigger theme came a purely 5th District based with the same thought the “Panubaysubay sa Dagat”. These two schemes though same in thought are simply an Earth Day Celebration involving the cleaning up of the coastal area of the respective district.In October l996, after recognizing the monotony of the annual earth day celebration in the district, out of the minds of some influential persons came a wild idea of having the celebration a big time. Was this the time that Tampisaw Festival in its conception phase? Not yet, it took a longer time to make the festival happen.Hon. Raul N. Banias before the launching of this project, the opening of Concepcion towards eco-tourism, had already the pre-verbial stage of the said concept but the determination of what it is still held in his mind.Came the Project Identification Development and Financing Course in the year l999 at Ateneo School of Government, Manila, and Mayor Banias imposed the question leading to the conceptualization of the Tampisaw Festival. From that point Tampisaw was slowly embodied making it towards a bigger realizationAfter the course, the two representatives from the Municipality of Concepcion who includes the Mayor Raul N. Banias and the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC), Engr. Rene Sobremonte wanted to introduce their thesis on the festival but the need to await right timing withheld them to silence not until the historic event came. Coincidence had bestowed the two with such grand opportunity making their thesis a success as it pre-empts.Before the year ended, in l999, using the Technology of Participation (TOP) as introduced by the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF), the Municipal Coordinators called a multi-sectoral gathering revitalizing and uniting ideas zooming in to one common goal – the birth of Tampisaw Festival and the organization of the Municipal Tourism Council now Culture, History, Art & Tourism Council (CHAT), the heart of Tampisaw. As the year ended, Tampisaw Festival slowly evolved amidst the excitement of those involved, CENRO, LGU (includes the Provincial Government and 25 barangays), DOT, the private sectors the academe and representatives from the line agencies in Concepcion. Indeed, Tampisaw is destined to be the next tourist destination in the North of Iloilo, Philippines.Tampisaw Festival was first scheduled on April 26-28 in 2000 because of one religious reason, the original Earth Day fell in Holy Day – the strict date of observance for the Catholics.The first “Tampisaw Festival with its amateur try-and error approach was successfully launched and garnered a good revenue though its success cannot be qualified in material perspective but with the audience that welcome it with such excitement and longing.

THE VISION FOR TAMPISAW. Emanated from the consciousness of our people, with the help of the Technology of Participation (TOP), the following visions were drawn, dramatically proclaiming the glory of cooperation and unity in the hearts that witness:1. Give emphasis the need for Marine Resource Conservation and Preservation;2. Abridge culture with the concept of Marine Resource Conservation and Preservation;3. Challenge our people and the region as a whole, to appreciate the importance of tourism 9industry in relation with the Tampisaw Festival’s goals and ideals.

HOW TAMPISAW GOT ITS NAME. “Tampisaw” is a hiligaynon term, which means, “to wade in the water” or “playfully wade in the water.” A term that would reflect Concepcionanon’s love of water being the major source of living (fishing) in this part of Panay Island. Atty. Helen Camarista, Regional Supervisor – DOT Region VI, coined the term Tampisaw during the above-mentioned multi-sectoral gathering on the festival.

THE TAMPISAW ISLAND. Located in the Northern part of Iloilo, a 45-minute ride from the main island by boat is the Pan de Azucar Seascape, a sanctuary that is presently awaiting for formal launching and accreditation from the Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines through DENR. The present transition of the presidency had delayed the formal memorandum mandating the Pan de Azucar Seascape and the protected sanctuary and national treasure. For the record, though the Local Government Unit had already moved forward and imitated the recognition of the place as a protected sanctuary, still the maximum worthiness still depends in the national angle. The seascape is known as the Tampisaw Island because of its sentimental cause and of course environmental grandeur in the area, not mentioning that the same island is the right puck of the festival. Its significance in Concepcion was even manifested in the municipal logo – that without it Concepcion will never be Concepcion for its monuments the pride of every resident. For this reason, though an eye for future mobile Tampisaw Festival within the vicinity is planned, still it will be remembered that her majesty evokes the ideals of the festival.

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TAMPISAW – A CELEBRATION OF WATER. Water. This element has greatly influenced the majority of the residents of Concepcion. For years, their lives have depended on this. Their means of livelihood reverberate the energy that comes from the sea. Whether be of great dreams or grand aspiration, Concepcionanons always see to it to give thanksgiving to the sea. This message we bring to the different people, we believe a part of the circle of life.

WATER. Pronounced as the ESSENCE OF LIFE. Its blue-green color in the horizon evokes the radiance of hope and faith, speaking the wisdom envisioned from its serene and versatile motif as bestowed by the MOTHER EARTH. Predictable as it implies abundance and influence to cool and soothe the heat of the fire, triggering the soul from the labor of everyday life. Fishing to farming, water becomes one with us.

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