To further promote and propagate the benefits in raising carabaos, the Philippine Carabao Center at the Central Luzon State University (PCC at CLSU), in collaboration with the Science City of Muñoz government, staged the 1st Carabao Festival on January 15.
The festival was held as part of the town’s commemoration of its 13th charter anniversary and 1st Uhay Festival: Ani ng Sining at Agham (Harvest of Art and Science).
“It was meant to promote deeper awareness on the benefits that the carabao can provide,” Dr. Edwin Atabay, PCC at CLSU director, explained.
“The carabao is not just a source of draft power but also of milk and meat,” he stressed.
He said PCC at CLSU coordinated closely with Muñoz Mayor Nestor Alvarez and Dr. Jerry Rigos, city and agricultural officer and OIC veterinarian, for the successful implementation of the festival.
During the day-long activity, which was held at the Muñoz Central School grounds, free milk feeding for children, a milk drinking contest, and the selection of the most beautiful and the heaviest carabao were held.
For the free milk feeding, about 200 elementary pupils of the Muñoz Central School were each provided with 200 ml of carabao milk in sachets.
On the other hand, the milk drinking competition saw the participation of a number of contestants who were bracketed at ages 7-12, 13-40 and 41-70 and above.
The winners romped off with cash prizes of Php1,000, Php500 and Php300 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, respectively, under each bracket.
The festival highlight was the selection of the most beautiful carabao, with prizes of Php7,000, Php5,000 and Php3,000 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placers, respectively.
Dr. Atabay said that the winning carabaos were judged on artistry (for the adornment), uniqueness, locomotion, body condition score, docility and their height while for the heaviest intact native carabao contest, estimated weight based on their heart girth was considered.
The winner of the most beautiful carabao was the entry of Melencio Ramirez of Barangay Bantug while Rick Tobias of Barangay Rizal won the first places for the heaviest award for his male and female carabao entries that weighed an estimated 943 and 1,051 pounds, respectively.