Dubbed the ‘Home of Nuang Festival,’ the town of San Agustin in Isabela province preserved the spirit of its long-standing tradition as 100 of its finest crossbred carabaos paraded its streets on September 27, 2023.
The parade was one of the highlights of San Agustin’s twin celebrations, the “18th Nuang Festival” and the “74th Araw ng San Agustin” (Foundation Day).
‘Nuang’ is an Ilocano term for carabao. Cesar Mondala, municipal mayor of San Agustin, compared the hard-working trait of carabao to the people of the town.
“If we imitate the buffalo’s positive traits, our community will continue to prosper,” Mayor Mondala said.
The increasing number of crossbred carabaos in San Agustin has been made possible through the continuous effort of the town’s local government unit to harness artificial insemination (A.I.) as a strategy to steadily build up its base of improved carabao breed.
Thousands of the town’s carabao owners partnered with the DA-PCC and various agencies and entities for the government-led crossbreeding program.
Engr. Blas Lamug, retired municipal agriculturist of San Agustin and now serving as the chairperson of the SADACO Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SMPC) expressed his gratitude to the town leaders and to DA-PCC for the unfailing support in improving the dairy industry in San Agustin.
With the implementation of the Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) program, funded by the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and the continuous carabao upgrading program of the DA-PCC, a significant increase in carabao population in nearby Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya is seen manifested by the establishment of two processing and marketing facilities as development support for the dairy farmers.
The community has a tradition of holding competitions every year, recognizing the “best” among the animals in the following categories: Best Milking Cow, Best Cara-cao (inahin), Best Draft (male), Best Talent, and Best Dressed (female).
On the other hand, a cooking contest using carabao’s milk or meat as the main ingredient also took place at the town’s auditorium.
The owners of the winning carabao crossbreds and winning recipe received cash prizes. The farmers who participated in the parade, likewise, were given PHP500 each as an incentive.
DA-PCC officials also took part in the event. They were Ma. Theresa Sawit, national coordinator of Carabao-based Enterprise Development Program (CBED); Romulo Salas, CBED coordinator of DA-PCC at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU); Prof. Franklin Rellin and Edelina Rellin, former Center Director and former Senior Science Research Specialist of DA-PCC at CSU, respectively.