PBA Star Asi Taulava Graces Valencia Fiesta

BRGY. VALENCIA, Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands—When it comes to fiesta revelries, Valencia vows not to be left behind, thanks to the Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC) which for years has made this unique Filipino tradition livelier, unforgettable and more meaningful.

This year’s annual festivities—in honor of St. Vincent Ferrer, Brgy. Valencia’s patron saint—is no different, with CMC inviting no less than Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) star Pauliasi “Asi” Taulava, who beyond sharing his love for basketball, also imparted the communitarian spirit of charity and humility.

Fiesta revelries started with traditional parade on June 18 featuring different community associations, village leaders and sports teams, who were inspired to brave the scorching heat of the sun as Taulava joined them in promenading the village’s thoroughfares.

Along the way, Taulava gamely waved at the crowds, shook hands with enthusiastic fans and eagerly signed autographs for elementary pupils and high school students.

And where would Taulava be without some hoops?

Represented by their colorful emblems, basketball teams from Barangay Valencia, Barangay Bayanihan, and Smart and Plan contractor of the Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) showed off their mettle in the hardcourt.

All teams played their best to impress the jam-packed crowd, especially with Taulava watching them from the sidelines.

A highlight to the games is the selection of Ms. Valencia 2017, represented by the gorgeous and talented muses of each basketball team.

Ms. Janeriel Perodes of Valencia Warriors bested other candidates and crowned as Ms. Valencia 2017.

Gentle Giant

But one of the most heartwarming things witnessed in this year’s fiesta celebration occurred right before the opening parade.

Taulava headed to the bunkhouse basketball court for some routine stretching. Noticing that there were folks playing at the court, Asi cheerfully joined them to their surprise.

Then a magical team happened: Asi handed out his pair of Under Armour shoes and shorts to one of the “trapal boys—Felix Gases. This act of generosity by the NLEX veteran inspired the whole community, which reflects CMC’s ethos of giving and caring for its host and neighboring communities.

Gases described Asi as a “gentle giant” whose extraordinary gesture amazed him, and motivates him to pay it forward.

Shared objectives

Meanwhile, this year’s festivities provided CMC the opportunity to renew its commitments to the community.

In his message before village residents, Mine Production Manager Engr. Emmanuel Sunga shared the company’s indefatigable passion to become a reliable partner for the community’s development.

“Let us uphold the spirit of camaraderie and friendship, and promote cooperation and dialogue to achieve shared objectives,” Engr. Sunga said.

For his part, Valencia Barangay Chairman Renieboy Tillo expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the NAC-CMC for its untiring support to the community.

“Maraming salamat sa NAC-CMC dahil sa walang sawang pagsuporta sa amin at sa aming komunidad,” he said.

The company has been very supportive in every fiesta celebration of the barangay, contributing at P50,000 every year from its Social Development and Management Program.

At the traditional Kuracha Dance in the evening, CMC resident manager Engr. Arnilo Milaor showed off his wares on the dance floor—as it has been customary for all company officials to join the native evening dance for several years now.

Over-all, this year’s fiesta captured the essence of resiliency and camaraderie between CMC and its host community, Brgy. Valencia, as they renew their partnership for a stronger future anchored on mutual respect sustainable development.

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