Gary V and Freddie Aguilar among artists to perform in Sagada’s ‘concert in the clouds’

>> Friday, October 13, 2017

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE - The much anticipated  Sagada  Arts, Music and Peace Fair dubbed ‘concert in the clouds’ is  set October 28-29 here at  sitio  Maduto of the southern part of this tourist town with national artist- performers Gary Valenciano, Joey Ayala, Ely Buendia, Up Dharma Down, Noel Cabangon, and Freddie Aguilar.
This, following  the recently conducted October consultation with folks of southern Sagada- Suyo, Ankileng, Taccong, and Nacagang- noted  positive response on the conduct of said  concert .
Leaders and barangay officials  of said host communities  inked consent  in a memorandum of agreement with proponents Ed Formoso and partners Sagada Environmental and  Guides Association (SEGA), Sagada  Genuine Guides Association( SAGGAS) and the  Bangaan, Fidelisan, Tanulong, Aguid Madongo Guides Association (BFTAMPGA); and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) officers as witnesses.
Formoso is a musician-producer-artist from Manila known for having supported the alternative rock band Eraserheads with the production of their debut studio album Ultraelektromagneticpop! containing songs “Toyang”, “Pare Ko”and other hits.
Earlier consultations by proponents were done December last year with officials of southern  Sagada, local government officials, the Municipal Tourism Council, innkeepers, guides, and other  individuals.
In  the latest October consultation, benefit sharing of  the host communities was projected from the proceeds of the event. The  event aims to  give 10% of the concert proceeds for  organizational causes of Sagada’s sectoral groups- guides, senior citizens, farmers, and athletes, day care centers, children’s playgrounds,art clubs, special education (SPED) for children with disabilities, Red Cross and the host communities. 
The Maduto venue located within the ancestral domain of southern Sagada with its quiet atmosphere is a sprawling flat land with limestone rocks and pine-nestled hills at the background and the site occasionally disturbed  with vehicles passing through the Suyo- Balili road at the eastern side of the lot. 
Home to mostly farmer-residents, the southern barangays are accentuated with abundant ricefields, lush pine tree grown mountains and  rivers Bakkong, Pongas flowing to Malitep draining towards the Chico river.
Sagada  has a name to get visited.
Sagada is a popular  tourist destination  frequented by  visitors from different parts of the world especially those from the  local areas of the country.  From a 165,000 tourist arrivals in 2016, domestic tourists  top arrivals to a high of 85% with the rest  coming from other countries including France, Asia and  the US.
Tourists visit the country at peak seasons after the rainy season starting October towards the celebration of All Saints and All Souls day characterized by the traditional  panag-aapoy evening of November 1   
December also shows high arrivals  last week of December then dwindles on the end of the month. The  fiesta celebration  which falls on the last days of January on to the  first days of February is another crowd drawer jamming the streets for quite some time.
Tourists are a-plenty February on to April with the highest arrivals during the Lent season then dwindles  June on to October.
A top tourist destination, Sagada has a name for people to  visit-  popular  caves and waterfalls and  sights, embraced by a cool weather enticing tourists from hot and sultry lowlands of the country and the bustling metropolis of Manila.
Sagada has some 150 inns and homestays with a nearly 3000 bed capacity. During  tourist peak seasons like Lent and the Christmas  break, residents open up their homes for visitors to have a room to sleep for a night or two.
Where Sagada lacks rooms for overflowing  tourist arrivals, Inns and homestays of neighboring towns Bontoc, Sabangan,Bauko, Tadian, and Besao are available. The previous Lent season  registered some 4000 visitors for a day in Sagada with some tourists lacking rooms to stay.
The concert expects  5000  tourists to 10,000 attendees including residents of Sagada and neighboring towns.


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