The Bangus Festival is one of the major and most exciting festivals in the Philippines worth visiting and coming back for.

The yearly euphoria envelops the city of Dagupan with a high level of excitement as the street dancers, in their most striking costumes, depict the harvest of bangus. Learn the various ways of cooking bangus in 101 ways while indulging in its succulent taste. See skilled DagupeƱos speedily classify, debone and eat bangus. Discover the most beautiful, longest and heaviest bangus. Witness 10,000 pieces of Dagupan bangus simultaneously being grilled in a scorching kilometer stretch, their mouth-watering aroma wafting through the air.

The Bangus Festival was conceptualized in August 2001 during the first year of Mayor Benjamin S. Lim's term. It was subsequently launched in 2002 as a part of the annual Pista'y Dayat celebration.

Today, the Festival has created a mark and culture of its own, earning for itself a global reputation. And in a reversal of roles, the Pista'y Dayat has been made part of the more popular Bangus Festival. Undeniably, the Bangus Festival has become the best advertisement for the world's tastiest milkfish.

by What's Up Dagupan, Simon Vistro

The story of the Bangus Festival over the last ten years, documents significant events of the transcendence, its transformation and its emergence to eminence of Dagupan City.

In the beginning it was just an idea, an after thought from a visionary whose business instinct and foresight saw in the annual celebration and thanksgiving festival of the Pista'y Dayat, a social and economic potentials worthy of being a world attraction.

For many years past, tourists and visitors from all over have been drawn to Bonuan during the celebration of Pista'y Dayat because of our fine beaches particularly in Tondaligan Park.

Mayor Benjamin S. Lim, who continuously explores possibilities, saw a way to use Pista'y Dayat celebration not just a time for revelry but as a vehicle to focus on the local bangus industry and to promote the city as the Bangus Capital of the World.

Indeed, here was an opportunity that leaders in the past overlooked. It was an idea whose time has come.

What started off as a simple celebration and thanksgiving festival of the Pista'y Dayat has evolved into a nine-day socio-economic program of activities that turned out as one of the marketing wonders of the Lim administration.

Buoyed by the optimism of his naturally ebullient spirit, Mayor Benjie gathered together a group of his aides and formulated a blueprint of action -- a master plan to develop its full potential the bangus industry of the city.

Of course, this requires a lot of help and he was fortunate that all the help he needs was offered to the city. With the support and cooperation of the city residents, the civic and religious groups, barangay council, educational units and most remarkably, the participation of the businessmen and the professional groups, and his trusted lieutenants, the city mayor launched the first Bangus Festival in year 2002.

From there, the Bangus Festival worked its way from year one to attain the outstanding level of distinction and owner to blossom into what it is today.

That coveted Guinness World Record for the Longest Barbecue established during the "Kalutan ed Dagupan" in the second annual Bangus Festival last May 2003 has given inspiration to DagupeƱos and visitors knowing that one of our main activities is worthy of being a world record.

The Bangus Festival as envisioned by Mayor Lim has more than achieved its goals and objectives. Today, it's an institution with global resonance.

In the process, this has given the Dagupan City a more conspicuous place in the world's tourism map and enhances Dagupan's allure to local and international tourists and investors.

Bangus Festival will remain as a tribute to the courage and vision of Mayor Benjie S. Lim that will be preserved as a part of our history for these generations and beyond.

CIO, The Bangus Festival Story
by Mr. Ernie Martinez

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