By Arvin Santiago

Samahan ng mga Rizaleno sa Sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain, Inc. (SARAP) and Association of Tourism Officers of Rizal (ATOR), welcomed their newly-elected officials during the opening ceremony of Pistahang Rizalenyo Year 6, at the Atrium of Robinsons Place Antipolo.

SARAP and ATOR members took turns on stage to get their certificates. They pledged to execute their duties and responsibilities of office while raising their right hands to demonstrate sincerity and honesty.

The oath-taking ceremony of SARAP officers was facilitated by Councilor Agnes Oldan. She hopes the officers will do their utmost best to serve their purpose and enjoy their time as SARAP officials. On the other hand, RD Marites Castro supervised the oath-taking of ATOR officers.

 “Congratulations! Kasihan nawa kayo ng Diyos,” said Castro, Regional Director of Department of Tourism – CALABARZON as she embraced a new batch of Rizal tourism officers.

This year’s Pistahang Rizalenyo, a Trade and Tourism expo, is a result of the collaboration between SARAP, ATOR, and DTI Rizal.

Charo S. Ola, President of SARAP, said the partnership is “something beautiful that happens after an accident, since there was a bit of confusion in the schedule at first but they were able to settle it.”

For Ola, the success of Pistahang Rizalenyo is a victory not just of SARAP and the ATOR, but also of the community.

“Kami po kapag nabilhan, it is a lifeline for us. It’s the lifeline for the family, for the workers, and mind you, it’s a lifeline of the community. As we serve the community, we do business. Sa isang pagbili ninyo, malaking-malaking tulong po iyon sa amin,” she said in her speech.

Ola believes that by holding this exhibition, they are able to promote the best Rizal goods. She is also pleased that they would be able to support several MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in Rizal through this trade showcase.

She hoped that activities like Pistahang Rizalenyo would continue to expand in the future. “As we look forward to a better future, pandemic-free, let us free ourselves from a mediocre kind of living. We are looking forward to more activities. I guess this is the start of something new, hopefully something bigger,” she said ending her speech with a smile.