It’s the 2nd Guinness World Record for Bayambang, Pangasinan as Guinness official adjudicator Swapnil Dangarikar announced that the 50.23 meters statue of St. Vincent Ferrer was declared the World’s Tallest Bamboo Structure (Supported). Town Mayor Cezar Quiambao with wife Nina Jose-Quiambao together with all Bayambangueños present at the soon-to-be finished prayer center are definitely celebrating and proud. As of this writing, Bayambang still holds the record for the longest barbecue grill clinched in April 2014.
The official announcement is sweet victory indeed in the midst of the town fiesta happening from April 1 to 8. Bannering the theme “Bayang Pinagtibay ng Pananampalataya at Pagkakaisa Laban sa Kahirapan,” the municipality of Bayambang in Pangasinan celebrates Pista’y Baley.
Pista’y Baley, the Pangasinan term for pistang bayan or town fiesta, is one of the grandest and most revered celebrations of Bayambang in the third district of the vote-rich province of Pangasinan. It is the annual moment when the people of all 77 barangays of the town come together in witness and a salient part of a series of revelries where their unity and camaraderie are manifested.
Year after year, Pista’y Baley attracts hordes of visitors from all over the country. Family members of Bayambangueños from other provinces and foreign and local tourists visit Bayambang to enjoy the merriment that only Pista’y Baley offers.
Homage to the town patron, Saint Vincent Ferrer
This year, Pista’y Baley focuses on the commemoration of the two milestones of the town’s parish, namely the 600th death anniversary and the quadricentennial (400th year) of the presence of the town’s patron saint, Saint Vincent Ferrer, in the municipality. Balon Bayambang (New Bayambang) hence prepared for a week filled with merriment and exuberance, April 5, 2019 being also the 405th Pista’y Baley and which will highlight the Jubilee celebration of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church.
Towering over the central district of Bayambang is the Church of the Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish – an imposingly grandiose and historical edifice where the municipality’s patron saint, St. Vincent Ferrer, is enshrined. The church, built in the early 17th century, is a combination of achievements in Spanish and Filipino art and architecture, craftsmanship, and engineering.
Epic accolade to Bayambang’s overseer and guardian
Saint Vincent Ferrer has been a beacon of faith in Bayambang for hundreds of years, and his presence has been incessantly felt by Bayambangueños through the Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish Church. He remains to be a symbol of devotion for the people of Bayambang, and the influence that he has had on the local culture is undeniable.
Many devotees of St. Vincent Ferrer believe that it is their revered patron who perpetually saves them from the onslaught of natural calamities. Historical archives have it that near Palma of Majorca, St. Vincent Ferrer stilled a storm in order to preach from a wharf. At Beziers he stopped a flood. And Bayambang, which he oversees as the patron saint, was saved on several occasions from natural calamities.
This is why the church, with the assistance of Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao, his wife, Mary Clare Judith Phyllis Jose-Quiambao, and several private firms, spearheaded the construction of the Saint Vincent Ferrer Prayer Park in the heart of the town of Bayambang which is politically subdivided into 77 barangays, 11 of which are urban barangays and 66 are rural barangays.
The groundbreaking ceremony held on June 20, 2018 marked the beginning of a bigger and better future for the town. Saint Vincent Ferrer’s 50.23-meter monument was erected in Barangay Bani as a testament to the Bayambangueños’ never-ending love for and gratitude to the patron saint of builders. The park will serve as a place of serenity, not just for Bayambangueños, but for anyone seeking spiritual help and guidance.
Standing at 50.23 meters high, this monumental structure made of steel and engineered bamboo is now the 2nd Guinness World Record for Bayambang, Pangasinan. The Tallest Bamboo Sculpture (Supported) of Saint Vincent Ferrer is definitely a valuable tourist spot in Pangasinan and Northern Luzon.
For me, the local government, in partnership with various tourism agencies should promote Bayambang for religious tourism. Tourists and visitors will look up in astonishment as they gaze upon the height of the image as a symbol of the Bayambangueños’ faith and devotion to the patron saint of builders.
A World Record
Having a Guinness World Record is a great way to put the town in the world map and be noticed. When I learned of another attempt to get a world record, there was no doubt in my mind that they’ll get it. First, my research showed that there’s no existing record for the category “Tallest Bamboo Structure” so that means the attempt is already in the bag.
The successful attempt for the 2nd Guinness World Record for Bayambang, Pangasinan is very timely. Not only did this happen during the town fiesta, but also at a time when the Saint Vincent Prayer Park is being built. Aside from marketing the prides of the town, this will also give the locals a great source of revenue, which is one of the major goals of the project.