The Baliwag Buntal Festival is set to open on May 5, Friday with a live feed from Umagang Kay Ganda. Mayor Ferdie will open the Mag-Food Trip ka sa Baliwag Fair, a copy the mayor coined when he, after dining at different restaurants, carinderias and food carts, quite a number of visitors would complement how they enjoyed Baliwag and the food here.
Buntal Festival started in 2004 during the incumbency of former Mayor Romy Estrella. Back then, the Baliwag Tourism Council found the need to preserve what’s left of the dying buntal hat industry. Only few were interested with weaving because it was not as lucrative. Finishing a hat will take a maglalala days to finish.
Historical books would tell how deeply impressed were the Spaniards and Americans to declare buntal hat as the finest hat in the orient.
In 2017, Buntal Festival is reshaped to recognize the other fine products of Baliwag such as the Bone in-lay Furniture, liturgical vestments, aircraft and ship fittings and carroza carvings – all requiring time, creativity, attention to detail and fine craftsmanship in weaving hats.
Buntal Hat and the maglalala were symbols of the industry of the great people of Baliwag. Proud and grateful, its people had associated the name of the town with their products and brand.