SCENE CITY | Pongal Harvest Festival in Davao

THE INDIAN medical student community at Davao Medical Education Management Services (DMEMS) celebrated ‘Pongal’ on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, marking the start of a four-day harvest festival in India. The grand celebrations started in the morning with a motorcade of colorful floats with harvest themes, with Indian students and their guardian officers in traditional Indian attire.

COOKING of new rice harvest

COOKING of new rice harvest

The motor rally started from Rizal Park, City Hall and traversed through San Pedro, SPMC, Agdao and other prominent places of Davao city, finally reaching University Park Suites and Residences on Juan Luna Street, the venue of the main celebration. The event was followed with the symbolic cooking of new rice harvest, colorful floor decorations called ‘Rangoli’ and various sports and games competitions.

There was also a Filipino tribal dance and music performance by the indigenous Matigsalug Tribe, sponsored by the City Tourism Office, a dazzling cultural show in the evening where students performed Indian Bollywood dance and music numbers.

DR. Ricardo Braganza delivers a message to students

DR. Ricardo Braganza delivers a message to students

Delectable Indian delicacies Biryani, Chicken Tikka and Sweet Pongal were served. The guest list included Mr. Jeffrey Tan, VP Operations – Mindanao Times, Regina Rosa D. Tecson, Officer-in-charge of City Tourism Office represented by Mr William Banzali, DMSF faculty Ms. Ting Nalupa and Dr Fitzgerald Arancel. Prizes were distributed for winners of various typical Indian sports and games competition such as Kabaddi, Uri Adithal (breaking the pot), spoon and egg race, and tug of war.

A special message was delivered by Dr. Ricardo Braganza, Managing Partner of DMEMS and note of Thanks by Mr. Devaseelan Anthony, Chief Financial Officer of DMEMS.

SAREE Saree

SAREE Saree

Over the past few years, Davao has fast emerged as a destination of choice for International students pursuing to study medicine through the efforts of Dr. David K Pillai, Chairman of ‘Transworld Pvt Ltd’, Pune, India and his partnership with the Davao Medical School Foundation and Dean Dr. Petronilo Basa. Possibly the largest foreign community living in Davao, currently there are over 4,000 Indian students studying medicine in this city through DMEMS. This has also enhanced the image of Davao as one of the safest cities in Asia for foreign nationals to live and study in. DMEMS Co. Ltd. a subsidiary of Transworld, is in the forefront of promoting quality medical education in the Philippines for foreign students.

About Pongal

Pongal is a popular harvest festival celebrated in south India. For as long as people have been planting and gathering food, there has been some form of celebration of joy on a bountiful harvest. Pongal, a four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature takes its name from the Tamil word ‘Ponga’ meaning “to boil over”, and is named so because of the tradition of cooking the newly harvested rice in pots until they overflow, which is symbolic of abundance and prosperity. It is held in the month of January (referred to as ‘Thai’ in Tamil language), during the season when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Indian cooking) are harvested. Thai Pongal is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation and gratitude to the God for a successful harvest.

DEMEMS CFO Mr. Devaseelan

DEMEMS CFO Mr. Devaseelan

The day also marks the start of the change in the sun’s trajectory to the North. Part of the celebration is the cooking of the first rice of the season in milk, consecrated to the Sun – the Surya Maangalyam.

DMEMS officers in Traditional Indian attire

DMEMS officers in Traditional Indian attire

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