It took the actions of a hidden community in South Trinidad to highlight the true importance of heritage, celebration, and patriotism. Under the patronage of the Member of Parliament for Moruga/Tableland Clifton De Coteau, the Moruga Development Network, the Moruga 500 Committee, and the Princes Town Regional Corporation; Moruga opened its heart to the people of T&T with the Majestic Moruga Heritage Week which commenced on July 24.The week began with a church service, Parade of Uniformed Bands, and Bands in Concert. This was then followed by a queen show and Calypso Monarch Competition on Friday, July 29, and the launch of the Moruga Football League on July 31.The Grand Finale of the Moruga Heritage Week entailed a combination of events surrounding the celebration of both Discovery Day and Emancipation Day. An early-morning street parade of contingents in African garments and costumes was followed by the re-enactment of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the shores of Punta de la Playa, Moruga.The energetic atmosphere was obvious as people from across the nation entered Moruga. For many of them, it was their first visit to the rural community. They were not disappointed.
Machel in Moruga
The entire beachfront of La Punta de la Playa was filled to capacity. Numerous villagers were convinced that it was a hoax. "No way Machel coming down here, no way," they said when questioned.Then, making his way on foot to the stage, which was set-up on the beachfront, accompanied by his entourage, police officers, Minister of Works and Infrastructure Austin Jack Warner, and De Coteau, Minister in the Ministry of Education, was Machel Montano himself.The crowd was ecstatic. "Machel in Moruga! Machel in Moruga!"Running to the stage, Machel commenced his almost two-hour long free concert on the beachfront of Punta de la Playa, where Christopher Columbus arrived in 1498 sighting the Trinity Hills, amidst the atmosphere of Emancipation Day.
Machel discovers talent
Machel Montano entertained to the max. He reached out to the people of Moruga without judgment, reservation, or inhibition. Joining him onstage were members of the audience -male and female, young and old.The Junior Calypso Monarch of Moruga/Tableland Carnival 2011, Jeromy Rodriguez, shared the stage with the world's premiere soca artiste. The crowd embraced the young performer while Montano predicted his future success in the entertainment industry.Montano even emptied his pockets; giving Rodriguez all the cash he had in his possession as he reminisced about when William Munroe gave him his first $100 bill and foretold of Montano's greatness.With MP De Coteau holding position onstage behind the entertainer, Montano commended the work being done in the area and the obvious support which was being received. He jokingly requested that he be allowed to purchase land in Moruga as the people's charm and endearing nature attracted him.The Moruga Heritage Week 2011 was a success. The future for the people of Moruga seems filled with possibility and hope.