CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Street dances. Carnival king and queen. Parade. Fireworks.
Celebrating the feast of St. Augustine in the new normal, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro through the City Tourism Office hosts this year's Higalaay Festival with various face-to-face activities after a two-year hiatus due to coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic.
Filling the streets with beauty, dances and colorful outfits, 10 barangays, here, showcased their moves in the CDO Carnival Street Dance Competition where Macabalan was hailed as the champion, bagging P150,000 cash prize.
Barangay Puerto comes second, getting P90,000 cash prize, tailed by Barangay Kauswagan who bagged P65,000 cash prize. Barangay Macabalan also got the Carnival King award while Barangay Puerto's representative was named the Carnival Queen.
Prior to holding the event, all dancers and participants were asked to present their COVID-19 vaccination cards to ensure the safety of everyone.
"Dako nakong kalipay ug pagpasalamat sa tanan nagtambong, nagpaluyo, nagsuporta sa nagkalain-laing programa sa dakbayan. Kung kamo mga katawhan wala nagkooperar, wala nitabang, dili mahigayon ang kasaulogan sa kapistahan sa tumang kasadya ug kalipay," City Mayor Rolando 'Klarex' Uy said.
(I am very happy and thankful to all who participated, supported the different programs of the city. If you did not cooperate, help, we will never have this celebration with this kind of bliss and happiness)
With the full support of the city government along with the national line agencies, civil society organizations (CSOs), and groups, the Civic-Military Street Parade and Floats was held along Capistrano St, del Pilar, Velez, and at Kiosko Kagawasan, with 110 contingents, August 27.
Bagging the first place for the Street Parade and Floats competition is the CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative with P120,000 cash prize. Their float's main highlights include the 'Banga' that commemorates the famous landmark in Bulua.
They also adorned it with the legendary Oro or Giant Goldfish, representing the city, and the goddess of the Cagayan de Oro River, which symbolizes the provision of nourishment and life.
Barangay Carmen's Golden Tartanilla came second, which earned them P90,000 cash prize. Their 'Tartanilla' symbolized the city's most utilized mode of transportation in the early 90's, and was embellished with a Golden Horse to signify the city's pride as the City of Golden Friendship--sharing golden opportunities to people around its neighboring towns.
The Oro Backyard Gardeners bagged the third place with P70,000 cash prize. Their float is adorned with the miniature of the Cathedral Church, Oro fish, tropical flowers, and the White Water Rafting symbols.
Other core events of the festival include the Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show that will take place until September 8 at the Gaston Park, Kahimunan Regional Trade Fair at SM City Uptown until August 29, Diskwento Caravan Fiesta-Balik Eskwela Edition at the City Hall Mini Park, and Banda Oro.
Religious Procession at Fernandez St, Velez, Capistrano and Saint Augustine Cathedral is also one of the fiesta highlights, August 28, along with the Fluvial Procession and Higalaay Fiesta Fireworks at Duaw Park.
Upon holding the said events, Uy constantly reminds the Kagay-anons to always adhere to the minimum public health standards as well as to avail the government's free COVID-19 vaccines so the government can continuously conduct celebrations without holding back. (RTP/PIA-10)