Sagay City: Rising from the storm

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


RISING from the destruction of Super Typhoon Yolanda last November, Sagay City is standing on its feet to celebrate the blessings of life.

The Molocaboc and Suyac islands and neighboring islets in Sagay were among the heavily battered by Yolanda, with many houses flattened by the storm.

But Sagaynons refused to bend to Yolanda. The three-day Sinigayan Festival is their collective statement in rising from the storm.

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With the theme, "A triumph of faith, resiliency and bayanihan spirit," Mayor Alfredo Marañon III says the 18th Sinigayan Festival is a celebration of life and gratefulness to God for his divine protection.

The Sinigayan Festival opened Monday, March 17. The mayor's father, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who was the guest of honor at the opening rites, said that while Sagay encountered one of the worst typhoons, its people have experienced the best of the Filipino bayanihan spirit because help were pouring in from various local and international organizations.

After the opening program, four festival villages were officially opened Dagway Sagay Arts and Culture Village, featuring proudly Sagaynon artistry; Bugay-Sagay Agro Aqua Village, showcasing the harvest from the land and sea; Taliambong Food Festival Village, showcasing local cuisine; and Sinigayan Livestock and Poultry Fair and Live Animals Exhibit, featuring the city's food security programs with various activities such as Haw Haw D Carabao, Pigstival and Wow Manok.

Mayor Marañon says this year's celebration is subdued as they are still getting back on their feet after the devastation brought about by the past typhoons, but the spirit of merriment is alive and well.

He also urged Sagaynons to continue to support his environmental programs as this is also the rationale behind the Sinigayan Festival-the celebration of the city's gains in protecting the environment.

"Let's continue to be united with a greater resolve to sustain the progress of our city even with the mounting challenges," he added.

Today, as the three-day festival closes, five tribes are competing in the Sinigay sa Sagay streetdancing competition. During the People's Night tonight at the city plaza, celebrities Jerome Ponce (ABS-CBN's Be Careful With My Heart), Milagring and Mariposa will entertain the crowd.

The Sinigayan Festival was awarded by the Department of Tourism and Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines for Best Tourism Practices in the 2013-Pearl Awards for Best Festival in the City Category.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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