TANA, maglipay ta! (Let’s go and enjoy!)

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez has welcomed the public for another “fun and activity-filled” June in line with this year’s fiesta celebration in honor of its patron Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29.

Now in his second year in office, the actor-turned-politician said that a lot of socio-cultural activities will happen in the city for all the visitors to enjoy in June.

“We’ll have two weeks of fiesta activities. Every minute, every day beginning June 16, we have different activities,” Gomez told reporters in a press conference Wednesday evening, May 23, at the city's newest mall Robinson Place Ormoc.

This year, the city fiesta executive committee also announced that it will donate not less than P100,000 from the proceeds to the church.

The highlights of the Ormoc City 2018 fiesta celebration include the Parade of Lights (June 16), Piña Festival ritual showdown and street dance (June 24), Miss Ormoc (June 28), and the Pontifical Mass (June 29).

Gomez said that in between these highlights are sectoral activities from the barangays, business groups, religious sector, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and balikbayan.

On June 1 to 30, the city will open its famed Ormoc Food Bazaar, featuring local products from start-ups and mainstream entrepreneurs.

Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Rey Evangelista, the sports committee chairman, said they will stage fun races, Laser run, boxing and mixed martial arts bouts, basketball tourneys, and the first Ormoc Dragon Boat Mayor’s Cup organized by the Philippine Canoe and Kayak Federation, among other sports competitions, following the sports interests of Gomez being an award-winning sportsman himself.

Anna Bumagat, who chairs the Parade of Lights committee, reported that this year’s Parade of Lights will be thematic, with a grand prize of P100,000, second prize of P50,000, third prize of P30,000, and consolation prize of P20,000 for each participating contingent.

“This year, we have eight official entries from various organizations. The theme is all about movies, from the Avengers, Turbo, Disney movie cars, Moana, Lion King, 300 Spartans, and others. I am inviting everyone to come out, participate, bring out your lights. This is more of a family activity,” Bumagat said.

For Miss Ormoc 2018, Gomez said they have 20 lovely candidates who will compete for the crown, adding that the declared winner will automatically vie for a place in the Miss World beauty pageant in Manila.

“Miss World will come to Ormoc to be one of our judges,” Gomez said.

The Miss Ormoc pageant, under the committee chairmanship of Evangeline Chu, will have guest stars like Hashtag McCoy de Leon, Marco Gumabao, Tony Labrusca, and with KC Montero as host.

Ormoc Festival and Cultural Foundation Inc. with its president Estrella Maria Serafica-Pangilinan also assured of the security and order of the Piña Festival ritual showdown and street dance, saying more security forces will be deployed around the city during the festivity.

To cap the fiesta activities, a concert will be held at the city plaza on June 29 featuring dyPH-Cebu comic duo Teban and Goliath, Naughty Notes of Davao for the band and stand-up comedy, Kid Yambao of Hashtag Kids and rock band Rivermaya. On June 30, the city’s LGBT community will also stage “Queen Hudyaka” pageant at the Ormoc Superdome.

Meanwhile, Gomez said that with regards to the Piña Festival, the City Government continues to prioritize the marketing and promotion of its world-class “Queen Pineapple” variety to sustain the livelihood and boost the income of their pineapple farmers.

Stephanie Diane Chu, who heads the resource generation committee, thanked their various corporate sponsors, particularly the members of the Rotary Club of Ormoc and the Rotary Club of Ormoc Bay.

Fiesta executive chairman Jude Abenoja also acknowledged the all-around support from the City Government officials, civic society leaders, private sector, and Ormoc residents for this year’s fiesta celebration. (SunStar Philippines)