THE first Candelaria Festival in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, which concluded last weekend, was "successfully implemented and staged," according to Municipal Tourism Officer Marsan James Simacon.
This year is the very first Candelaria Festival, which was implemented under the new administration of Tagoloan Mayor Gomer Sabio in honor of their patron saint Sta. Maria de la Candelaria.
The festival, according to Simacon, was also in line with the Araw ng Tagoloan or the Charter Day of the municipality, which was on January 31.
The Candelaria Festival festivities started from January 16 to February 2, with several activities lined up, such as the National Basketball Training Center League, participated by a number of public and private schools all over Misamis Oriental; Agro-Trade Booth Display; Festival of Praise; "Tago-olohan" TCC's Cultural Festival, which features the folk dances of the Philippines; Tagoloan Educators' Night: Festival of Dances; Grand Civic Parade; Drum Beat 2020: Inter-School Drum and Lyre Competition; 1sr Mayor Gomer "Enan" A. Sabio Motorcross & Flat Track Competition and Bayanihan Games 2020: Mga Laron Pinoy.
The Candelaria festival also featured the Street Dancing competition participated by Misamis Oriental municipalities and even from Cagayan de Oro.
The winners for the street dancing competition are the following:
* Champion: Kinoguitan
* 1st place: Villanueva
* 2nd place: Balingasag
* Festival Queen: El Salvador City
* Best in Street Dancing: Macabalan, CDOC
* Best in Choreography: Kinoguitan
* Best In Musicality: Villanueva
The highlight of the festivities, Simacon said, is the Miss Tagoloan 2020 pageant and the Kasadyaw Street Dancing and Tableau Competition.
The people of Tagoloan welcomed its new queens, with Ms. Cassandra Jacquelyn B. Dabalos (Barangay Gracia), who was hailed as Miss Tagoloan 2020, followed by 1st Runner-Up Leola Vera E. Reyes (Barangay Poblacion), 2nd Runner-Up Trissha Louisse R. Vallejos (Department of Education), 3rd Runner-Up Desiree B. Gamolo (Tourism Office), and 4th Runner-Up Cheska Jean P. Panugaling (Barangay Casinglot).
"We are celebrating the diverse cultures and the bountiful blessings and graces received from the All Mighty Father and in honor of our patron saint and also celebrating the town's Charter Day," Simacon said.
According to Simacon, the local government unit of Tagoloan has allotted P5 million to P6.5 million for the implementation and celebration of the festival.
He said the Municipal Tourism Office, in partnership with the different departments and the Office of the Municipal Mayor, will be crafting earlier the plans and program for the next year's festival and the upcoming Festival of Lights in December.
"The Office of the Municipal Tourism is now ready for the preparation and the planning stage for the next Candelaria Festival whereby mas bibo pa sya, mas colorful and mas prestige," Simacon said.
Tagoloan Mayor Gomer Sabio, for his part, thanked the stakeholders and the men and women behind the success of the first-ever Candelaria festival.
Sabio said he now looks forward and hopes to celebrate an even grander Candelaria Festival in 2021.
"Una sa tanan, ang akong dakong pagpasalamat sa labawng makagagahum sa kalampusan nga iyang gihatag para maplastar ug ma han-ay ang atong mga activities. Usab daghang salamat sa mga nahimong instrumento ug kaabag nga maoy nanghingusog aron mkahatag ug kalipay ug katamanan sa kasaulogan ug kapistahan ni Nuestra Sra. Dela Candelaria-ang atung mahal nga patron sa Lungsod sa Tagoloan (First of all, I am very grateful to our Lord for the success and peaceful celebration of the activities. Also, I thank those who were all instruments and partners who made the festival a success, all in the name of Nuestra Sra. Dela Candelaria -- our beloved patron)," he said.
"Hantud sa sunod nga mga kasaulogan, ang akong pagpanghinaut nga unta magpabilin ang kooperasyon ug pagsalig sa katawhan aron atong mapadayon sa paghatag ang hingpit nga kalampusan ug kalambuan and to God be all the glory! (Until the next celebration, we hope that the cooperation and trust of the people remain and to God be all the glory!)," the town mayor added.