Higalaay Festival 2020: Virtual celebration amid pandemic

CAGAYAN DE ORO. The festive Higalaay Street Dance in 2019. (Jo Ann Sablad)

THE City of Cagayan de Oro officially launched the Higalaay Festival 2020 virtually on Monday, August 3, showcasing the fiesta activities that will be conforming to the city's new normal.

"This year's festival is faced with challenges brought about by the coronavirus. This, however, will not dissuade us from celebrating Higalaay Festival which is highlighted by the celebration of our Patron Saint, the Feast of St. Agustin on August 28," said Eileen San Juan, head of the City Fiesta Executive Committee.

San Juan assured that all of the activities in this year's festival will be conducted virtually and in observance of the health and safety protocols. At the same time, the usual liveliness and highly-spirited celebration will remain.

"As we unfold the schedule of activities, we look forward to your participation, though expected to be different from the previous years but still showcases the arts and culture of our community, our resilience from all the disasters and crisis and most of all, atong paghinigalaay," San Juan said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno, for his part, said the current threat of the pandemic is not a reason to forget the celebration of the Feast of St. Agustin, adding that the festival is generally a religious activity.

"Ato gyud nang subayon and pasalamatan nato si SeƱor San Agustin sa iyang pag-atiman kanato," Moreno said.

"Mao nga ang inyong dakbayan sa syudad, taliwala niining mga limitasyon, naningkamot gyapon nga atong ipaabot kaninyo ang Higalaay Festival. Tanan departamento dinhi sa City Government, naningkamot nga ang atong mga activities naa gihapon uban ang atong mga partners gikan sa private sector, gikan sa business sector, ug gikan sa uban nga mga ahensya sa gobyerno nasyonal," he added.

Among this year's Higalaay Festival activities are:

* Mindanao Fashion Summit Exhibit on August 1 in Centrio Ayala Mall

* Cagayan de Oro in the New Normal (Infomercial Video Launch) on August 7

* Mindanao Fashion Summit (MFS) TV Program on August 8 and 22

* Cagayan de Oro 101 on August 9, 16, and 23

* Higala App Launch on August 10

* 24th Kumbira 2020 Virtual Connection on August 13, 20 and 27

* Banda Oro Higalaay Virtual Concert on August 14 and 21

* Oro Photographic Society Photo Exhibit on August 15 to 30 in Limketkai Center

* Higalas Art on August 17 to 19

* Novena Prayer and Mass (Feast of St. Agustin) on August 20 to 28 at 5:15 p.m. (prayer) to 5:30 p.m. (Mass)

* Miss Cagayan de Oro 2020 on August 27

* Fluvial Procession (Eucharistic Celebration) on August 28

* MFS Virtual Fashion Show on August 28


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