CdeO braces ‘Higalaay’ Kagay-an fiesta

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

AS THE month closes, the city is gearing to end it with a bang as it celebrates the Higalaay Festival of Kagay-an fiesta in honor of Saint Augustine, the Cagayan de Oro’s patron saint.

For several years, the city’s festival has been bereft of an identity as it changed over time as administration changes, but what remains permanent is the reason why these activities are held together by the city and the Church – to honor our patron Sr. San Agustin.

The activities are meant to lure tourists both local and foreign to promote the city’s economic viability.


Most of the activities held in the last three decades are similar though they undergo modification. To note, the search for Miss Cagayan de Oro has become more competitive both in its lined up activities and the qualification of the candidates.

As the city enters the fiesta week, another batches and continuing events are being looked forward to both by the Kagay-anons and guests visiting the city.

As the month of August began, activities prepping for the fiesta had been held which highlighted Kumbira 2014, the country's longest running culinary show

To start the fiesta week, Kahimunan Northern Mindanao Food and Lifestyle Show has been launched Saturday, August 23, 2014. The food and lifestyle show aims to showcase different products and creations of Northern Mindanao.

Kahimunan 1
CAGAYAN DE ORO. This is one of the booths at Kahimunan: Food and lifestyle show that showcases products of Northern Mindanao which opens to the public at SM Mall on August 23, 2014. (Joey P. Nacalaban)
Kahimunan 2
CAGAYAN DE ORO. This is one of the booths at Kahimunan: Food and lifestyle show that showcases products of Northern Mindanao which opens to the public at SM Mall on August 23, 2014. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

Several products are being displayed at SM City Cagayan de Oro and will be available until August 30, 2014.

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno graced the event and voiced out his excitement as the fiesta comes near.

“We are very lucky because blessings and recognitions have been showered to us especially during this season, the fiesta of Sr. San Agustin,” Mayor Moreno said.

Representatives of several government sectors such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, CdeO local government and other important guests witnessed the event.

Miss Cagayan de Oro Coronation Night

Amadea Lucea Piatti, Miss Cagayan de Oro 2013 will be turning over her crown to the next Miss Cagayan de Oro Saturday evening. The coronation night at Lim Ket Kai Atrium has been expected to be filled by guests, sponsors, families and friends of the 2014 bets.

“A year passed, blessings overflowed, friendships built, being exposed to the society, beautiful memories, and on the other side, a roller coaster ride of trials and challenges and definitely lessons learned. No matter where I’ll go in life, my love for the city will truly be irrevocable. I’ll forever be honored and humbled to be able to serve as your Ms. Cagayan de Oro 2013. I hope I made you all proud,” Piatti said, feeling sentimental.

Cagayan carnival

For this year, the Kagay-nons will witness the “Cagayan Carnival,” the new or a so-so version of of the street dancing which wasn’t part of the festivities last year.

Dancing will be seen on the streets of Divisoria on August 24, Sunday Afternoon.

This year’s street theme is “Cagayan Carnival.” The carnival aims to give the feeling of globalization since Cagayan de Oro is now recognized as a prime city in Mindanao and in the Philippines.

The performers will dance to the beat of carnival music with props and costumes portraying that of a carnival, but still with the Kagay–anon spirit evident.

Along with the street dance contest, a carnival queen will be chosen from among the group performers.

Kagay–an Pyro Festival

The skies of the city will be filled with colorful dancing light as fireworks make their way into the heavens on the night of August 24, 2014, Sunday.

SM City Cagayan de Oro’s Pyro Festival has become a favorite of Kagay-anons as it holds the fireworks display every year.

Last year’s Pyro Festival was themed ‘Fireworks for Peace’ with actor Coco Martin as SM’s special guest.

Kapuso Fans Day 1
CAGAYAN DE ORO. Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid entertains the crowd during GMA's Kapuso Fans Day at Centrio Ayala Mall Gardens on August 22, 2014. (Joey P. Nacalaban)
Kapuso Fans Day 2 /><br />
<div style=CAGAYAN DE ORO. Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid entertains the crowd during GMA's Kapuso Fans Day at Centrio Ayala Mall Gardens on August 22, 2014. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

Of course, Centrio Ayala Mall hosts pre-fiesta events like GMA Kapuso Regine Velasquez-Alcasid’s show on Friday evening. It also hosted the evening gown competition of Miss Cagayan de Oro last week.

PE Rythmic Dance Competition

This event, which has been created for the schools to participate, will be attended by elementary and high school students from contending schools. The competition will be held at the Pelaez Sports Complex on Monday morning, August 25, 2014.

The Cagayan de Oro National High School (CNHS) championed in last year’s competition for the secondary level and Bulua Elementary School bagged the top place among other elementary schools for two consecutive years.

Will Bulua Elementary School win again this year?

HIGALAS Parade of Floats and Icons

Cagayan de Oro’s history and people is rich and fascinating. Yet, most of us know nothing about our forefathers, except that our streets are named after them.

On August 27, 2014, the Higalas who took part in the becoming of our city, the icons as what we call them will parade on the main streets of the city.

According to Eileen San Juan, Local Economic Investment Promotions Officer (LEIPO) consultant, the parade of Icons aims to give tribute to the people who made CdeO what it has become today.

“We should get to know them. The people who gave their time and talents and expertise,” San Juan said.

Street, fluvial processions

Processions will mark the feast of St. Augustine on the early morning of August 28, 2014. These church-led activities would start early in the day with the street and fluvial procession which will be followed by the High Mass and the regular masses scheduled for the entire day.

Residents from the twenty barangays in Cagayan de Oro are expected to participate just like what they did last year.

A parallel event is the fluvial procession that Archbishop Antonio Ledesma led last year together with the city officials. It will start in the shores of Barangay Macabalan with boats and rafts decorated with images of St. Augustine, his mother Sta. Monica, Birhen sa Kota and also images of other patron saints of the city.

Archbishop Ledesma encourages everyone that amid the festivities people must never forget to thank the Lord for the blessings and protection as he invites everyone to go to church and attend its spiritual activities.

The procession aside from being a religious event is also aimed at promoting the preservation of the Cagayan river – continually bless it and for the people to be grateful of the river’s contribution to the city.

The processions are organized by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and the Safer River, Life Saver Foundation, Inc. of Liceo de Cagayan University.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 24, 2014.


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