ORMOC CITY - Tacloban City once again celebrates the Sangyaw Festival of Lights in honor of Señor Sto. Niño, kicking off with a motorcade through the city’s main streets on June 9 to signal the opening of the month-long festivities.
Tacloban Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez led the motorcade which was participated in by the festival sponsors, city government employees and the 2017 Miss Tacloban candidates. The Sangyawan Park at the Balyuan Grounds was also inaugurated and opened to the public after the motorcade.
“In Waray-Waray, Sangyaw means to announce or herald. This Sangyaw Festival is Tacloban’s way of announcing or heralding to the whole country that we are here, strong and proud, and united towards progress. This year’s theme is ‘Unity for Progress’,” said Mayor Romualdez.
The 2017 Sangyaw Festival also held a Job and Business Fair on June 12 at the Astrodome, coinciding with the City Charter Day Anniversary.
Events to look forward to include the Battle of the Bands at the Sangyawan Park on June 15; the Balyuan Rites on June 20 at the Balyuan Ampitheater, a reenactment of the historical exchange of the Sto. Niño image between Tacloban and Basey Town; the Golf Tournament and the National Jet Ski Competition, as well as the Miss Tacloban Coronation Night on June 24; Mr. Sangyaw Tacloban on June 28 at the Robinsons Activity Area; and the Sangyaw Foundation Ball.
The Waray Talents Concert will be held at the Tacloban City Convention Center on June 27 and 28, and the Fiesta Trade Fair at Plaza Rizal will be on June 28. The traditional Fluvial and Land Processions, and Pontifical Mass will be held on Fiesta Day, June 30.
The highlight of the 128th Tacloban Fiesta is the Sangyaw Parade of Lights on June 29, which features decorated floats bright with LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) lights and street dancers partying to the upbeat “Sangyaw Theme.”
City Administrator Atty. Irene Chiu said that this year’s Parade of Lights will have an “Open Category” for the first time.
“Because our theme is ‘Unity for Progress,’ we invited other Local Government Units to showcase their own floats and festivals,” she said.
Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos started the Sangyaw Festival in the 1970’s every June 29. Imelda’s nephew, former Tacloban Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez revived the festival in 2008 when Tacloban was converted into a Highly Urbanized City.