Activities for this year’s “Higalaay Festival” will be broadcast online to prevent residents from going out of their homes, in keeping with the health protocols amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
City Tourism Officer Chedilyn Aissa Dulguime said most of the festival highlights that began Monday will be streamed on social media, particularly on Facebook, where the majority of residents maintain accounts.
“We wish to clarify and emphasize that 90 to 95 percent of the core and parallel events will be virtual or done online. All these events will be broadcast live in our Higalaay Festival Facebook page and we are asking the public to please like, share and support our FB page (to their families and friends),” Dulguime said.
Dulguime noted that in the previous years, the festival’s core and parallel events were done in malls, streets, and other public venues.
This year’s “virtual celebration” is part of the city government’s commitment to comply with minimum public health standards, she added.
She also lauded organizers of major events such as the Miss Cagayan de Oro pageant and the three-day Kumbira food festival and competition “for rising to the challenge” of revamping their programs to comply with health regulations.
“For one, the fluvial parade will only have 10 pump boats. But those selling their produce and products during the festival will be allowed to showcase them online through our FB page. The pandemic gave us city residents the opportunity to become creative in staging their events,” she said.
The “Higalaay Festival,” is the local government’s counterpart of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro’s celebration of Saint Augustine Fiesta, which is slated every last week of August.
Last week, Mayor Oscar Moreno said that even if the festivities were “downscaled,” it won’t be less significant nor meaningful.
“I was reminded of the July 26 bombing in 2013 during my first three-year term and I remembered being asked if the city fiesta will continue. Even with Davao City back then declaring a downscaled celebration of its fiesta, I replied that the city fiesta will go on. This year it will continue but we won’t forget our enforcement and observance of minimum health standards,” Moreno said.
In keeping with the religious nature of the fiesta, Moreno said the highlight of this year’s celebration will be the installation of incoming Archbishop Jose Cabantan who will replace outgoing Archbishop Antonio Ledesma on August 28. (PNA)