The city of Ormoc staged its third Piña Festival on Sunday (June 23), one of the highlights of its annual city fiesta which falls on June 29. (Photo Courtesy Piña Festival Ormoc City)

ORMOC CITY- For the third year, this city has celebrated one of its agriculture produce, pineapple, through a festival.
On Sunday (June 23), eight contingents coming from various schools in the city joined the Piña Festival with their performances centered on piña, playing its importance to their communities.
Declared as this year’s champion was the contingent from the STI College of Ormoc City garnering P500,000 cash prize.
The STI-Ormoc City Campus has won the same award for the past two years of the Piña Festival staging.
The Piña Festival was organized by the city government under Mayor Richard Gomez as a way to promote its piña industry which is known for its sweet taste.
The Piña Festival serves as one of the cultural highlights of the annual fiesta of the city, now on its 422nd year honoring its patron saints Peter and Paul which fall on June 29.
Mayor Gomez said that he is happy that since they started to promote their piña, its demand has increased.
The city mayor said that on a daily basis, pineapple growers in Ormoc harvest two hectares of pineapples a day.
He, however, could not provide exact figures related to the pineapple industry in the city.
“It’s been so good for the past few years. There is now an under supply of pineapples in Metro Manila. Nauubos agad dito palang sa Leyte, sa Cebu,” he said.
The Piña Festival started with a street parade sneaking in the major thoroughfares of the city participated by all eight contenders and ended with each of them performing a dance ritual following a storyline on the importance of pineapples at the city plaza.
All the participating contingents danced for about 7 minutes for the ritual presentation aided with a video wall showing various scenic spots and business establishments in Ormoc City.
They danced using the upbeat festival music ‘Piña,’ composed by local talent Manny Panta.
City police director, Colonel Armel Gongona, said that the event was peaceful with no untoward incident reported during the more than four-hour festival attended by more than 20,000 people.
About 1,200 security personnel, to include force multipliers, were deployed during the Sunday event.
Aside from STI College of Ormoc, whose group dubbed as ‘Pundok Sa Pinaghusa Ormocanon’, also declared as winners were Eastern Visayas State University-Ormoc Campus as first runner-up winning P400,000, representing ‘Pundok Sidlakan’, and Linao National High School, representing “Pundok Mapasalamaton’ winning P300,000.
Declared as festival queen was Zuriel Coyos of the Linao National High School. (JOEY A. GABIETA/ROEL T. AMAZONA)