CARIGARA, Leyte-This bustling town has observed its 444th founding anniversary on January 25 without much fanfare. Mayor Eduardo Ong said that the low-key celebration was mainly due to the series of calamities that their town experienced which resulted not only to loss of lives but destruction of private and public properties. To mark its founding anniversary, series of activities were undertaken led by the municipal government started with a Mass attended by all government workers and officials led by Ong.

A wreath-laying was also held at the Gara monument, a local hero. Then a parade around the town proper was held. A drum and lyre competitions followed were four elementary schools and four high schools competed for the grand prize of P5, 000 for the two categories. The Cassidy Elementary School won the first place for elementary level and while it was the Holy Cross College of Carigara that won the first place for high school level. The highlight of the celebration was the “salo-salo” or get together of the people from all 49 barangays to show the unity and solidarity of the town, Ong said. Mayor Ong said that for this year, they have decided to scrap a local festival to spare the municipal and barangay governments of spending considering that Carigara is still reeling from the aftermaths of typhoons “Ruby” and “Seniang” on top of the devastation it sustained from super typhoon “Yolanda” more than a year ago. Carigara is a second class municipality in Leyte with a population of more than 47, people spread from its 49 barangays which was once served as the center of the province. (LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)