TACLOBAN CITY- The show must still go on. Thus said the organizers of both the Sangyaw Festival and the Pintados- Kasadyaan Festivals of Festival which will be stage separately in Tacloban as part of the 125th annual city fiesta celebration. In separate press conferences, both Councilor Cristina Romualdez, representing the city government- sponsored Sangyaw Festival and Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, founder of the Kasadyaan Festival, stressed that the festivals will be low key. The Sangyaw Festival, to be participated by 11 contingents coming from barangays and schools, will be staged on June 29 while the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festivals of Festival will be held a day earlier. The participating contingents of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festivals of Festival will come from other provinces, save for the Buyugan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte. Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, honorary chair of the Kasadyaan Festival, admitted that the provincial government has set aside P300,000 for each of the seven contigents joining the festival. In contrast, the city government will not be spending even a centavo for the holding of this year’s Sangyaw Festival, Councilor Romualdez said.
Expenses to be incurred by the 11 participating groups would be finance by international humanitarian groups like the Oxfam, International Organization for Migration, among others. Tacloban, the ground zero of Yolanda, is suffering financial crisis as only 30 percent of the city’s 12,900 business establishments are in operations, seven months after Yolanda pummeled the city. Both Mayor Petilla and Councilor Romualdez said that this year’s celebration of the festivals will be “low key” out of respect to the victims and survivors of the typhoon. “It is more of a thanksgiving celebration,” Romualdez said. Petilla said that surviving the onslaught of Yolanda is more than enough reason to celebrate and give thanks to the Child Jesus. (JOEY A. GABIETA)