Mayor Alfredo Marañon III underscored this city’s vision to become a better and more progressive place for the next generation without compromising the environment and the welfare of its children.
Marañon, with his father, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. of Negros Occidental, and unopposed vice gubernatorial candidate Jeffrey Ferrer, led the official opening of the five-day 23rd Sinigayan Festival on Friday with the theme, “Making Sagay A Better Place”.
The northern Negros city is home to the largest marine protected area in the country, the Sagay Marine Reserve, and the name of its festival came from the word “Sigay”, a type of shell found in many islets and shores of the city.
“We have to move onwards with conviction and determination to make Sagay a better place for a brighter tomorrow. We need to make it even better for the next generation of Sagaynons,” the mayor said in his message during the opening program at the city plaza.
In the past months, Sagay gained nationwide attention after nine farm workers were killed in Hacienda Nene, Purok Firetree in Barangay Bulanon on the night of October 20 last year.
The mayor said this year’s festival theme reflects Sagay’s constant progress through the city government’s programs and projects focusing on the three E’s — education, environment, and economy.
Among the city’s most significant projects on education is the establishment of extension schools in all 25 barangays while in environment, the city mobilizes the active involvement of Sagaynons for the coastal river cleanup and proper waste disposal.
For the economy, Sagay has endeavored to be compliant with the concept of the World Bank on creating policies for inclusive growth and poverty eradication.
Meanwhile, Governor Marañon, who also served as city mayor for several terms, said he has seen the improvement of Sagay in the past five decades. He urged the Sagaynons to continue their unity to sustain the city’s progress.
Ferrer, the guest of honor, lauded the cooperation of Sagaynons in staging and ensuring the success of the Sinigayan Festival.
Sinigayan Foundation, Inc. president, Primitivo Rivera Jr., who declared the festival open, said the Sagaynons should be challenged to move forward and do their share in shaping and molding the future of the city and its people.
Among the festival highlights are the search for Sinigayan Queen, various festival sporting events, Voice Idol of Sagay, Sinigayan Bike Festival, and Sinigayan Grand Parade.
Also featured are the four festival villages – the Tali-ambong Food and Entertainment Village, the Agro-Aqua Festival Village, the Sinigayan Artist Village, and the Livestock and Poultry Exhibit.
On March 19, the festival will conclude with the “Saot Para Sa Dunang Manggad” dance showdown at the public plaza, to be participated in by barangay clusters. (PNA)
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