Thursday, September 28, 2023

‘Higalaay’ 2023 Brings Back CDO’s Festive Mood


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Three years since the height of the pandemic, Mayor Rolando Uy’s call to unite the city to overcome challenges has started bearing fruit with the huge turnout in this year’s month-long celebration of the Higalaay (Friendship) Festival.

Uy and Catholic Archbishop Jose Cabantan witnessed on Monday the 13 boats adorned with festival designs in celebration of the feast of St. Augustine, the patron saint of the city.

These boats, representing the city’s barangays, marked the highest number of entries compared to previous years, to join the fluvial parade.

Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma, who previously led the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, said in an interview this year is a “blessing” regardless of the challenges people are experiencing lately.

“We should still extend help for the progress of our community, and always give thanks for the blessings we received,” he said.

Barangay Patag emerged champion in the fluvial parade, taking home the PHP30,000 grand prize and a trophy.

On the night of Aug. 26, Vince Geophra Tormis from Barangay Macasandig was crowned as this year’s Miss Cagayan de Oro during the pageant night held at the jampacked Limketkai Atrium here.

The following morning, the Palawan Pawnshop emerged as the float parade grand champion and won PHP300,000 cash prize.

The winning entry depicts a colorful golden fish-inspired icon known to locals as “Kugtong,” whose myth can be traced to the historical importance of Cagayan River centuries back.

One popular myth is about a fish that swallowed a piece of gold and transformed to become the guardian of the city against intruders, and from then on, was named “Oro.”

On Sunday evening, Barangay Gusa won the street dancing competition with a prize of PHP300,000.

City Hospital at 60

Another reason to celebrate this year is the 60th anniversary of the local government-run JR Borja General Hospital in time for the Higalaay.

Through the struggles and relief from the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the hospital has grown to become a level 2-accredited medical facility by the Department of Health. The upgrade paved the way to better service and acquisition of modern equipment and facilities. (PNA)

Photo credit: Facebook/

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