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HomePress ReleaseSangyaw Festival of Lights '24 Illuminates Tacloban with 14 Contingents

Sangyaw Festival of Lights ’24 Illuminates Tacloban with 14 Contingents

The streets of Tacloban City came alive on Saturday night, June 29, 2024, with the vibrant hues and festive spirit of the Sangyaw Parade of Lights. Fourteen contingents competed in the highly anticipated dance-drama and float competitions, as confirmed by the City Tourism Operations Office.

This year’s festival, steeped in tradition and cultural significance, featured storified dances and reenactments of the miraculous return of the lost image of Sto. Niño (El Capitan) to Tacloban in 1889. The participating groups, including villages, community-based groups, and schools from within and outside the city, had received subsidies from the city government to support their elaborate presentations.

The participants included Barangay 23-A Burgos, Barangay 97 Cabalawan, Barangay 35-A Pampango, Area 3 San Jose, Barangay 52 Magallanes, Barangay 42-A Rizal Avenue Extension, Barangay 31 Pampango, Barangay 37 Sea Wall, JE Mondejar Computer College, Inc., Tacloban Institute of Electronics, Sagkahan National High School, Tacloban Angelicum Learning Center, Kasirangan Festival Dancers Metro Tacloban (KFDMT), and San Jose, Northern Samar.

Overseeing the judging of performances and floats were acting tourism officer Ma. Lumen Tabao and Leyte Samar Heritage Society, Inc. President Joycie Dorado-Alegre. The evaluations considered historical accuracy, cultural and religious symbolism, performance quality, choreography, creativity, and musicality.

The winners in the Best Float Design category were awarded significant cash prizes: P500,000 for first place, P300,000 for second place, and P200,000 for third place. In the Best Festival Performance category, the top prize was P200,000, with P150,000 and P100,000 for the second and third places, respectively. Non-winning participants received a P20,000 consolation prize in both the float design and festival performance contests. Special awards included P10,000 for Best in Costume and P30,000 each for Best in Music and Best Parade.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Balyuan grounds, marking the conclusion of this year’s Sangyaw Festival. The festival’s success was attributed to the meticulous organization by the city government and the expertise of the judges who ensured the highest standards of excellence in selecting the winners.

This year’s theme, “Pagpasundayag han Aton Pagtuo” (Celebrating Our Faith), guided the performances, which adhered to the guidelines set by the Leyte-Samar Heritage Society, Inc. and the City Tourism Operations Office. The festival’s script, written by Joycie Alegre and Samlito Abueva with consultations from Msgr. Ramon Stephen Aguilos and Msgr. Gilbert Urbina, was divided into four acts: An Pag-ayad, Kataragman, An Paghitad-i, and An Paghibalik.

The Sangyaw Festival, reinstated in 2008 by Mayor Alfred Romualdez, continues to be a significant event in Tacloban City, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and enduring faith of its people. The 2024 edition of the festival left a lasting impression on all who attended, celebrating the city’s resilience and vibrant spirit.

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