GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 August) — The city government is all set for the grand 2017 Tuna Festival that will showcase the area’s thriving tuna industry as well as efforts for advocacy and promotion of peace in Mindanao.
City Councilor Shandee Llido-Pestano, city tourism council chair, said they have finalized the preparations and lined up activities for the 19th edition of the festivity, which is slated on Sept. 1 to 5.
“Everything is set and we’re ready for the grand opening on Sept. 1,” she said.
The event, which is co-organized by the Philippine Fisheries and Development Authority, will pay homage anew to the city’s multimillion tuna industry through fresh and traditional activities.
These include the usual crowd drawers tuna float parade, “sugbahan sa dalan,” and the grand fish fest at the city fishport complex.
Pestano said this year’s celebration is giving special attention to the city’s aspirations for the resolution of the conflict in Marawi City and lasting peace in the entire Mindanao.
She said such advocacy inspired this year’s theme: “A PEACEtival of fun — Bida sa Saya, Bida sa Tuna!”
“This year, we considered what has been happening in our neighboring areas so we also made the event as a celebration of peace,” she said.
For the first time, Pestano said the Tuna Festival will be a standalone celebration after the local government moved its charter anniversary celebration to June 15 from the previous Sept. 5.
June 15 was the day the city’s charter was officially signed into law while Sept. 5 previously celebrated its belated inauguration.
Luisito Correa, 2017 Tuna Festival director, said the other highlights of the celebration are the 2nd Dragon Boat Race, 2017 Bancarera, Ms Tourism Coronation Night and the 5th Mayor Rivera Shooting Cup.
He said some of the events and activities, among them the flea market and grand carnival, already started last Aug. 15 and will end on Sept. 15.
The other activities are Garden Show Exhibit, Party Zone at the oval plaza, Gensan Tuna Fest Food Strip, Photo and Arts Exhibit, Sounds of the Festival, Steeltech Night, Tunaman Triathlon, 8th National Skimboarding Competition, 5th Jetski Challenge, 7th International Invitational Table Tennis Tournament, 3rd Invitational Dog show, 3rd Airsoft Tournament, 2017 7-A-Side Football, GenSan Invitational Motocross Competition, Tuna Festival Basketball Open Tournament, 16th Yellowfin Mountain Bike Challenge, 1st Ultimate Frisbee and Culinary Olympics and Cookout.
Correa, who is also manager of the city fishport complex, said they scrapped the street dancing competition this year to make the celebration more focused on the tuna industry.
He said the street dancing competition will be held during the city’s Kalilangan Festival, which is a cultural event, every February. (MindaNews)