CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 27 August) — Carnival street dancing is back in Cagayan de Oro’s fiesta celebration after two years of absence due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The dancers in colorful costumes performed on the streets from Rodelsa Circle to the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Center on Friday, August 26, in honor of the Feast of St. Augustine, patron saint of Cagayan de Oro.
The provincial gvernment of Misamis Oriental, which manages the sports center, allowed the city government of Cagayan de Oro to use the facility, a significant political development here, signifiying the warm relations between Governor Pedro Unabia and Mayor Rolando Uy.
Past administrations of Misamis Oriental have consistently denied requests from the local government of Cagayan de Oro to use the sports facility.
Authorities on Friday blocked several major city streets to make way for the contingents of dancers coming from ten barangays.
Mayor Uy said the holding of the street celebration is an indication that residents are now confident in coming out to celebrate after two years of strict quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uy, however, cautioned residents who lined up the streets to watch the street dancing, not to forget to wear face masks as the city is dealing with a slight increase in COVID-19 cases.
Health authorities also made sure all the participants of the Higalaay Carnival Street Dancing and other outdoor events are properly inoculated.
“I welcome (the fact) that we now have a chance to celebrate but we should still be careful because COVID-19 is still around,” Uy said.
Mobile phones from Globe and Smart telcos were jammed for at least five hours during the street dancing for security reasons.
Aside from Higalaay Carnival dancing, residents also lined up for the traditional fiesta parade on Saturday morning.
On Sunday, the Feast of St. Augustine, a procession from the Metropolitan Cathedral will be held and later a fluvial parade on the river of Cagayan de Oro from Barangay Bonbon to the Duaw Park behind City Hall. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)