Calls for simplicity as Malaybalay celebrates fiesta

But assistant parish priest Roberto Salem has called on parishioners to continue celebrating the fiesta with simpler preparations, Central Mindanao Newswatch reported this week.

Salem noted the importance of thanksgiving to God despite the difficulties of the times.

The San Isidro Parish is the seat of the Diocese of Malaybalay, where Bishop Honesto Pacana is also the parish priest.

The parish started nine-day novena masses on May 7, to last until the 15th, to solemnize the fiesta celebration.

San Isidro, a Spanish farmer who died in 1130 and canonized as saint of the Catholic church in 1672, has been the patron saint of the parish,  a predominantly agricultural settlement in the early 1900s.

The motto of the parish as featured in a stained window of the San Isidro Cathedral is "Ora et Labora" (Pray and Work).

Residents said fiesta celebrations in Bukidnon's capital used to be spruced up with carnivals and various fairs.

But many residents said the recent celebrations have been less festive with many community activities spread through out the year such as the Kaamulan Festival.

A resident, however, noted that the growth of other parishes through out the city's villages is one reason why fewer people troop to the annual celebration at the city proper.

Other sectors, however, have remained supportive of the annual fiesta.

The private sector has put up a trade fair at the Plaza Rizal. The city government has also spread festive mood with buntings and fiesta arches through out the city saying "Happy Fiesta from the City Government of Malaybalay".

Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. has also sponsored sports attractions such as boxing, lawn tennis, airsoft and basketball tournaments. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)