By Ercel Maandig
Cagayan de Oro- The most awaited Higalaay Festival Streetdancing competition here on Sunday afternoon highlighted the a 9 steps of their movements from city’s culture,sites, iconic places and 3 steps of Higaonon tribes,and this is the 1st time the organizer introduces these 9 steps that gaves history of the city.There are 12 contingents of the said event and Barangay Gusa emerge as Champion who pocketed Php300,000 cash prize.2nd Placer is Barangay Carmen with and a cash prize of Php200,000 and 3rd place goes to the contingent of Barangay Puerto who pocketed Php100,000 cash.
The said nine steps includes “Sapa(creek)” step that represents the ripples of Cagayan de Oro river, small but bouncing waters created by history of people struggles,heroism and contribution for the better city, “Suba(river)or Kagay step that is a combination of small and big waves of change rushing to the mainstream of the riverbed especially when it is the rainy season,”Kugtong(mythical fish found in Cagayan de Oro river) step” is a slow but graceful imitation of the movements of the mythical golder fish that played a vital role in the history of the river with the following variations: Fishtrap for native’s livelihood and river activity such as swimming,fishing,communing with nature,”Lusong sa sulog sa tubig(ride with the flow of water)” which is a playful movement of the fisherfolks especially when crossing the river and adjusting to the natural landscape of the riverbed,thus balance is necessary and jumping from one rock to other is inevitable.
It speaks about the resiliency of the Kagay-anon(people of the city),”Dulang sa Bulawan(Gold Panning)’ is a very prominent and traditional Kagayanon way of gathering gold that played a significant role in sustaining the lives of the people ,in fact it is still being practiced today in the upper river villages to manifest how the river nurtured them and made their lives more meaningful.
It is a mirror of the local’s sense of entrepreneurship and resourcefulness, “Bugsay sa Kagay”(paddle for river rafting)” is the pride of the city as white water river rafting capital of the country and as One Town,One Product(OTOP) of the city that gave life to its popularity as one of the country’s tourism highways for adventure activities,”Sakay sa Rela(Motorela/local tri-cab)” is a very unique and important icon of the city that exemplified artistry,innovativeness and skills of Kagayanon people that invented by a certain Rafael Diaz Floreindo) Motorela is a familiar figure traversing the streets of the city making people’s lives easy and convenient,”Higala”(Friend) is a gesture of friendliness extended to anyone visiting the city with a ready and helping hand and a genuine smile thus substantiating the claim of the city as City of Golden Frienship and lastly, the Patron Saint Augustine depicting thanksgiving and most of all veneration to the Patron of the city for embracing and protecting its people all thoughout these years with all those challenges including natural calamities that wrek havoc to the entire community like Typhoon Sendong(Washi) in 2011 that leave over thousands of people dead. This is also to thank the patron of his constant guidance and inspiration to the people of the city especially in sustaining the christian faith.
In an interview, City Councilor Jay Roa Pascual said that Mayor Rolando Uh has double the budget of last year’s festivity were the city government allocated Php15 Million for this year’s activities.