TACLOBAN CITY, JUNE 29, 2012 (MALAYA) Written by ROBBIE PANGILINAN - The Sangyaw Festival, revived four years ago by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and first lady Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez (photo), will be an extraordinary festival this June, with a parade of lights unlike any other ever done in the country.

The Tacloban City government will showcase 20 floats using LED (light emission diode), the energy-saver and cost-efficient light, on June 29 as the highlight of the annual Sangyaw Festival.

“This has never been done in other places of the country. We will do this in Tacloban to mark a distinction for our city,” said Gonzales-Romualdez, the chairman of the Committee on Tourism, adding that the innovative parade of lights also aims to put an end to the comparison between Sangyaw and Pintados.

[Photo -Tacloban City Mayor Alfred and his wife Cristina]

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals replaced the Sangyaw Festival from 1987 to 2007. The Sangyaw, which means “to herald good news,” has been a trademark of the City of Tacloban since it was first held in 1947. A brainchild of Leyte native, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the Sangyaw Festival died along with the Marcos administration in 1986. The Pintados Festival, organized by a non-government organization, replaced Sangyaw and is still recognized by the Department of Tourism today.

Since the Romualdezes revived the Sangyaw Festival in 2008, it has been compared with and even called copycat not only to Pintados but to other festivals in other places of the country. That is why this year, Councilor Romualdez thought of doing something new.

Designed by a Manila-based float expert, the 20 floats will feature Tacloban City’s history, religiosity, flora and fauna and recent city developments. The major floats will depict five important historical events in the region: the pre-Spanish colonization era, the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan, the landing of McArthur, the construction of the San Juanico Bridge and the conversion of Tacloban into a highly-urbanized city.

Event creative consultant Gogoy Avelino described the floats as those seen in Disneyland during the ‘80s, but more advanced because they are three-dimensional. There will be dancers on each float wearing Latin-inspired costumes to give out an ambience of a carnival. Salsa and rumba music will be used in the parade to make the event lively and entice everyone to participate.

According to Romualdez, the use of lights in the parade is symbolic.

“Our purpose is to promote the city, for it to standout as the light in Region 8, symbolizing Tacloban’s status as the most progressive city in the region and the center of commerce and education,” says the an actress-turned-public servant.

She hopes that the parade of lights will be a welcome change in and worthwhile part of the festival, drawing in tourists from all over.

“The lights not only symbolize that we are the light. It’s a time to shine and a symbolic sign of progress. It’s a change, something new,” ended the councilor known as Kring-Kring in her showbiz days.

FOR MORE INFO AND PHOTOS GO TO: http://www.tacloban.gov.ph/

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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