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Cagayan de Oro’s Higalaay Festival 2021 Goes Virtual Once Again

The festival commemorates the feast day of St. Augustine, Cagayan de Oro City's patron saint.

The Philippines is known for its colorful and loud festivals that not only invite tourists to come to the country and see our culture, but also honor saints and religious figures like the Blessed Virgin Mary, Santo Niño, and San Juan Bautista.

All-year round, different provinces in the country hold week-long, or even month-long, events in relation to these festivals. These activities attract even locals to attend the festivities, and appreciate the culture, religious beliefs, and people of the Philippines. (Read: The Touching Story Behind Chef Jessie’s Pork Barbecue Family Recipe)

And for this August, the month-long Higalaay Festival is set to happen in Cagayan de Oro.

Higalaay Festival

For the entire month, Cagayan de Oro will be celebrating the Higalaay Festival. An annual colorful celebration in Northern Mindanao, the fiesta commemorates the feast day of the city’s patron saint, Saint Augustine. His feast day is every 28th of August.

Pre-pandemic, people would now have flocked to the streets to see dances and performances by the locals, eat good food, and mingle with their kababayans and visitors from different regions in the Philippines, and even different countries!

And though all kinds of mass gatherings including fiestas are not allowed to prevent the further spread of the virus, this isn’t stopping Cagayanons from celebrating this much awaited event. (Read: Erwan Heussaff, Ninong Ry Team up on New YouTube Series)

For this year, just like in 2020, everything will be in the form of a virtual fiesta. Contests, performances, and other activities will either be livestreamed on social media, or will be asking participants to submit entries either through email or the festival’s official social media channels.

Virtual events

Photo from Higalaay Festival Facebook

Through a video that was posted on their Facebook page, the Cagayan de Oro City Tourism Office announced the virtual events and activities that will be happening until the end of the month.

“Uniting the community in a festive celebration of fashion, beauty, culture, enterprise, creativity, friendship, family, good food, and faith,” 1986 Miss Cagayan De Oro City Lia Andanar Yu said in the video.

The events were then listed so that people may look forward to it in the coming days and weeks, leading up to the grand culmination at the end of the month. Here they are.

Photos from Higalaay Festival Facebook

  • Oro Photographic Society online photo contest – August 7, 14, and 21
  • Banda Oro virtual band showcase – August 13, 20, and 27
  • Higalaay cosplay competition – August 21
  • Hello CdeO TikTok challenge – August 23
  • Kumbira Online 2021 – August 24 to 26
  • Higalaay Parada Minirela showcase and awarding – August 27
  • Cagayan de Oro Carnival Queen virtual dance showdown – August 28
  • Mindanao Fashion Summit – August 28

You may check the Higalaay Festival official Facebook page for more updates.

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