Monday, 03 August 2020 05:25

‘Higalaay Festival scaled down, still festive amid health safety protocols’

Written by Stephen Capillas
‘Higalaay Festival scaled down, still festive amid health safety protocols’ Photos by Stephen Capillas

This year’s annual Higalaay Festival may be scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it need not be less festive for Cagayan de Oro City’s residents and those who consider the city their home, City Hall’s tourism chief said Monday morning, August 3.

“We wish to clarify and emphasize that 90 to 95 percent of the core and parallel events will be virtual or done online. All these events will be broadcast live in our Higalaay Festival Facebook page and we are asking the public to please like, share and support our FB page (to their families and friends),” City Tourism Officer Chedillyn Dulquime said in Monday morning’s press briefing.

The Higalaay Festival will be launched through its Facebook page at 5 pm Monday. “Last year our festival’s core and parallel events were certified crowd drawers with people lining up the streets to witness the parade and other activities. This year, the virtual celebration of the festival means we comply with minimum public health standards,” Dulquime said.

She also lauded organizers of events like the Miss Cagayan de Oro pageant and the three-day Kumbira food festival and competition “for rising to the challenge” of revamping their programs to comply with the mandated minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For one, the fluvial parade will only have 10 pump boats. But those selling their produce and products during the festival will be allowed to showcase them online through our FB page. The pandemic gave us city residents the opportunity to become creative in staging their events,” Dulquime said.