Lorry V. Gabule/PIA Iligan
Iligan Cityâ€”The San Miguel Fiesta, in honor of the cityâ€™s Patron Saint Michael the Archangel every 29th September is undoubtedly the most colorful yearly event in Iligan.
Various activities have been lined up to ensure the lively festivities of the upcoming celebration, showcasing the many wonderful attractions that Iligan offers as the city launched today, September 1, the beginning of its month-long fiesta activity.
Mayor Lawrence Ll. Cruz of lligan said it will be a Tourism Month celebration considering we have launched also the â€˜Bring Home a Friend Programâ€™ of the Department of Tourism in July this year.
We see to it that the traditional fiesta celebration will not be overly extravagant, and we intend to involve the different sectors in our community, the Iliganons, getting a natural high of being able to contribute to the development of the city, expressed Mayor Cruz.
The celebration is highlighted by traditional event, the â€œPagpakanaugâ€ on September 20, the lowering of the Patron Saint from its pedestal on the side of the main altar, to another pedestal for its yearly change of costumes, is a sight to behold and a tradition unparalleled.
Although conducted inside the Cathedral, the Pagpakanaug is spearheaded by devotees and participated in by local government officials whereby the city mayor receives the Patron Saintâ€™s helmet; the congressman receives the spear and the chief of police, San Miguelâ€™s shield.
All this occurs with a ritual and a specific count amidst thunderous chants of Viva Senor San Miguel, participated in by thousands of devotees paying tribute to the defender of their faith.
The â€œProcessionâ€ and street celebration on September 29, the Feast Day, at 7:00 in the morning, is attended by throngs of devotees in all assortments of costumes and masks.
Higaonons, angels, Diyandis, Devil and Angels dance, prance and shout in mock battle celebrating the confrontation of Senor San Miguel and Luzbel (Lucifer). Every now and then during the procession, the devotees shout fiercely and forcefully.
Other cultural groups of Iligan, the Maranaos and Higaonons, participate in the feast with the Christian community.
This is evident in the Diyandi, a dance ritual performed by an all-female group showing the courtship between a Maranao male and Higaonon female and culminating in an offering, symbolic of their union and harvest to St. Michael.
The beautiful imagery that the ritual conjures, which aptly describes the peaceful co-existence of the Muslims, Higaonons and Christians of Iligan, gave birth to the â€˜Diyandi Festival sa lliganâ€™.
In the morning of September 27 will be the world-wide known Kasadya Street Dancing. And there will be parade of beauties in the evening, with 12 lovely ladies vying for the crown of Miss Iligan 2010, at the Mindanao State University-Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) gymnasium.
Erlito C. Dalangin, over-all chairman of Diyandi Festival Sa lligan 2010, said they invited sports enthusiasts on boxing, basketball, bowling, volleyball, badminton, football, golf, Frisbees and swimming to join the challenge which will start on September 8, so with the motor cross, mountain bike downhill race, and shooting competition.
This yearâ€™s fiesta celebration bears the theme, â€œWara-wara sa lligan, Tara Na!,â€ Dalangin disclosed.