CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, PHILIPPINES – The spirit of unity and cultural pride graced the streets of Cagayan de Oro as hundreds of locals came together for the Higalaay Festival 2023 and witness the Civic Military Parade and Float Competition, as well as the much-awaited Higalaay Street Dancing Competition.
The festivities started with the Civic Military Parade and Float Competition in the morning, showcasing the city’s rich heritage and collective pride. Over a hundred residents representing government bodies, private sectors, educational institutions, barangays, and civic organizations took part in the vibrant procession, highlighting awe-inspiring floats from Gaerlan Street to Divisoria.
The parade concluded with the Palawan Group emerging as champions, while Barangay Carmen and Je Hydro secured second and third place, respectively. As an integral component of the Higalaay Festival, the parade embodied the heart and soul of Cagayan de Oro City’s cultural legacy and history.
Parallel to the Civic Military Parade and Float Competition, the Higalaay Festival 2023 also featured the Street Dancing Competition on the same day.
Despite the overcast skies and bad weather, the street dancing competition kicked off at the Rodelsa Circle, proceeding down Don Apolinar Velez Street and culminating at the Pelaez Sports Center for the highly anticipated Tableau competition.
This year, it was the talents of contingent No. 10 from Brgy. Gusa that stole the spotlight, emerging victorious as the grand champion of the Tableau competition. Contingent No. 5 of Brgy. Carmen secured the first runner-up position, closely followed by the second runner-up, contingent No. 2 of Brgy. Puerto.
Beyond the Tableau competition, accolades were also showered upon other contingents for their exceptional performances. Brgy. Gusa was honored with the Best in Street Dancing Award, while Brgy. Carmen swept up both the Best in Storyline and Best in Costume awards. Brgy. Kauswagan’s impressive Totem Pole, on the other hand, earned them the respective award. Brgy. Puerto was given the Most Disciplined Award, and the Texters Choice Award was bestowed upon Brgy. Carmen.
Towards the end of the activities, a special guest appearance for TnT was made by Joshua Garcia. Not long after, the fireworks display illuminated Pelaez Sports Center, in conclusion of the day’s festivities.
Through rain and shine, this year’s Higalaay Festival has underscored the enduring spirit of unity that binds the Kagay-anons in a harmonious dance of celebration.
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