CEBU CITY -- Forty-four contingents from different local government units (LGUs) in the province of Cebu on Sunday vied for recognition as the best festival in a spectacular comeback of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia worked for the return of this festival of festivals in the province when she took over the helm of the provincial capitol back to her care after winning in the last election, with a vision to make Cebu number one again.
The festival showcased a local government unit's unique culture, product, and religiosity expressed in a town-wide or city-wide festival during the locality's fiesta.
Earlier, the governor pointed out that she has opted that the festival be opened to spectators free of charge.
There were suggestion nga ibaligya ang ticket (the ticket should be for sale) but I said, ever since libre man gyud nang Pasigarbo (we make Pasigarbo free of charge), Garcia said.
Garcia commended the mayors in the 44 towns for responding to her invitation to participate in the festival by sending their dance troupes to perform in the street dancing, a dance ritual usually associated with their veneration to their patron saint.
The dancers performed the street dancing by 2 p.m. which began in front of the Provincial Capitol along Escario Street, and they presented all the way to the Cebu City Sports Center along the 2.3-kilometer stretch to OsmeAa Bouelvard.
At the sports center, the participants from 44 towns and cities battled for recognition as the best festival in Cebu.
Last Friday (Aug. 23), Garcia crowned Marla Alforque of Carcar City as the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo 2019 Festival Queen during the coronation night at the sports center.
Kiara Wellington of Minglanilla was adjudged as 1st runner-up, Jesselle Saniel of Talisay City as 2nd runner-up and best solo performance, Charlene Canoy of Toledo City as 3rd runner-up, and Hydie Sarcauga of Argao as 4th runner-up.
The first town to perform the ritual street-dancing was the troupe from Sogod town featuring their cultural dance called Panagsohod. They were followed by Moalboal that showcased the town's rich resources at sea which made them known as the snorkeling and diving capital in the southwestern Cebu.
The town of Badian featured their prime product banig (mat) made up of buri in their dance ritual, while its neighboring town in Santander showcased the town's delicacy called tostado.
Argao, which attributed their dance ritual to the town's famous delicacy torta (sweet cake), earned cheers from the crowd at the sports center as Sarcauga, their festival queen, displayed elegance in her dance.
Col. Roderick Mariano, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that an estimated crowd of around 18,000 attended the Pasigarbo.
Mariano said they deployed 1,000 uniformed police officers to secure the people who witnessed the street dancing along OsmeAa Boulevard and the sports center.
He said that police officers from Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, and Bohol province were deployed to augment the CPPO cops enlisted to secure the festival.
As of 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, no crimes or emergencies were reported to the Abellana Police Station, the police unit near the sports center.
The chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), Col. Gemma Vinluan and City Councilor Dave Tumulak personally supervised the security and orderliness inside the center. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency