TACLOBAN FOLK folk had another reason to celebrate during the city fiesta this year after Leyte province’s leading first families united for the Kasadyaan festival on Saturday.

“Today is a time for celebration. We are all happy that we are united. Hopefully, this festival will bring progress and unity to everyone,” said Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, scion of the family that organized the first tourism-oriented city fiesta in the 1980s.

That festival, called Sangyaw Festival, was organized by Leyte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos in the 1980s, but it was replaced by the Pintados-Kasadayaaan after the 1986.

For years, the original Sangyaw was replaced by the Kasadyaaan, organized by the Petilla family, until 2007 when the congressman’s cousin, incumbent Mayor Alfred Romualdez, chose to restore the Sangyaw.

But this year, both families agreed to use the fiesta to spur unity rather than division.

“This festival will show how we can bounce back and bring inspiration not only in words but also in action,” Congressman Romualdez said. “We are here to be with you, all the joys and sorrows, we are all victims of typhoon Yolanda.”

The people cheered Romualdez’s words and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominic Petilla responded: “This event is not only for fiesta celebration but also to show our culture of strength and resilience as people. This is what we will celebrate.”

We have survived, and our recovery is also going faster. It is now time to thank and pray to God that we are given this time,” the governor added, before a gathering of some 50,000 people at the Leyte Sports Complex.

Gov. Petilla welcomed Rep. Romualdez on stage where he was also greeted by Palo, Leyte Mayor Remedios Matin Petilla and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

On Saturday, at least 12 contingents from different towns in Leyte and Samar joined the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals on its grand parade in Tacloban City. On Monday evening, June 29, Tacloban city government will hold its Sangyaw Festival’s “Parade of Lights” with its colorful LED creations.

The two events mark the start of recovery in the city and the province after it was devastated by Yolanda in November 2013.

Phot by Elmer Eclipse

First published at Manila Standard Today
http://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/06/28/fiesta-unites-leyte-leaders/

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