TACLOBAN CITY- Once again, people in this city have shown their resilience through the Sangyaw Parade of Lights, sending messages of recovery and gratitude.

City Mayor Alfred Romualdez thanked the parade participants for bringing cheers to locals and tourists when it returned to streets for the first after super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

“We want to tell the world that we are resilient. The celebration welcomed a collective commitment to stronger and happier Tacloban, with increased capacity to work together and adapt to coming changes,” Romualdez said.

Joining the two-hour Sangyaw Parade of Lights on Monday night were 10 schools, 10 villages, six merrymakers, 20 floats, and local drum and bugle corps.

Dancers wearing colorful costumes combined with their artistic props with glowing lights were accented by innovative music and rhythm.

After the Parade of Lights, participants showcased their interpretation of Sangyaw through a ritual presentation at the City Hall grounds that ended midnight.

The crowd went wild as the Alpha Phi Omega, Leyte Normal University (LNU) and Youngfield village contingents were respectively declared champions in different categories in the Sangyaw Parade of Lights Festival 2015 competition.

The floats used were eco-friendly materials, beautified in small trucks with colorful lights held at the city’s main streets. The dancers were dressed in attractive and star-like costumes and props, showing festival-inspired routines.

In the merrymaker category, the Alpha-Phi Omega grabbed the title as grand champion, and received PHP15,000 and PHP4,000 for the choreographer, followed by Tacloban Institute of Electronics in the second place and Taezumba Jammers of Tacloban City in the third place.

Meanwhile, first-timer LNU snatched the title in the school category, with PHP50,000 and PHP5,000 for the choreographer, while Santo Niño Sped Center placed second and Asian Development Foundation College of Tacloban landed third.

LNU choreographers Romyr Gabon and Hanzel Saboren were thankful for the judges, for their effort and performance was appreciated in the event.

“This is our first time to join the Parade of Lights, we didn’t expect to win the title because we didn’t have any idea at first on how to showcase our float and talents, but we still did our best,” Gabon said.

In the village category, 49 Youngfield won the title, which received PHP50,000, trophy and PHP5,000 for the choreographer, with Magallanes-Burgos dancers in the second place and Apitong village in the third place.
Aside from the festival winners, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez also allocated prizes to ACLC College, City Central School, Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), Leyte Colleges (LC), Leyte National High School (LNHS) and San Fernando Central School, for participating in the said event.

Other participating contingents were from Santo Niño Street, Reclamation Area, Calvary Hill, Rizal Avenue Extension, Paseo de Legazpi, San Jose district and New Kawayan village also received prizes.

The participants for the merrymakers who received prizes were Taebo Jammers Association of Tacloban, Alpha Omega Rho and UNIC Training Center Corporation.

Meanwhile, the city government of Tacloban emphasized that the city has been celebrating the Sangyaw Festival before super typhoon Yolanda, but after the disaster, they started celebrating the Parade of Lights with a deeper

Rep. Romualdez thanked everyone, especially the organizers and participants who supported the activity.

The event, which was one of city’s highlights in their fiesta celebration with the theme of resiliency and recovery, delighted more than 4,000 residents and visitors who joined in the celebration of the city and Leyte province’s feast of the patron saint, Senior Santo Niño.

Sangyaw, which means “to announce or herald a news” in a local dialect, has assumed a popular following in the region and in the country since its inception in the 1976 and revival in 2008. PNA
Photo courtesy of Elmer Eclipse

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