TACLOBAN city councilor and tourism chairperson Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez has announced this year’s return of the grand Sangyaw Festival to highlight the city fiesta on June 30.
“We want to let the people feel that we have moved on. This event would help normalize the situation in the city,” Romualdez said, speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration: Resilient Tacloban.
Romualdez said they want to show to the world that the city has bounced back.
“This event brings out the best of Tacloban. We can showcase to the world that we are beautiful and progressive despite what happened to us during Yolanda,” she added.
Yolanda, the world’s strongest typhoon to hit land in recorded history in November 2013, claimed more than 7,000 lives mostly in Tacloban.
According to Romualdez, the city has proposed a Php6.6 million budget for a month-long program of activities starting May 31, yet she assured the public that the amount will be trimmed down into half as they are also looking for committed sponsors.
The proposed budget is half the amount compared during 2012 and 2013, she added.
“It will be a low-key celebration, simple but beautiful and with social relevance. For the past event, we have ‘donor fatigue,’ we can’t expect this year to have the same donors last year,” she said.
Humanitarian organizations financed the 2014 Sangyaw festival owing to the devastation in the city.
“We want our tourism back. The people will benefit from this since this will contribute to our economy,” Romualdez said.
“We want our Sangyaw to be bigger, brighter. We want to celebrate life, with our experiences and learning after Yolanda,” she added, this as they are targeting over a million visitors this year for the city fiesta.
Top government officials and show biz personalities are also expected to grace the event.
Other activities to return this year include the Search for Miss Tacloban, Parade of Lights, and Sangyaw Awards for outstanding individuals and groups in the city.
A “Resilience Summit” will also be set in the city during the fiesta activities.
The 2015 Sangyaw Festival will officially start on May 31 through a Grand Santa Cruzan.