TACLOBAN CITY- A parade of 20 floats will highlight the Sangyaw Parade of Lights 2015 on June 29, the eve of the city’s fiesta with a theme that centers on resiliency and recovery.

The 20 floats from 10 participating schools and 10 villages will use eco-friendly materials adorned in smaller trucks, said Phynes Patalinhug, member of the Sangyaw Parade of Lights committee.

All floats will represent the participants’ own interpretation of what resiliency and recovery is all about, drawing from firsthand experiences in the aftermath of super typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

“Mayor (Alfred) Romualdez wants to show to the world that Tacloban life is back to normal. People should expect a better, bolder parade of light this year,” said Patalinhug in a press briefing.

Launched in 2012, the city’s Sangyaw Parade of Lights combines parade of floats decorated with colorful lights and street dance using Latino beat rhythm.

The festival came after the city government decided to change the concept from a festival presentation depicting the cultures of the city’s people hundreds of years ago to what is Tacloban in the present day.

For this year’s city fiesta, the local government has allocated more than PhP3 million. This is on top of financial support from the business sector through sponsorship, said Councilor Cristina Romualdez, the overall chairman of Sangyaw Festival.

“We want this year’s fiesta to be grandiose, but with a minimal expense, for people to feel that Tacloban has already recovered,” Romualdez said.

Aside from the parade of lights, other major activities are Sangyaw Awards Nights on June 17 and search for Miss Tacloban on June 27.

Sangyaw Awards is a recognition given to local achievers and distinguish citizens who excel in their careers. This year, the awards will be given to “local heroes” who helped the city to recover from the destructive super typhoon “Yolanda.”

The search for Miss Tacloban is venue for budding local beauty queens. For this year’s pageant, representatives from schools and universities will compete for the title.

Created by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos in 1974, Sangyaw Festival is a religious and socio-cultural event in the city. Sangyaw means “to herald news” in Waray language.

It was cancelled in 1987 and was revived in 2008 by the current city mayor, Imelda’s nephew. By Roel T. Amazona/PNA

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