Sunday, August 12, 2012

FIESTA IN THE CITY: A Celebration of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism

The region’s rich cultural history, traditions, and its provinces have brought out fun and original celebrations through fiestas, celebrated all throughout the year. There are so many of them. Some are of religious nature, others are historical, and all vary in style, but one thing remains the same, each celebration involved music, dance, and a great deal of lively spirit by its people.

SM City Iloilo is a busy yet serene mall, except when it plays host to annual events and tourism-related activities. Every May, the mall holds a week-long celebration known as Fiesta in the City in which many people attend.

Fiesta in the City is the longest running tourism celebration annually held inside a mall. Since 2002, Ilonggos know and crave the intense energy that pervades the Activity Center during the festivity. Many shows up to partake in the fun.

The fun began ten years ago when the mall tried to keep up with the decadent fiesta celebrations all over the region and partnered with the Department of Tourism Regional Office along with the different provinces in Western Visayas. Since then, it has evolved throughout the years into an amazing round-the-clock spectacle of all that is in this region.

The Activity Center turns into the celebration’s main “stage,” a place to meet friends, and where families stroll together, and everyone enjoys the presentation simply has a great time!

It is celebrated this year on May 16-22 and for those seeking more conventional pleasure, the week-long includes exhibits, music, dancing, colorful costumes and beauty parade. The daily activities are hosted by a provincial government or a town where each scheduled event has its own atmosphere and tradition.

The highlight of the event is the much-anticipated annual Sagala of Festival or Fiesta Queens. Known to be the only consistently celebrated Santacruzan in a mall in the region, this colorful religious and historical street pageant parade originally held in cities, towns and even barangays becomes the most colorful attraction of the mall during May. The luckiest queen gets to be escorted by a featured celebrity from Manila. Many movie and television personalities in the past have participated in the event and are featured as the only escort. This year, Enrique Gil, an upcoming dramatic actor from the teleserye, Mula Sa Puso will be the featured escort of the parade scheduled on May 22 at 3 in the afternoon.

Other activities include the dance performances from Badiangan Dance Troupe of the municipality of Badiangan on May 16 at.; a musical treat from Ritmo Tambores of Passi City on May 17; an afternoon of pure Ilonggo classic from the newly-organized rondalla group of Himig Cuerdas at Tiklado from West Visayas State University; a fashion show featuring Filipiniana gowns from designer Mandy Salcedo on May 19; the kids take centerstage with the Little Santacruzan on May 20; a Santacruzan-inspired design competition featuring local fashion designers is set on May 21. Showtime starts at 4 in the afternoon.

Despite the different themes, the sentiment remains the same. Fiesta in the city is an event to be proud of our common culture and for us to recognize everything that joins us, rather then dwell on that which separates us.

Don’t miss out this year’s great variety of cultural activities for everyone! See you there.

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