The first Piña Festival of Ormoc City last 25th of June of this year was truly a notable celebration of beautiful people as it celebrates beauty. The event coincided with the feast celebration of their patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul. Meanwhile, The festival seeks to promote not only Ormoc’s very own sweetest queen pineapple but to recognize Ormocanon’s beautiful and breathtaking natural attractions.
I enjoyed the 1st Piña Festival so much and it was truly an exceptional celebration, same with the Sinulog Festival in Cebu.It is a celebration both solemn and festive since that was the first time that it has been done in the City of Ormoc, I didn’t expect that it will be a tremendous celebration as it was exalted with pomp and pageantry.
Arriving the day ahead before the festival, on a Saturday, I was able to sneak into their “Food Bazaar” situated fronting the Ormoc Bay/ Plaza, where everyone can enjoy great foods while listening to the live bands played on stage.T’was like a weekend madness for me! After taking the delightful Taco’s by La Lucha Taqueria, I took a quick look at the performers on stage and briskly headed back to the hotel on where I stayed, the Hotel Don Felipe.
As Sunday took place, which is the official day of the festival. I’ve got everything set for a quick morning photo walk at the Ormoc Bay as a warm up since the street dancing will start in the afternoon. After an hour of shutter bugging in the plaza, I instantly brought myself in one of the fast food restaurants nearby the area because I felt ravenously hungry. And I took a catnap inside the hotel room after a well fed of satisfaction.
Few more minutes to go and the colorful festivity of the City will officially start. As a preparation, I had a sumptuous lunch together with other bloggers and media from Cebu and Manila at Big Roy’s Resto owned by Maria Estrella Pangilinan, who is also the Chairman of Ormoc Festival and Cultural Foundation. I had the chance as well to meet with the event organizers and other local officials of Ormoc City.
After teeming with an overflowing and bursting sustenance, we went out into the sun-drenched streets of the New Ormoc City Hall where the 8 contingents coming from different school assembled for their street dancing parade going to the Ormoc stage plaza.
As we set ourselves in the stage plaza waiting for the first part of the activity which is the street dancing showdown to start, we are having a good time listening to the danceable beats of Ormoc Piña Samba Jingle. It has a meaningful lyrics which creates the vibes into an atmospheric festivity, really! To add more grandeur on the street parade, there’s a group of people creating some noise using the beat of the drums. I was also surprised with the huge people that are also waiting for the 8 contingents to arrive. A few minutes later, the participating floats and the 8 participating contingents have finally arrived.
Everyone was so excited and greatly cheered with the arrival of all the contingents. The audience is giving a loud and cheering up to their each representing contingents as encouragement and to give fire with every performance. In which, my eyes were immediately impressed how the locals are very supportive with the first Piña Festival.
During the street dancing competition, the 8 participating contingents are only allowed to showcase their dance performance using the official Ormoc Pina Samba Jingle. Surprisingly. all groups are well prepared as they showcased their performance. From dance choreography to their brilliant and lively props were all eye-openers.
I never thought that the event would be that colorful and festive the same with Cebu’s Grandest Festival, the Sinulog Festival and other colorful festivities in the country. Because of what I’ve seen during the grand parade, it was obvious that people of Ormoc especially the Local Government official were helping hand in hand in preparing the celebration.
Surely, the Piña Festival will be recognized by both government agencies, since festivals are based either on the locals’ religion, history and culture and/or local produce.
The Piña Festival seeks to promote not only Ormoc’s very own sweet queen pineapple, but will manifest every Ormocanon’s beautiful and sunshine-y nature—that despite the challenges portrayed by the fruit’s thorny exterior, we are able to overcome these challenges and grow a crown over our heads as symbols of our triumph over all adversities.
During the Grand showdown, contingents from STI College-Ormoc captured the 1st place award of ritual/showdown. Aside from that, their festival queen Cherry Mae Duterte went home the title of the Festival Queen and they also captured the 1st place award of Best in street dancing.
Western College Leyte took the 2nd place in the ritual showdown, followed by the third place which is the Eastern Visayas State University-Ormoc. Meanwhile, the Ipil National School was the second placer in the street dancing competition and captured the Best in Costume award, while WLC is the third places of the said category.
According to the movie actor and Ormoc City Mayor, “The significance of the piña is that Ormoc is known for its great pineapples. For the longest time, this has been recognized. Everywhere you go in the country, they know that one of the best-tasting pineapples can be found in Ormoc City. That’s the reason why we are bringing back the Piña Festival,”
“We hope that the Piña Festival will be a great start to a new and better identity for all Ormocanons—a cultural heritage that will embody our common aspirations, while enriching us as one people desiring to get Ormoc City as one of the top major tourist destinations in the country,” Pangilinan said.
Tara! Maglipay Kita!
See you next year sa Piña Festival!
I would like to thank the following people who gave me the opportunity to witness that colorful festival of Ormoc City!
Mayor Richard Gomez, Vice-Mayor Leo Locsin, Ormoc City Local Government, Ormoc City Tourism Council,Lalaine Jimenea, Pocholo Aragones Franco, Maria Estrella Pangilinan and to all the City officials.
2Go Supercat, Don Felipe Hotel and Big Roy’s Restaurant