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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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Sagay celebrates ‘mother earth’


A festival in the home city of the largest marine reserve in the country located in north Negros held its highlights yesterday with street dancing carrying the message of marine resources protection, conservation, and restoration for 22 years now.

The Sinigayan Festival of Sagay City, Neg. Occ. is a festival that celebrates thanksgiving and the importance of natural resources found in the seas and its Mayor Alfredo Marañon III said this is a way to help restore what had been lost by Mother Nature.

"We have seen the roughness of mother nature in this decade alone. Let this generation be remembered as the instrument in restoring it," Marañon said in a speech at the 4-day event that started March 15 and ended yesterday.

He was referring to the disaster faced by the city in 2014 during typhoon Yolanda, that lashed the three island communities of the city located at the Sagay Marine Reserve.

Sagay is the home of the largest marine reserve in the country, the Sagay Marine Reserve, which is 32,000-hectare wide and inspired them to initiate projects and programs for marine protection, the mayor said.

Sagay was coined from the word "Sigay" which is a local shell commonly found in the coastline of the city. The word was also used in the name of the festivities to symbolize the marine bounty found in the city.

Its 22nd anniversary celebration this year, was themed: "Saving Mother Nature... for us and for the future Generation," and Marañon said this theme is suitable to the city's call to the present generation to restore the natural resource and save it for the next generations.

Yesterday's festivities were highlighted by the "Saot Para sa Dunang Manggad" (Dance for Mother Nature) streetdance competition where every contingent danced and wore recycled costumes inspired by different marine plants and animals, like mangroves, sea turtles, shells, corals, and seahorse.

The event was participated in by the 25 barangays of the city, divided into five clusters.

Cluster 4 composed of Barangays Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Taba-ao, and Old Sagay is this year's champion of the Saot sa Dunang Manggad, with Reamay Destriza of Brgy. Fabrica and Jerico Sarona from Poblacion 2 crowned as “Hara and Hari sang Sinigayan” respectively.

After the per cluster presentation, a unity dance was also held.

Other events and activities were also focused on environment and cultural preservation like the Dagway Sagay Arts Village, Bugay Sagay Agri-Aqua Village, Taliambong Food and Entertainment Village, and Sagay Livestock Fair.

Marañon also said he hopes that, through the festival, they could inspire other people to change their lifestyle by reducing thethrowing of waste in their surroundings and segregating their trash.*MLG


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