Negros festival celebrates bounty of the sea

Published March 19, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Mark L. Garcia

Bacolod City — A festival that featured street dancing highlighted the message of marine resources protection, conservation, and restoration.

The Sinigayan Festival of Sagay City in Negros Occidental has for 22 years been celebrating the bounty of the seas, said Mayor Alfredo Marañon III.

“We have seen the rough times endured by Mother Nature in this decade alone. Let this generation be remembered as the instrument in restoring it,” he said in a speech during the four-day event that ended Sunday.

Marañon referred to the devastation faced by the city in 2013 during Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Sagay is 89 kilometers from Bacolod. It was coined from the word “Sigay” which is a shell commonly found in the coastal area of the city. The word was eventually incorporated into the name of the festivity.

The city is home to the 32,000-hectare Sagay Marine Reserve, the country’s biggest.

The festival was highlighted by the “Saot Para sa Dunang Manggad” (Dance for Mother Nature) streetdance contest where every contingent wore costumes made from recycled materials and inspired by marine plants and animals like mangroves, sea turtles, shells, corals, and seahorses.

Twenty-five barangays took part.

Other activities also focused on environment and cultural preservation like the Dagway Sagay (Colors of Sagay) Village, Bugay Sagay (Sagay Bounty) Agri-Aqua Village, Taliambong Food and Entertainment Village, and the Sagay Livestock Fair.

Marañon hoped the festival would inspire other people to change their lifestyle by reducing the volume of waste thrown into the sea and by segregating trash.