By Marie Tonette Marticio
ORMOC CITY – Over 40,000 spectators lined up the streets and the city plaza here as eight contingents from different schools competed for the street dance and grand showdown presentation in the Third Piña Festival Sunday afternoon.
Dressed in their colorful and illuminated costumes featuring Ormoc’s queen pineapple, the dancers, as well as the government officials headed by Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and Mayor Richard Gomez, wowed the crowd with their graceful moves of the piña dance, depicting the planting to harvesting process.
Mayor Gomez was elated with the outcome of the festival through the help of various socio-civic groups, the Cultural Foundation and the Ormoc Chamber.
“This festival brings us together as a people. We refine the program every year, and I’ve seen that the participants have leveled up this year,” he shared.
In order to keep the area secure, 1,200 personnel from the police, army and force multipliers were deployed for their month-long activities. He added they have been working hard to maintain their status as the safest city in the Philippines.
STI College of Ormoc (Pundok sa Nagkahi-usang Ormocanon) was declared as the grand slam champion, winning for three straight years now. They received P500,000 cash and a plaque.
The school also won second runner up for the Pina Festival Queen, Best in Festival Costume, Best in Choreography and Best Street Dancing competitions.