Cagayan de Oro police on full alert for month-long Higalaay Festival

Published August 4, 2022, 6:27 PM

by Franck Dick Rosete

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The local police here are on full alert to provide security and maintain the peace and order for the resumption of face-to-face activities of the month-long celebration of Higalaay Festival this month of August.

One of festival queens during the Cagayan de Oro Carnival Street Dance Competition in Higalaay Festival 2015 (File photo courtesy of Higalaay Festival facebook page/Wowel Condeza)

Police Maj. Evan Viñas, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO), in a phone interview on Thursday, August 4, said they will deploy police personnel to the scheduled activities of the festival and intensify their security measures.

The Carnival Street Dance Competition (August 26), Higalaay Street Parade and Floats (August 27) and the coronation night of Miss Cagayan de Oro (August 27) are among the activities in the month-long celebration.

The city police already started their security plan on the first few days of this month.

“We are still preparing for that [referring to the number of police personnel to be deployed] so that we can maximize our 1,020 COCPO personnel. We will maximize the strength of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office,” said Viñas in vernacular.

This year’s Higalaay Festival is the first face-to-face celebration as the majority of events of the said festival for the last two years were virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The city government will also conduct the Religious and Fluvial Procession, Mindanao Fashion Summit, Kahimunan Trade Fair, Kumbira, Oro Photographic Society Exhibit, Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show, Heritage Exhibit, Kagay-an Festival Fun Run, Dragon Boat Fiesta Race, and Banda Oro 2022.

The grand launching of Higalaay Festival 2022, spearheaded by the City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (CTCAO), will be held at one of the malls here on Friday afternoon, August 5.

As part of the security measures, the COCPO has also directed all of the station commanders of 10 police stations here to monitor their areas of responsibility, including barangays that have their own events in line with the celebration.

Vińas urged the public to follow the dos and don’ts during the events and strictly follow the minimum public health standards to prevent the possible resurgence of positive cases.

“We also called on the public to follow the dos and don’ts that would be implemented by the COCPO such as not wearing cap, sunglasses, long jacket and sharp objects and deadly weapons,” he said.

Aside from protection against the virus, City mayor Rolando Uy, during on Monday’s flag raising, August 1, urged city hall employees as well as the public to get their booster shots.

“Pagpa-booster namo aron magpadayon ug mulahotay ang tanang kalihokan dili lamang sa kasaulogan sa umaabot nga kapistahan kon di sa umaabot ug naandang kasaulugan (Get your booster shots for the continuation and success of all activities not just for the upcoming festival but for the future [events] and usual celebration),” he said

The Higalaay Festival – formerly known as Kagay-an Festival – is held every 28th day of August in Cagayan de Oro in celebration of the feast of St. Augustine, the patron saint of the city.