The Sandurot Festival 2017 brings the party to quiet Dumaguete
DUMAGUETE, Philippines – The adorable quaintness that Dumaguete has always been known for was momentarily broken by the frenzy of Sandurot Festival. Officially closed yesterday, the town fired up a weeklong string of parties, cultural showdowns and fun bazaars.
Sandurot Festival is all about the story of Dumaguete told in dance, music, theater, crafts and food. It commemorates its history: from the ancient period to the various episodes of foreign arrivals, up to today’s modern times. It celebrates the diversity of its people, culture and traditions.
The festival kicked off last September 8 with the lighting of Dumaguete Belfry, an 1811 bell tower standing next to the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria. On the same night, Duma Comida whipped up a frenzy at the iconic boulevard with gastronomic flair, showcasing the city’s luscious culinary traditions.
The days that came after sparked the town with exciting activities like Dulang Pinoy or traditional children’s games, ballroom dancing for senior citizens, and fun runs. It also showcased its rich arts and crafts scene in a street bazaar. Among the most crowd-drawing local exhibitors was Subida Souvenirs that wowed everyone with backpacks made of banig.
Millennials also had the time of their lives with heart thumping parties, irresistible mall sales, and an exciting drone race.
But the highlight of the festival was the streetdancing spectacle held last Saturday, September 16. Opening with paghimamat or get-together, it gathered thousands of locals, tourists, city personalities and national celebrities.
Soon, Dumaguete was filled with dancers and musicians in the “pasigarbo” streetdancing exhibition. The city came to a standstill as thousands of people clogged the streets in excitement.
The day ended with a showdown at the Freedom Park, where every contingent thrilled the audience with performance stunts. Silliman University, Piapi High School and Asian College were among the crowd favorites.
Sandurot Festival was originally held every November. But with so many activities still coming up on their calendar, it was moved to September this year. Winners will represent the city in the provincial festival happening in October.
Despite all the anxieties of moving the festival earlier – what with shorter time to prepare and a lean month for tourist arrivals – Sandurot Festival was a resounding success! In fact, to the city’s surprise, it gathered the biggest audience ever in the 28-year history of Sandurot.
So if you missed it this year, the celebration next year promises to be a grander celebration. Mayor Ipe Remollo and Tourism Officer Jacqueline Antonio hope to make Sandurot a landmark festival in the country every September, and they’re all ready to make it happen. – Rappler.com
Potpot has lived his life in polished suitcases and tattered backpacks. After having been caught up in a corporate blaze, he is now transitioning back into his flip-flop and beaded ankle journeys. He finds cultural festivals, indigenous art and quiet chats over coffee sensational. Potpot writes on Travel Trilogy and sometimes on in-flight magazines. Follow his adventures on Facebook and Instagram.