LGUs in the Philippines

Iligan breaks own ‘revenge parade’ record, sees biggest fiesta crowd in 2 years

Merlyn Manos
Iligan breaks own ‘revenge parade’ record, sees biggest fiesta crowd in 2 years

AFTER THE STREET PARADE. A crowd gathers at the Iligan Amphitheater hoping to see more on Tuesday afternoon, September 27, hours after a long parade in downtown Iligan City.

Meryn Manos

Thousands lined up to watch the parade that snaked through an approximately 2.5-kilometer stretch in Iligan City

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Iligan broke its record this month as it staged Northern Mindanao’s biggest fiesta parade so far in two years on Tuesday, September 27, two days before the citywide feast in honor of the predominantly Catholic city’s patron saint, Michael the Archangel.

Iligan Mayor Frederick Siao estimated the crowd which took part and watched the Kasadya sa Diyandi Festival street parade at 25,000.

People lined up from Iligan’s old Gaisano Mall to the Anahaw Amphitheater to watch the parade that snaked through the approximately 2.5-kilometer stretch. Then thousands later gathered at the City Amphitheater to watch more merrymaking.

Officials said the crowd was bigger than that of the September 20 Pagpakanaug (descent) parade.

ANGEL AND DEMON. A young man portrays Michael the Archangel overpowering Satan during the Kasadya sa Diyandi parade in Iligan City on Tuesday, September 27. – Merlyn Manos/Rappler

Just like the Pagpakanaug, the Kasadya sa Diyandi (roughly translated as thanksgiving merrymaking) was seen by many as a “revenge parade” in the city that admitted Mindanao’s first COVID-19 patient in 2020, and where all outdoor fiesta activities were called off in the last two years.

Iligan’s September 20 and September 27 parades were the biggest fiesta gatherings so far in Iligan and Northern Mindanao since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, surpassing even Cagayan de Oro’s fiesta crowd in late August.

Tuesday’s 12-contingent street dancing and other merrymaking lasted for hours, from 7:30 am to 2 pm.

The police and military fielded troops to secure strategic areas in the city, and authorities jammed telecommunication signals in downtown Iligan during the merrymaking.

The security forces alone, including civilians who served as “force multipliers” during the parade, reached at least 3,000, local officials said.

Iligan City administrator Darwin Manubag said the fiesta parade was a success despite a relatively short preparation period, and the crowd was beyond expectations.

“Sobra kong nalipay sa pagbalik sa Kasadya. Nibalik na jud ang kabibo sa fiesta ni Señor San Miguel (I am very happy to see the Kasadya again. We are celebrating the Señor San Miguel fiesta the way we used to),” said Francis Joenel Cuabo who participated in the parade.

Jimmy Sale, a barangay chairman, said the parade was a time to celebrate and thank the city’s patron saint for “saving us during the crucial period of the pandemic,” and in times of natural disasters.

Siao, who was elected as the city’s new mayor last May, said he was overjoyed to see Iligan celebrating its annual fiesta the way the city did during pre-pandemic times. – Rappler.com

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