It’s only 3 days before the city fiesta itself and already some of the major core events are already done with, albeit, with the usual large and loud crowds that is always part and parcel for such major events.
The KUMBIRA was a huge success that brought the best chefs and food specialists in Northern Mindanao in one venue.
The Annual Cowboy Festival and Horse Show near the SM Mall drew in large crowds in spite of the searing hot weather.
The new Miss Cagayan de Oro 2015 was just crowned; the Kagay-an Festival Marathon was a running success.
The crowds were dazzled with this year’s Cagayan de Oro Carnival Parade.
And if you didn’t know yet, Luis Banaag III from Malaybalay, Bukidnon and a student of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan won this year’s Barangay Gwapo held last August 24 at the Limketkai Center Atrium.
But hold your horses, the celebrations aren’t done yet, and as they say, it’s only begun. So, if you’re trying to figure out what to do, where to go, or just trying to find the best deals and sales, here’s our lineup of suggestions.
Higalas Parade and Floats
Everyone who’s grown up in CDO knows that the annual city fiesta parade takes place on August 27 (dubbed “bisperas” in the local lingo, meaning the “eve of the celebrations”) at 7:00 a.m. Almost every child who’s grown up in the city has experienced lining up on the parade route to watch the parade pass by. This year will once again feature the now popular tall effigy icons of famous people from CDO as well as the awesome floats that just get more creative each year. Some foreigners have even commented that the fiesta parade is almost as good as America’s annual Rose Parade.
If you want something with a quieter atmosphere and to pay homage to the city’s patron saint, Augustine of Hippo, a religious procession is always held on August 28 at 4:00 a.m. each year beginning from the St. Augustine Cathedral and meanders through the city’s main Divisoria streets.
City Fireworks Display and Kagay-an Pyro Musical Festival
If you love pyrotechnic displays, this year’s fiesta features two. The City Fireworks Display will be on August 27 at the Duaw Park (near Cathedral) while the Kagay-an Pyro Musical is on August 28 at the SM City Grounds. The pyro displays are usually done in sync with powerful music. National and international Pyro-competitors often attend and fire off these grand and colorful fireworks.
Each year, all four malls in the city (SM City, Ayala Centrio, Gaisano City, and Limketkai Center) conduct a mall-wide grand sale for all products and services. This is your chance to avail of discounted prices and even buy 1-take 1 promos and other sales and deals for almost anything and everything under the sun until August 31.
Higalaay Sports Events
If you love to watch sports, especially special events or extreme sports, then perhaps this year’s sports lineup is just for you:
Retribution: Cage Supremacy, August 27, Limketkai Center Atrium – This is the first ever mixed martial arts event ever held in the city featuring local and international MMA fighters.
1st Higalaay Ultimate Tournament, August 28-29, Camp Evangelista – The first ever Frisbee tournament held in the city featuring local and national Frisbee teams.
Rugby Challenge Cup, August 29, XUHS Pueblo Campus – You probably never knew that CDO has its own rugby team. The underdog Cagayan de Oro Rugby Club goes up against the vaunted Manila Hapons Rugby in a tournament match.
1st Rafthon, August 29, Dansolihon to Mambuaya – A unique form of triathlon with the swimming replaced by white water rafting; it is also unique because it becomes a team sport wherein a team has to do rafting, biking, and running together and must leave no one behind. This is the first ever extreme sport of its kind in the whole world.
Limketkai Cinemas Buy 1-Take 1
August 27 is buy1-take 1 at the Limketkai Center Cinemas and this will definitely be good news for those who love watching movies or just simply looking for something to do on the eve of the fiesta. Ticket booths are open from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.
2015 Fiesta Travel Sales
If you’re looking for travel sales deals for the near future, a Fiesta Travel Sale will be held on August 26-28 at the Activity Center of the Ayala Centrio Mall. You can get travel sales, discounts, and deals from the promos for tours, tourist packages, and domestic and international flights from each major airline. Visit this event for your early bookings.
Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo at Centrio Mall on August 29
If you’re into stars and celebrities, GMA’s Kapuso stars Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo will give fans a fiesta treat at the Centrio Mall on August 29 in order to promote their new series, “My Faithful Husband.” Jennylyn is known for her role in the historical drama, “Rosario,” and recently voted as FHM Philippine’s sexiest. Dennis is quite popular for his breaking role in “My Husband’s Lover.” Other cast members will also be present as well.
Higalaay Garden Show and Agri Fair
For the garden and vegetable enthusiasts, these are the quieter events you can visit to look for those elusive plants and flowers to add to your garden or to buy fresh vegetables for your healthy meals. The event is in two venues: Ayala Centrio Mall and Duaw Park, both lasting until August 31. Local gardeners and landscape artists will show off their garden plants and landscape artistry while fresh agricultural products will be showcased from the different barangays in the city.
The annual fluvial procession (formerly called fluvial parade) is always held every August 28 starting at around 8:00 a.m. It features beautifully and creatively decorated river boats with the central boat carrying an effigy of the city’s patron Saint Augustine. The procession starts at the mouth of Macajalar Bay and ends just after a point at the Duaw Park.
The city’s annual fiesta celebration is always looked forward to by every Cagayanon because of the major and minor event lineup that will hopefully quell every specific personal taste. It is also a series of events that draws in a large crowd of foreigners and Filipinos from all over the country, proving once again that Cagayan de Oro is strongly gaining ground as a recognized tourist and economic destination in Northern Mindanao.