The month of August means another epic month of celebration, merriment, and cheers as the City of Golden Friendship celebrates its annual Higalaay Festival! Despite the feast day of the CdO’s patron saint falling on the 28th of August, the city launched a month-long celebration, with myriad activities for Kagay-anons and visitors alike to participate in or simply witness.
Of course, amid all the merriment, let’s not forget the very reason why we celebrate the Higalaay Festival/Kagay-an Festival in the first place—and that is, to honor and remember the feast day of the Cagayan de Oro’s patron saint, St. Augustine of Hippo. The city’s Metropolitan Cathedral (conveniently located near the City Hall and beside Gaston Park) is named in his honor.
Now that we know the basics of the city’s feast day, it may be a good idea to take a quick peek at the activities held for everyone to enjoy. A majority of the fiesta events have been held for a couple of years now, and they are considered by locals as fiesta traditions—proof that Kagay-anons know how to keep these annual activities alive and ensure that this year’s events are merrier and grander than the previous years.
Based on a couple of testimonies from fellow Kagay-anons, here are some of the most popular Higalaay Festival activities that you should always watch out for. Don’t forget to bring your camera as well as your friends! Just have fun and enjoy the month-long festival activities year after year!
Organized by COHARA (Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association), this is an annual battle of the best chefs and culinary professionals within Cagayan de Oro and other parts of the country. One popular highlight of this event is the Chef Wars, where chefs from various HRM colleges, universities, and restaurants battle it out to cook the best dishes based on a theme.
This is considered a make-or-break moment for those who are working and studying in the food industry, as the awards give pride to the institutions and businesses that are represented in the competitions.
Cagayan de Oro Street Parade
This is the only time of the year when the city’s main streets are in full merriment! Colorful floats, extravagant costumes, and loud music—these are crowd favorites as schools, businesses, and various organizations gather to celebrate the city fiesta in the most colorful and creative way possible.
For those who want to witness the street parade from the starting point to the end point (usually at the Limketkai Mall), you can start at the city’s Rotunda area and then walk along Velez Street to the main highway. Yes, it’s tiring, but it’s definitely all worth the fun and experience.
The Search for Miss Kagay-an 2015
Considered by many as one of the major highlights of the month-long city fiesta celebration, the Miss Kagay-an 2015 beauty pageant features a great line-up of Kagay-an women from different barangays in the city conquering the various contest categories to win this year’s crown.
We hope these activities are part of your fiesta itinerary for the month of August. Have fun and happy fiesta, Kagay-anon!