MAYOR Constantino Jaraula opened last Tuesday the Filipino Heritage Month celebration with a call to the Cagayanons to proudly showcase Kagay-an heritage and conscientiously protect it so we will have a legacy for the next generations.

“There is a heritage that we should preserve. Arts and dancing are part of our culture and heritage, and this is exactly what this event showcases and signifies – the importance of why we should preserve our heritage,” Jaraula said in his speech at the opening ceremony at SM City Cagayan de Oro.

Jaraula added that the Kagay-an community was not built yesterday but it has evolved and developed through many years by its indigenous folks and settlers who have found the place worthy of being called their new home.

“While history gives us an account of the development and milestones of a place and its people, heritage is the embodiment of the community’s culture and the arts,” the mayor further explained.

In the same program, Jaraula opened the art exhibit of Cagayanon artists displayed at SM City atrium which is located at the ground level of the shopping mecca.

The eight artists who have their works displayed in the SM rotunda are Jojo Sescon, Renz Altubar, Oscar Floreindo, Errol Balcos, Nonoy Estarte, Chris Gomez, Michael Bacol and Find Abragan. For Jojo Sescon, his three sculptures present a series of nude and mutilated bodies, embodying a depiction of the victims of war. The sculptures of Find Abragan and Oscar Floreindo have different stories of their own that relate to their personal memory inspiration.

The month-long festival has for its theme “Atong Kagikan, Atong Garbo”. Activities lined up for the celebration are art exhibits, tours, cultural shows and many more.

Some of them are the following: art exhibits, tours in museums just inside the city (Capitol University, Liceo de Cagayan, Xavier University and two more) as well as a Balak competition The seven tribes of Eco Village in Malasag will likewise be performing and there will be exhibits about bridges, Maranao and Higaonon household wares.

by By KHRIA CARMELA NOBLE – XU Devcom Intern (City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office) JESSEL GRACE VILLARIN – Pilgrim Christian College

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