June 12-15, 2015: A Long Weekend to enjoy Himugso in Cagayan de Oro

May 20, 2015

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Where else to go to during this upcoming long Independence Day weekend but Cagayan de Oro — where an exciting festival celebrates the confluence of national and local holidays?

 

Dubbed “HIMUGSO: Birthing a Nation, Birthing a City, Birthing Tomorrow” the joint celebration of the Philippines Independence Day on June 12 and Cagayan de Oro’s Charter Day on June 15 has traditionally been marked with a series of events to celebrate the two dates in history.

 

However, for 2015, the Cagayan de Oro City Tourism Council recently approved a resolution recommending the city government dub the four-day period within the two celebrations as HIMUGSO.

 

President Elpidio Quirino signs into law Republic Act. No. 521 making the Municipality of Cagayan de Misamis into the chartered city of Cagayan de Oro through the efforts of then CDO Congressman Emmanuel Pelaez and earlier, Congressman Pedro Baculio.

 

“The CTC has recommended the four-day period be dubbed HIMUGSO which is the Bisayan word for ‘birthing’ since it includes the June 12 Philippine Independence Day and June 15 Charter Day,” said Eileen E. San Juan, committee chair of the CTC Events and Marketing & Promotions Committees.

 

“The word HIMUGSO also aptly refers to the birth or emergence of Cagayan de Oro City as a trailblazer in good governance and progress as evidences by its recognition as one of only nine Emerging Global Cities of Tomorrow at the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Medellin, Colombia last May, 2104 by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and being twice cited as one of the Top 2 Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines in the last two years by the National Competitiveness Council,” she said.

 

Besides the traditional flag raising and wreath laying on both dates, HIMUGSO will also include cultural shows and the traditional serenata at the Kiosko Kagawasan where local and visiting artists used to entertain the people, the revival of the inter-barangay Balak Competition (the Cebuano counterpart of the Tagalog Balagtasan) and the city eliminations for the Department of Tourism’s Search for Singing Ambassadors.

 

However, to make the 65th Charter Day celebration especially memorable for residents and visitors alike, the CTC is negotiating with GAMA, the association of certified tour guides to offer free walking tours around the city, and with the city’s four museums for free entrance on June 15 (XU Museo de Oro, Cagayan de Oro City Museum, CU Museum of Three Cultures, Liceo de Cagayan University La Castilla Lifestyle Museum).

 

On top of the historical and heritage events, visitors to the city would also get the red carpet treatment to enable them to enjoy the long weekend with more fun activities at affordable rates.

 

On January 10-11, 1899, Cagayan de Misamis (the old name of Cagayan de Oro) celebrated independence by organizing the so-called Fiesta Nacional. The people held a parade, played music, made speeches and fired cannonades outside the Casa Real. For the first time, Filipinos declared the Aguinaldo Republic in Mindanao and raised the Philippine Flag in this island for only the second time.

 

On June 15, the Cagayan de Oro Hotels and Restaurants Association (COHARA) launches the Sinuglaw Festival at the Limketkai Mall Atrium. This is the official launching event for Kumbira, the biggest culinary event outside Manila, which is traditionally held during the city fiesta month of August. Spectators will be offered the chance to sample the various Sinuglaw recipes of the participating COHARA members during the launch.

 

“We are negotiating with the domestic carriers serving Laguindingan Airport to offer ‘seat sales’ with specific fly dates within the June 12 to June 15 period,” said Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo, CTC Chair. “Visitors who visit Cagayan de Oro on these dates would only have to show their airline tickets and/or boarding passes to access special accommodation rates in all COHARA member hotels and visitor discounts at all COHARA member restaurants, additional discounts at the mall-wide weekend sales of all major malls, and special package tours and rates from the members of the Cagayan de Oro Travel and Tours Association (COTTA) and Oro Association of Rafters (OAR) offering the city’s famous white water rafting tours.”

 

Should we elicit a positive response for these initiatives from our visitors and private sector industry partners, we would consider extending a similar package of offerings for the two long weekends on August 21-23 and August 28-31 for the Cagayan de Oro City Fiesta Month dubbed “Higalaay Kagay-an” festival, Pabayo added.

 

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