MANILA, Philippines — The City of Santiago in Isabela celebrates unity in diversity as it holds the 12th Pattaradday Festival from May 1-7 and its 17th Cityhood Anniversary.
Culled from the Ibanag word for unity, Pattaradday formally commenced on May 1 with the opening of the trade fair, Santa Cruzan and Oktoberfest sa Mayo.
“Pattaradday Festival is an inclusive event which unifies the 17 ethno-linguistic groups in the city, but it tries to be more artistic and cultural, rather than touristic,” says Santiago City Mayor Amelita Navarro who inaugurated the first festival in 2000.
She said that the festival was initiated by civic leaders, the Art Association of Santiago, concerned citizens and the city government to showcase local identity and Santiago’s origins.
She added that Santiago is also home to Muslim, Chinese and Indian minorities, making it a melting pot in northern Luzon and a city living in unity despite diversity.
The festival’s locus is the Grand Character Parade on May 5, which will highlight Santiago’s declaration as a “character city” last February. A local government unit is declared a “character town or city” if it integrates the development of the people’s moral values in its governance programs.
It will be followed by street dancing and float competitions, portraying the “La Gran Batalla” based on a Moro-Moro dance tradition depicting St. James The Apostles’ conquest of the Moors.
The street parade will also have visiting street dancers from the Ibon Ebon Festival of Candaba, Pampanga; Bangus Festival of Dagupan City; Pandan Festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan, Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City; San Fernando City, La Union; Dinalungan, Aurora; and Northern Luzon University in Dagupan City
Also participating are the 5th Philippine Army Infantry Division Band
Article source: Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online
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