THE ZAMBOANGA HERMOSA Festival 2019 has formally opened and putting once more the City of Zamboanga in the tourism map as the local government continues to reap accolades and praises for the grandest and most awaited festival in Western Mindanao.
The month-long festival is held in honor of the miraculous image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar – the patroness of Zamboanga City and Zaragoza in Spain, the sister city of Zamboanga – which is held in every 12th of October. With the theme “Diversidad, Resiliencia y Alegria,” Mayor Beng Climaco along with the members of the City Council led the daily programs in various part of Zamboanga.
The festival opened with a grand show of colors, music and dances and other myriad of activities – from the civic parade that coincided with the “Pink October Walk” as part of the breast cancer awareness campaign to the Bandoreal or street parade and dance competitions and inter-barangay Fiesta Arco competition to the Hermosa Festival Dance. And also the annual Cosechas de Zamboanga which opened at the Plaza Pershing and the Smoke Out Zamboanga – Grilled Food Fiesta and Grand Midnight Sale in Barangay Pasonanca.
Climaco said: “The festival is a celebration of culture, history and faith of the Zamboangueños.”
She also invited everyone around the globe to come and celebrate the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival and experience and explore the many potentials of the city. The joyous celebration continues to attract thousands of local residents and tourists to the “City of Flowers.”
The festival is famous for its Regatta de Zamboanga or vinta (sail boat) racing and the “Mascota de Zamboanga” which showcase the talents, craftsmanship and creativity of Zamboangueño fashion designers in creating traditional wardrobe used during the Spanish era. Stalls have been here put up by travelling merchants from Luzon and Visayas to showcase their products in an open bazaar.
Regional trade exposition is also being held during the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. In the past festival, a beauty pageant and parade of lights, including the Chavacano Video Music Festival and a dance party, Danza La Vida, highlighted the event. The festival also features novena masses, cultural shows, agricultural fairs, art, photo and flower garden exhibits, torch parades, fireworks, and carnivals. Zamboanga City had been under Spanish rule in the past and was also used as a base for American soldiers.
The area around Zamboanga Peninsula has been occupied by indigenous people as early as 30,000 years ago. The first inhabitants were the Subanons and Lutaos and later, the Islamized ethnic groups of Samals, Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans. In August, Climaco led the launching of the official festival logo and soundtrack “Vene ya na Zamboanga,” (Ven a Zamboanga) the calendar of activities, guidelines of the different competitions and festival merchandises, among others at the Marcian Garden Hotel and attended by over 300 people.
It also saw the unveiling of the Zambo Hermosa App, an online platform for local tourism, events, foods and places and a collaboration of the Hermosa App NGO group and the City Government. The app is downloadable online where one can get access to the services of the City Tourism Office, get updates on the activities of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival as well as access to tourism products and services offered by the locals.
Christian Olasiman, head of the City Government’s Special Events Team, said the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival celebration will center on three distinct, yet very important core values that defined the bedrock of the Zamboangueño communities and their continued resurgence as a people – Diversidad, Resiliencia y Alegria or Diversity, Resilience and Joy. (Zamboanga Post)
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