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Monday, January 12, 2015

“Pangadyian Festival” reenactment held

By Gideon C. Corgue 

PAGADIAN CITY – The opening salvo of “Pangadyian” Festival reenactment was held on Friday afternoon at Wharf Area here.

The reenactment was performed by the Melengas dance ensemble of the Western Mindanao State University-External Studies Unit (WMSU-ESU) with a stage play production in dances depicting the earliest historical account of Pagadian.

Dressed in their bright colored costumes, the dancers offered a true-to-life dance ritual depicting the life of Pagadianon’s in 1950’s and gave thanks to the miraculous Santo Nino for extending special protection to the Subanons, the first settlers of Pagadian City.

“Pangadyian festival” is a new term coined by the Fiesta Executive Council and the city government officials replacing “Pasalamat Festival”, an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January, and is the center of the Santo Nino celebration. Formerly the festival was called “Zambulawan” then it was changed to “Pasalamat” and lately “Pangadyian.”

Sto. Nino Parish administrator Rev. Father Rico Sayson, chairman of Fiesta Executive Council 2015 said “Pangadyian,” according to the research conducted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), historians, writers, authors and media in Manila, is a term which connotes a thanksgiving to patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, for all the blessings received in the year.

Sayson cited two most important historical accounts, namely, the horrendous Malaria outbreak which claimed hundreds of lives of the residents, and the crossing over of early settlers on the Illana Bay which they had experienced strong winds and huge waves every time they would attempt to cross the sea.

“Because of their strong faith and devotion to Sr. Santo Niño, the spread of malaria was completely controlled and the infected malaria patients were miraculously healed. Also, the early settlers were no longer experienced fear in crossing the sea because raging storm of wind and waves calmed,” Sayson explained.

Sayson said there is a need for the faithful Catholics to know the evolution of “Pangadyian Festival” for them to fully understand that there was festival born in Pagadian, which the faithful failed to appreciate and recognize in the past decades.

Sayson said during the annual fiesta celebration, Pagadianons were used to copy the popular “Sinulog Festival” of Cebu City. “We don’t have our own identity, thus, we need to implement our own festival here,” he added.

Sayson said the church is interested in preserving and promoting “Pangadyian” dancing as a living example of a real and unique Cebuano culture.

In his message, Mayor Romeo Pulmones was grateful to the Fiesta Executive Council for the reenactment saying “it has provided the public especially the students a sufficient knowledge on what the festival is all about.”

Pulmones also expressed his profound thanks to the owners of business establishments for their active support and cooperation adding that they have provided sound system in their respective establishments and played the “Pasalamat Festival” jingle during the procession of the holy image of Sr. Sto Niño in the major streets.

Pulmones said the reenactment marked the official opening of the weeklong celebration of “Pangadyian Festival.