Festival honoring coconut unites CDO, Misamis Oriental leaders
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — A festival honoring the economic significance of a coconut variety has brought together the leaders of this capital city of northern Mindanao and Misamis Oriental province.
For the first time in its already 10-year history, Cagayan de Oro collaborated in the celebration of the Kuyamis Festival, a brainchild of former Misamis Oriental governor and now Rep. Yevgeny Vincente Emano.
Part of the festival activities is the Paglaum MisOr-Rise CDO Cup, a sporting event underpinned by the Cagayan de Oro local government.
The weeklong festival that culminated on Friday was held at the Misamis Oriental Integrated Sports Complex, also known as the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Center.
Due to political differences between the previous leaderships, Cagayan de Oro has been coy about participating in the festival. So, too, was the provincial government with respect to Cagayan de Oro’s Higalaay (Friendship) Festival, even as the provincial capitol is located in the city. The atmosphere changed in 2022 when Peter Unabia won as provincial governor and Rolando Uy as city mayor.
“This will be history in the making, MisOr (Misamis Oriental) and CDO (Cagayan de Oro) working together for the first time,” Unabia said.
The festival is a key tourism event of Misamis Oriental that draws visitors mainly to Cagayan de Oro City where the activities are held.
On Friday, contingents from 15 towns bested each other in street dancing performances. Earlier in the week, a booth competition, dance craze, “laro ng lahi” (traditional sports), battle of the bands, and the Paglaum MisOr-Rise CDO Cup were held.
The nascent partnership between Unabia and Uy bodes well for recent initiatives to redevelop the Pelaez sports center, which is jointly owned by the Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental local governments and the Department of Education, to boost tourism.
Misamis Oriental provincial administrator John Venice Ladaga said the plan is to upgrade the facility into a high-standard sporting venue.