On September 28, the people of Metro Manila, including some foreigners, got a glimpse of what the city of Calbayog could offer once they come and visit the city. It was on this city hosted the recently-concluded Rayhak ha Sinirangan Bisayas ha Intramuros, an event sponsored by the Department of Tourism aimed to draw tourists to the region.
To set the whole event at the right tone, a Holy Mass was said with Msgr. Albert Songo, chaplain of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, officiating it with the Calbayog Concert Chorus on the background.
The cultural presentation, held at the Clamshell, the main venue of the 15-day event, started at two oclock in the afternoon and ended four hours later.
City Mayor Mel Senen S. Sarmiento, who is also the regional vice chair of the Eastern Visayas Tourism Council, delivered the opening remarks. And his eloquent manner, he reminded everyone that there is so much the whole of Eastern Visayas could offer to its visitors as he issued an appeal among regional officials to unite and work as one in promoting the whole region as a prime tourist attractions.
And to a raucous beat, the now recognized Sarakiki-Hadang Festival started the whole cultural stage presentation. And as expected, the high crowd that gathered on that day, gave the performers a wild applause.
This was immediately followed by a song and dance presentation which ran on the theme of the evolution of the local dances and songs. The songs were comprised of the composition of Jose Gomez, the eminent Calbayognon who composed CALBAYOG, the anthem of Calbayog City, down to the number one hit song of the region: SADTO.
These dances were various pieces made by local choreographers: Alibangbang, Rayhak, Pandaggado, Kuratsa, among others.
Then it was time to laugh as the comedy play "Si Buloy at si Pudok sa Manila" na made their presentation.
The story goes this way: two from Brgy. Calucnayan came to the Big City to fulfill their dreams but only to suffer some hardships and setbacks in the Big City. Suffice it to say, the tragic-comedy show, which was participated by the grantees of the Calbayog Kahiaraan Scholarship Program, touch many of those who watched the show.
Again, the presentation, despite its somewhat dark theme, brought the house down.
But without doubt, one of the most anticipated number during the cultural presentation was the maiden presentation of Siano Band outside the region.
The group together with the Voice Tag Band, belted out some of the regions most well-known songs and of course, their own composition.
The audience, many hardly understand the Leyte-Samarnon dialect lapped up when the group rendered their Pinalangga Mo Ako (Sadto), undeniably, a ditty that created revival of locally-written songs in the region.
Needless to say, the hosting of the city was a success just like the festival itself. Spotted among those in the audience were Rep. Reynald S. Uy, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Vic Domingo; Tourism Usec. Armand Areza; Leyte Gov. and Chairperson of the Regional Tourism Council Remedios Matin Petilla; Samar Gov. Mila Tan, among others.
The whole affair was ably hosted by Ronald Ladrero Ricafort of the City Tourism Office and a columnist of this paper. (Joey A. Gabieta - LSDE)