By Nora C. Soriño,
Iligan City Bureau Chief
Iligan City — Despite threats following the declaration of state of lawless violence by President Rodrigo Duterte and the brewing tension between local officials, the city marks its city fiesta today.
The fiesta season actually is a month-long celebration with the festival known as “Diyandi Festival.” This depicts the tri-people devotion to its patron saint, St. Michael, the Archangel.
Folklore depicts St. Michael as the protector of the city. People believe that the city remains untouched and safe from rebel attacks because of the miracles of St. Michael.
Launching of the season began first day of this month with the public being made aware of the schedule of activities such as “Mugna” where goods are collectively sold at a specific place. It is actually a flea market, even as other smaller flea markets also sprout in various areas in the city. Other activities include contests like “Search for Miss Iligan,” “Kasadya Street Dancing,” “Sinukliay Sa Kinumo” (boxing), “Gabii sa Ludabi.”
The latter is a presentation of songs and dances of the Cebuano genre by members of the group called “Lubas sa Dagang Bisaya.”
There are more activities aside from these, specially on the 20th which is the day called “Pagpa-kanaug.’ It depicts the descending from the altar where St. Michael is perched. It signifies the saint’s “mixing” with the people to stress his protectiveness and the people converge at the St. Michael Cathedral where people line up to touch his garments in the hope of experiencing miracles from the patron saint.
As the word fiesta means, it is marked with much dining and feasting specially today. The statue of St. Michael will then be returned to his place at the altar of St. Michael Cathedral on the first Sunday of October.