Image taken from Calbayog Journal (Official Facebook Page)

CALBAYOG CITY — In a grand display of cultural prowess, the Hadang Festival of Calbayog City emerged victorious, overshadowing the Tandaya Festival of Festivals 2023 held on Sunday, August 6.

The Hadang Festival contingent claimed the top spot, earning the prestigious P500,000 cash prize by outshining 11 other festival contingents from various municipalities across the province. The vibrant performances took center stage at the Northwest Samar State University, captivating the hearts of spectators and judges alike.

Overwhelmed with pride and excitement, Mayor Raymund Uy lauded the city’s successful hosting of the festival for the very first time. Historically, the event was traditionally held in Catbalogan City.

“There is a high possibility that the next Tandaya Festival of Festivals will grace Calbayog once more, considering our venue and roads’ capacity to accommodate the grand parade. We are well-equipped to welcome and accommodate contingents in our schools as well,” Mayor Uy enthusiastically expressed.

The city’s enthusiasm for hosting more events didn’t stop there. Mayor Uy conveyed their readiness to cater to a greater number of guests at their convention center and hotels, paving the way for more significant gatherings and celebrations in Calbayog City.

In a delightful surprise, the Hadang Festival expressed its intention to participate in next year’s Aliwan Festival, setting their sights on this prestigious event based on their stellar performance.

Image taken from Calbayog Journal (Official Facebook Page)

The Makarato Festival from Matuguinao town secured the second position, winning P400,000, while the Bangahon-Carabao Festival from Gandara took the third place, earning P300,000. The Tinago Festival from Tarangnan claimed the fourth spot, being awarded P200,000 for their remarkable showcase of culture and tradition.

Although not securing top positions, non-winning contingents were not left unrewarded, as they received P100,000 each as a consolation prize, showcasing the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

Image source: Pitik Ni Jomz (Facebook Page)

Following the official performances, the celebration continued with a vibrant street dance competition held around the city proper. The provincial government of Samar took charge of organizing this spirited event as part of the Spark Samar tourism campaign.

As the spotlight shifts towards the Hadang Festival and the warm embrace of Calbayog City as the host of the Tandaya Festival, the stage is set for even greater celebrations and cultural showcases in the years to come. With their boundless enthusiasm and readiness to welcome visitors, the city is destined to become a focal point for cultural exchange and festive merriment.

Image source: Pitik Ni Jomz (Facebook Page)

The Tandaya Festival holds immense significance for the Samareños in the Philippines. Here are ten reasons why the festival is cherished and valued by the people of Samar:

Cultural Heritage Preservation: The Tandaya Festival serves as a platform for preserving and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Samareño people. It celebrates their customs, traditions, and historical roots, passing them on to younger generations.

Community Bonding: The festival fosters a strong sense of community bonding among the Samareños. People from different municipalities come together to participate, creating a shared experience and reinforcing a sense of unity and camaraderie.

Tourism Promotion: Tandaya Festival attracts visitors and tourists from all over the country, thereby boosting local tourism and the economy. The influx of tourists provides opportunities for local businesses and encourages investment in the region.

Cultural Exchange: Through the festival, the Samareños get a chance to interact with visitors and contingents from other parts of the Philippines, fostering cultural exchange and understanding among different communities.

Showcasing Local Talent: The festival provides a platform for local artists, musicians, dancers, and craftsmen to display their talents and skills. This exposure can lead to recognition, opportunities, and support for their respective art forms.

Sense of Pride: The Tandaya Festival instills a sense of pride among the Samareños, who take great pleasure in showcasing their unique cultural identity and artistic expressions to the rest of the nation.

Historical Commemoration: The festival’s celebration of Samar Day commemorates significant events and milestones in the province’s history. It serves as a reminder of their heritage and the struggles and triumphs that have shaped their identity.

Empowerment of Localities: The festival involves various municipalities, encouraging them to prepare and showcase their distinct cultural contributions. This empowerment fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for their traditions.

Economic Boost: The influx of tourists during the festival brings about economic benefits to local vendors, artisans, and businesses. It can generate income and employment opportunities for the Samareño community.

Strengthening Identity: The Tandaya Festival reinforces the Samareño people’s unique identity, making them more conscious of their cultural distinctiveness and heritage. It helps preserve their identity amid the challenges of modernization and globalization.

Image source: Pitik Ni Jomz (Facebook Page)

Overall, the Tandaya Festival plays a pivotal role in nurturing cultural pride, fostering unity, promoting tourism, and contributing to the socio-economic development of Samar. Its significance goes beyond a mere celebration; it represents the heart and soul of the Samareño people and their commitment to preserving their roots and traditions for generations to come.