The month of September is the holding of crowd-fascinating socio-cultural activities, sports competitions and special events in parallel with Iligan tri-people’s distinctive devotion to the city’s patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.
Folk-lore depicts St. Michael as the protector of peace. People believed that Iligan remains untouched and safe from rebel attacks because of the miracles of St. Michael. The story of his installation as patron saint of Iligan continues to inspire and endear him to each and every Iliganon.
Thus, his feast every 29th of September, is a grand celebration in Iligan and has transformed into a month-long festival, the “Diyandi Festival sa Iligan.”
It was in 2005 when the city established ‘Diyandi Festival’ as its tourism identity or festival brand name.
The term Diyandi is an Iliganon word that connotes merriment or celebration.
Further, Diyandi is a ritual performed by an all-female group outside the Cathedral during the “Pagpakanaug,” before every novena and before the start of the Komedya, or Comedia de San Miguel, a folk stage play depicting the celestial battle.
The ritual depicts the courtship between a Maranao male and Higaonon female, and culminating into an offering symbolic of their union and bountiful harvest to St. Michael the Archangel.
Also, the ritual aptly describes the peaceful co-existence of Iligan’s tri-people – Maranaos, Higaonons and Christians.
The famous battle between San Miguel and Yawa-Yawa or the devil is depicted by two actors of each Diyandi contingents; the archangel clashing his sword with the demon’s fork until St. Michael steps over his defeated enemy.
What’s interesting is that even though St. Michael is a figure known mostly to Christians, but Muslim brothers also honor him.
The Diyandi Festival 2016 Opening Salvo on September 1 was celebrated with a mass at the Cathedral, followed by a program held in front of the Cathedral, with city officials, the public, and visitors alike, emanating the essence of the month-long celebration.
While City Mayor Celso Regencia in his message has assured that peace and order is a priority of the celebration. Law elements from the government forces, volunteers are in placed to secure strategic areas where events are held.
City Councilor Sorilie Bacsarpa, over-all chairman, Diyandi Festival 2016, City Fiesta Executive Management Board, who is also the committee chairperson on Tourism of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, bared highlights of activities lined up for the month.
She acknowledged the presence of balikbayans who come home, residents, devotees and tourists alike to witness the celebration in honor of the city’s Patron Saint, and enjoy the festive aura this September.
‘Viva Senor San Miguel’ echoes the chants of the Iliganons and the crowd, usually heard as speakers start and end their messages, in any event conducted, praising the patron as the protector.
Highlighting the month’s activities include the Pagkanaug ni Senior San Minguel from its pedestal on September 20 and placed in a decorated four-wheeled vehicle for the procession; Tartanilla Lighting Contest on September 21 beside Dunkin Donut, Quezon Avenue; Fiesta sa Lechon de Iligan on September 22, Anahaw amphitheater, city hall; Sayaw Saulog 2016 (morning) at Anahaw amphitheater and Search for Miss Iligan 2016 (evening) at the Mindanao State University (MSU-IIT) gym on September 27, city hall; Parada de San Miguel (around the city) on September 28; Silent Drill on September 28 at Anahaw amphitheater; and Procession ni Senor San Miguel on September 29-City Fiesta, around the city.
Iligan City also joins the celebration of the National Tourism Week, from September 20-26, 2016.
For this, the City Tourism Office will be depicting the Durian and Madang Fiesta at the Bahay Salakot, Tourism Office.
Other activities include sports—basketball, badminton, football, volleyball, golf, table tennis, skateboarding, among others; musical festival; musical play; skills Olympic; Lipatlipat of CASSalida BLACK BOX Theater; Drum and Lyre competition on September 24, Anahaw amphitheater; Tipok-tipok sa Kababayen-an ug Kabatan-onan Diyandi Celebration-display of women’s products on September 24, Rotunda fronting Iligan City Medical Center (IMCC); Fun Run; chess tourney; BSP Boy Scouts Fancy Drill; and Agri Aqua Fair.
The 1st ‘Iliganon Kini’ Secondary Schools Quiz Show is an ALL-ABOUT Iligan Quiz Show on September 20 conducted at IDS multi-purpose hall, MSU-IIT.
It aims to catalyze a sense of love and loyalty to Iligan City through a deeper understanding and knowledge of its people, its history and tradition, its potentials and resources, not only by the student participants themselves, but the general population as a whole.
Iligan City caps its festival on October 3 where the Patron Saint is returned to its pedestal in the Cathedral.
There will be a procession joined by Eskrima Pana-ad Lumad Kaliwat Iliganon and the original Diyandi dance group to perform the ritual.
Catching the eyes of the commuters are the dancing boy scout and traffic enforcer in the streets of Iligan which started lastSeptember 1 until October 3. (LVG/PIA-10 LDN)