Donations help town host festival

08/31/2010 - DAANBANTAYAN celebrated its Haladaya Festival yesterday, with Mayor Maria Luisa Loot thanking local businesses, balikbayan workers and other donors who chipped in funds for the activity.

“Puerteng tinabangay, grabe ang cooperation (People helped and cooperated a lot),” Loot said.

The town needed P1.5 million for the festival.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gave P100,000. So did Rep. Benhur Salimbangon. Officials of the Cebu City Government promised to contribute P500,000, but this has yet to be approved by the Cebu City council.

Provincial Board (PB) Member Sun Shimura, the mayor’s son, said the controversy generated by a quarrel between the mayor and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia resulted in more visitors attending the celebration.

Neither the governor nor any Cebu City official attended the festivity.

The relationship between Governor Garcia and Mayor Loot was strained when the governor scolded Loot for asking for funds, after the town failed to join the province-wide Pasigarbo sa Sugbo competition.

Loot said if they have money left after the Haladaya Festival, they are going to use it for the Sinulog Festival in January, which the town has previously joined.

There were 14 clusters participating in yesterday’s dance competition, each of which received P45,000 for preparations.

Among those present were Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr., Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu Province, 4th district) and PB Members Shimura, Joven Mondigo and Arleigh Sitoy.

A crowd stayed busy on the streets of the northern town, watching the participants dance past. Once they reached the grandstand, contingents performed their ritual dance showdown.

A power interruption forced the program to be suspended for about 45 minutes, but the celebration continued then.

Shimura said there were more visitors this year compared to last year . (Sunstar)

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