This year’s Sandurot Festival, this city’s premier cultural festivity, will kick off on September 8 and culminate on September 17.
Earlier this year, Dumaguete City officials announced that the annual Sandurot Festival will be moved to September from November.
In a press briefing held recently at the City Session Hall, Mayor Felipe Remollo noted that the Sandurot Festival, which traditionally is an adjunct of the city festival celebration, will now be a standalone activity.
“This is rightfully so because it has to be given that much exposure and importance to bring in tourists and introduce Dumaguete’s and Negros Oriental’s rich heritage,” Mayor Remollo said.
City Tourism Officer Jacqueline Antonio said that holding the Sandurot Festival in September is more efficient for the city since the winning contingent will represent Dumaguete during the Buglasan Festival in October.
“In terms of logistics, having a standalone festival is more manageable for the staff of the LGU. The city’s charter day in November will focus on community activities,” Antonio said.
“September is also Tourism Month but it is usually a lean season for visitors. Having Sandurot in September should bring guest visitors to Dumaguete City,” Antonio added.
She also disclosed that since last year, the city government has been preparing for a culture-based festival and part of its preparation is conducting choreography workshops facilitated by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Aside from this, the city government also partnered with the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for a one-week workshop on music, set design and props, and festival management held last June to enhance the conduct of the Sandurot festival this year.
Some of the highlights of the Sandurot Festival this year include Paghihimamat (Get together) on September 16, 2:00 p.m. at the Rizal Boulevard, Pasigarbo (Streetdance) at 3:00 p.m. at the city streets, and the Pasundayag (Showdown) at Quezon Park.
The city government will also continue the Duma Comida Food Festival which was started last year. This event will be held for the whole week at Rizal Boulevard.
There will also be the Terra-Cotta Pottery Exhibit by Takeshi Maruyama, resident pottery artist of Foundation University, on September 9 until September 17 at Paseo Perdices.
Another event is the Electric Night organized by the Negros Oriental State University in coordination with the City Sports Office. The event will start at 5:00 p.m. from Rizal Boulevard to Quezon Park.
Antonio also announced that there will also be a Local Producers Bazaar on September 13 until 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
“It’s a five-day event promoting a wide collection of locally crafted products, souvenir items, food, pastries, gift items, and wearable arts,” Antonio said.
The City Government will also hold “Dulang Pinoy” Filipino Traditional Games on September 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Quezon Park. This event is open for kids aged seven to 13 years old.
The newest event is the National Drone Race on September 16 and 17, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at RUSI Ball Field where 30 participants from Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao are expected to join.
To cap the five-day festivity, the city government will hold a 21-kilometer half marathon on Sept. 17 starting at 4:30 a.m. at City Hall Quadrangle.
The marathon will cover barangays Poblacion 2, 3, 4 and 5, Calindagan, Tabuc-tubig, Bagacay, Bajumpandan, Cantil-e, Talay, Junob, Taclobo, Daro, Piapi, Bantayan and Looc.
Meanwhile, 11 contingents will participate in the Sandurot Festival street dancing and showdown, of which six are school-based contingents while the remaining five are community contingents.
Participating contingents are Asian College, Piapi High School, Dumaguete City High School, Junob National High School, Metro Dumaguete College, Silliman University, Barangay Banilad, Barangay Cantil-e, Barangay Junob, Barangay Looc, and Barangay Daro.
This year, the theme of Sandurot Festival is “Pulang Yuta” (Red Earth), anchored on the history and heritage of Dumaguete City and the resourcefulness and creativity of the ancestors of its people.
“Sandurot” in Cebuano means “to mingle” or “to associate” with other people, usually in friendship, harmony and peace.
The budget allocated by the city government for this year’s Sandurot Festival is pegged at P2.5 million. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)