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Hugyaw sa Sayaw 2023 celebrates women empowerment in Iligan City

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)--As part of the Diyandi Festival month-long celebration, 14 women associations from different barangays here competed in the "Hugyaw sa Sayaw Season 2: Mass Dance Competition 2023, featuring the creativity and talent of women.

In a dazzling display of colors and costumes, women from different associations illuminated the City Public Plaza. Their performances not only celebrated the city's rich diversity but also symbolized the unity that thrives within the city.

Empowering unity

The Gender and Development (GAD) Office of the city government, in cooperation with the office of Committee Chairperson on Women and GAD Councilor Rosevi Queenie Belmonte, spearheaded the competition, which is not just a mere dance-off but a platform for empowerment for women and a sense of togetherness. 

"I hope that camaraderie nga atong ma-build sa atong fellow empowered women sa nagkalain-laing barangay nagpabilin [I hope that the camaraderie we built with our fellow empowered women from different barangays will remain]," she said. Belmonte

Meanwhile, Jules Verne Padilla, the chairperson of the Diyandi Festival Executive Management Board, praised the women's hard work and commitment, assuring them of continued support. He also acknowledged them as champions and winners in their own unique way and stressed the importance of their participation in honor of their patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.

Women of Barangay Ubaldo Laya, Iligan City showcase their talents and skills during the Hugyaw sa Sayaw Season 2: Mass Dance Competition 2023. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Diverse culture

Barangay Tambacan emerged as the grand prize winner. Their performance was a breathtaking showcase of unity among the tri-people in the city—the Maranao, Higaonon, and Christians. The audience was left in awe as they witnessed the seamless blend of these diverse cultures through dance.

Rebecca Paca-oncis, a 63-year-old member of the Tambacan community, shared that they only prepared for two weeks. According to her, joining the competition for the first time boosted her confidence. She is also happy with the return of the festivities after the pandemic.

"Nadasig ko gumikan sa kaning kumpetisyon. Nalipay ko'g dako nga nabalik na ang kasadya sa Iligan sa pista ni Senior San Miguel [I felt confident with this competition. I am very happy that the joy has returned to Iligan with the festival of Senior San Miguel]," she said.

Rebecca Paca-oncis, a 63-year-old member of the Tambacan community, carries St.Michael Archangel statue during the Hugyaw sa Sayaw Season 2: Mass Dance Competition 2023. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Celebrating women’s talents

Other women's associations showcased various themes, including cowgirls, cheerleaders, beauty queens, and more. Each group infused their performances with a unique flair and creative touch, demonstrating the incredible talents and skills of women.

Jacquilyn Tipalan, another participant from the Kabacsanan community, highlighted the event's significance in providing women with an opportunity to showcase their abilities and talents while fostering bonds within their communities. She emphasized how this experience had empowered her by engaging actively in community events.

"Dako kaayo akong pasalamat kay natagaan jud og higayon ang kababainhan, nga mapagawas ang feelings nga dili ra pirmi sa balay kundi maka-participate pud sa pista, makita among abilidad, kay ang tagsa-tagsa nga babaye naa man jud nay abilidad [ I am very grateful that it gave women an opportunity to relieve their feelings, not just stay at home but to participate in the community, and our abilities were showcased because every woman indeed has her own abilities]," she said.

The celebration symbolizes unity and underscores the city's commitment to inclusivity, empowering women, and celebrating their extraordinary talents. It is also a testament to the resilience and creativity of the women in the city, showcasing their ability to shine brightly in a diverse and dynamic world. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte) 

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Lou Ellen Antonio


Region 10

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