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Sikhayan celebrates Pinoy resilience

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Santa Rosa City, Laguna—This city marked its 21st Sikhayan Festival on February 7 with the theme “Isang Tugtog, Isang Awit, sa Sikhayan Pag-iisahin” (One Beat, One Song, United in Sikhayan).

The event coincided with the 228th founding anniversary of Santa Rosa as an independent town in the Province of Laguna.

The event is traditionally held every 18th of January, but was postponed due to the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano last Jan. 12. From that day, the city proceeded with its clean-up operations and in helping displaced families from Batangas.

“The recent events led the city to temporarily postpone the festival so we could ensure the safety of our people and to also enable us to help our fellows from Batangas,” Mayor Arlene Arcillas said in an interview.

Santa Rosa City Mayor Arlene Arcillas gives thanks to the people (top) during the 21st Sikhayan Festival. The event coincides with the 228th Founding Anniversary of Santa Rosa as an independent town in the Province of Laguna. Roy Tomandao

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She said the recent experience of the nation over Taal’s eruption somehow characterized the theme for this year’s Sikhayan.

“We may be from different provinces or regions but it was inspiring to see that people readily joined hands and brought aid for the affected families,” the mayor said.

“Our recent experience with the Taal [phreatic eruption] also demonstrated Filipinos’ diligence and resilience not only during calamities but even on ordinary days when they work tirelessly to earn a living for their families. Iyon po ang tunay na pagsisikhay,” said Arcillas.

Sikhayan, which stands for Pagsisikap sa Kabuhayan (working hard for a living), is an annual event celebrating the Rosenians’ spirit of enterprise that has, through the decades, fueled the city’s economic growth

This diligence, according to Mayor Arlene, also enabled the city government to continuously earn recognition for its governance.

“The commitment of the city officials and government employees, and the cooperation of the people allowed us to effectively perform our responsibilities, and for that we are grateful,” she said.

As traditionally observed, the Sikhayan Festival is marked with colourful street dancing towards the city plaza where an opening program is held. The much-awaited street dance competition is the highlight of the event.

The winners of this year’s streetdance competition are: New Sinai School and Colleges of Santa Rosa Inc. (5th Runner Up), Don Jose Intergrated High School (4th Runner Up), Aplaya National High School Annex (3rd Runner Up), Queen Anne School of Santa Rosa (2nd Runner Up), Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School (1st Runner Up), and Saint Ignatius of Santa Rosa (Champion).

The official ever theme song for Sikhayan was also launched, while a commemorative stamp was also unveiled by the city together with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost).

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