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WALANG PASOK | Paranaque marks 16th cityhood anniversary Feb. 13

Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez. FROM HIS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - Malacanang has declared February 13, 2014 a special non-working holiday in Parañaque to allow its citizens to join the cityhood anniversary celebrations.

The Palace, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, issued Proclamation 715 last February 7 declaring the holiday.

To mark the occasion, Parañaque City, a fast-emerging tourism and entertainment hotspot in Metro Manila anchored on its bustling Entertainment City complex along Manila Bay, will hold the very first Sunduan Festival, a news release from the city said.

The Sunduan, a tradition that dates to the 18th century during the Spanish colonial period, comes from the Tagalog word “sundo” or fetch. It started when leaders of then Barrio La Huerta decided to fetch a woman member of the comite de festejos from her home with a marching band so that the woman would not be able to refuse being appointed the next Hermana Mayor.

Today, it features young men fetching young women from their homes to bring them to Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Barangay La Huerta. The couples are followed by marching bands as they parade along the community, with the men holding colorful parasols to protect the ladies from the elements.

The Sunduan Festival tomorrow is a bigger, grander reenactment of what has evolved as a courtship ritual, and takes place the day right before Valentine’s, giving the occasion a heightened atmosphere of love in the air, the city government said.

The festival is a brainchild of Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez and is inspired by his desire to see the perpetuation and promotion of the city’s most valued traditions to make today’s youth and future generations aware of Parañaque’s cultural heritage. It is also a way to add to the city’s wide array of tourist destinations and attractions.

“We want to make this year’s cityhood celebrations more meaningful by promoting Parañaque’s most cherished customs and traditions so that today’s young, and those who are not from the city, will be able to appreciate our rich cultural legacy,” Mayor Olivarez said.

“By keeping alive this beautiful tradition, we hope to impart the message to our young that courtship entails more than just a few text messages and mall escapades; that true love blossoms with the blessings of one’s parents and adheres to morals and norms of community and society,” the mayor said.

The first city-wide Sunduan Festival will be held in the afternoon of February 13 as the highlight of a six-day cityhood anniversary celebration that kicked off on February 8. The participants will be led by the mayor and his wife, Mrs. Janet Olivarez.

The participants will converge at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral from four different staging areas. Also joining are Vice Mayor Rico Golez and the members of the City Council, all department heads of the city government, and other participants from the city’s 16 barangays.