Barangay Paknaan in Mandaue City is preparing for a bigger Silhig Festival this year.
Paknaan Barangay Captain Malaquias Soco announced in a press conference on Wednesday that they have given a P25,000 subsidy to eight clustered contingents from the 24 sitios of the barangay. Every three sitios is represented by one contingent, bringing the total number of contingents to eight.
The subsidy will be used to defray the cost of props and other materials of each contingent.
The first, second, and third place winners will receive P25,000, P20,00 and P15,000 cash respectively, while non-winners will be given P8,000 as consolation prizes.
The barangay is also negotiating with the Lapu-Lapu City government to borrow or rent their bleachers for spectators, and a huge elevated stage for the performers to be rented from Carcar City.
The barangay also encouraged private companies to join in the festival’s float parade scheduled on February 11 to add color to the festivity.
Now on its seventh year, the Silhig festival was organized by Soco to promote the barangay’s own product.
“We promote the Silhig Festival since Paknaan is the only barangay in Mandaue that has an original product, which is the silhig or broom, the source of livelihood of our ancestors,” Soco said in Cebuano.
He added that their product has been marketed to Davao, Iloilo and Manila with the help of their own cooperative.
He explained that Barangay Paknaan before had plenty of Buri trees that made the residents discover the broom making industry. Though the barangay had already cut down the Buri trees due to the danger it posed to residential houses, they still can get their supply of buri materials from the northern part of Cebu.
Every year, residents from the neighboring barangays and other places flock to Paknaan to witness the street dancing and showdown competition in honor of the Sto. Niño.
Another highlight of the barangay’s fiesta on February 3 is the Miss Paknaan, which is also open to non-residents.
The beauty contest will be held on the evening of February 2 at the Paknaan gymnasium. Fifteen candidates representing the barangay’s sitios will compete in the pageant.
This is also the first time that Paknaan will hear the Paknaan Hymn composed by Paknaan Elementary School teacher Frankie Jisoltura.