MANILA, Philippines – The Parañaque City government on Monday announced its plan to celebrate its 16th cityhood anniversary next month by staging the first ever “Sunduan Festival” to firmly establish the city’s status as an emerging entertainment, cultural and tourism destination in the southern metropolis.
The series of activities will kick off on February 8 with a city-wide motorcade and opening of the first Sunduan Festival exhibit and trade fair at the SM City BF Parañaque and will culminate on February 13 – the 16th year of Parañaque’s formal elevation as a highly urbanized city – with the first Sunduan Festival in the city’s old town center.
“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 how rich and beautiful the city’s cultural heritage is,” said Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
The Sunduan is a tradition in Parañaque that depicts the act of a man fetching the object of his affection from the woman’s home to bring her to church or the town plaza. To impress his lady love and her folks, the gentleman brings with him a marching band that accompanies their walk along the community and towards the church.
The first Sunduan was recorded in 1876 in Barrio La Huerta, and the practice later spread to nearby Barrio San Dionisio in 1890 during the Spanish colonial period. Today, aside from La Huerta and San Dionisio, the Sunduan is still being enacted in Barangay Don Galo and Sto. Niño, usually during barangay fiestas.
By keeping alive this beautiful tradition, Olivarez said he hopes to impart the message to today’s youth that courtship entails more than just a few text messages and mall escapades; that true love waits, blossoms with the blessings of one’s parents and adheres to the morals and norms of one’s community and society.
Aside from the Sunduan Festival and its accompanying mall trade fair and exhibit, other activities lined up during the cityhood anniversary week include a song and dance contest for youth and student groups; a fun run; the Lambat Festival street dancing competition; a trade and livelihood fair at the city hall grounds from February 10 to 13; a Grand Komedya; Basketball with the Stars; and a musical concert and fireworks display.
There will also be a medical-dental mission to benefit indigent constituents; groundbreaking for a socialized housing project along C-5 Extension; a mass wedding for 200 couples at the SM City Bicutan; a culinary festival dubbed “A Taste of Parañaque” featuring popular celebrity chefs and local talents; a drum and lyre competition; and a river regatta;
Other highlights include the Parangal sa Natatanging Parañaqueño, where the city’s most distinguished citizens and top taxpayers are recognized; the Gandang Mamita Pageant for senior citizens; and the Binibining Parañaque beauty contest featuring the city’s most beautiful young ladies.