83rd Dia de Zambo celebration toned down, some events canceled

Despite the global health threat brought about by the dreaded novel coronavirus (nCoV), the city government of Zamboanga has decided to push through with the upcoming 83rd Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga on February 26, but some potentially-crowd drawer activities have been canceled.

Christian Olasiman, head of the city’s Special Events Team, announced during the press briefing yesterday that the decision was made during a meeting last week with Mayor Beng Climaco and some department heads to continue with the annual celebration but tone it down, this time minus those activities that would draw huge crowd of spectators.

Canceled are the Inter-school Drum and Lyre Competition at the Grandstand on Feb 21, the Grand Civic-Military Parade and the Field Demo on Feb 26.

The Main Commemorative Program and the Local Achievers Awards, which were originally scheduled at the Grandstand in the afternoon of Feb 26, will instead be held after the flag raising ceremony at 8 a.m. on Feb 26 at City Hall grounds.

All other activities calendared for the Dia celebration will continue and in fact some events have already been conducted, but following certain guidelines set by the City Health Office (CHO).

Under the guidelines, those who have had travel history to China and other countries with confirmed nCoV cases are advised to undergo self-quarantine at home for 14 days; those feeling sick or not feeling well are advised not to attend any of the activities and just stay home or better yet go to the hospital; and the city has partnered with some pharmaceuticals for the “wet sampling” on the attendees, providing them with hygiene kits.

Among the activities that will continue are the #ZamboLoveFest on Feb 10-14 at Baban Drive, San Jose; Casamiento 2020 (Mass Wedding) on Feb 13 at Centro Latino; 7th Copa de Ciudad de Zamboanga Open Invitational Bowling Tournament on Feb 21-23; Open Chess Tournament on Feb 21; Zamboanga Film Festival Awards Night on Feb 22, and the Open Cheerdance; Hiphop Dance competition on Feb 24 at the Vitaliano Agan Gymnasium in Tetuan, and the Zamboanga Music Runvolution 4.0 on Feb 25 in Pasonanca, among others.

All these will continue even as some neighboring provinces have already cancelled their annual activities due to the nCov scare.-(Vic Larato)