Hermosa Fest 2023 reaches its climax today

This year’s ecstatic celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival reaches its high point on the eve of Fiesta Pilar today as the city bursts into colors and the upbeat sounds of drums in a street dance Competition back-to-back with the flushing Parade of Lights.

Both the street dance competition and the Parade of Lights will have the same route from City Hall grounds, passing through the main thoroughfares in the central district all the way to the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (Grandstand) in Baliwasan for the final showdown.

With P4.406-million in total cash prizes at stake, the street dance competition will kick off from City Hall at 4 o’clock this afternoon to end at the Grandstand for the showdown at 6 p.m. to be followed by main program commemorating the annual festival, a celebration of the city’s colorful history and rich cultural heritage.

The competition is divided into two categories—city category and invitational category, each with a whooping top prize of P500,000, 2nd prize P300,000 and 3rd P200,000.

Both categories also have separate special awards: Festival Queen P50,000, best in musicality P50,000 and best in costume P100,000.

The Parade of Light, on the other hand, will start at 6 p.m. from City Hall to the Grandstand for the showdown at 7 p.m.

Tomorrow, Oct. 12, is a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga City in honor of the feast of the miraculous Lady of the Pillar, and the day is reserved for religious activities, the highlight of which is the traditional procession at 3 p.m. from the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion at La Purisima St. to the holy shrine in Rio Hondo for the pontifical mass.

The rest of the activities will resume Oct. 13 up until Oct. 15, just in time for the official campaign period Oct. 19-28 of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.-[Vic Larato]