“This is probably the biggest festival our town will be hosting. We prepared a lot; we invested a lot also,” San Remigio Mayor Alfonso Pestolante told SunStar Cebu on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Pestolante anticipates a surge in both local and international visitors, including those former residents who have moved to other places, though he cannot provide exact figures.
The festival aims to bring more local and foreign tourists to San Remigio to promote its local beach resorts, diving spots and other businesses.
Lapyahan is a Cebuano word for “shoreline.” The town is most known as the municipality with the longest shoreline in Cebu Island at 42 kilometers.
The Lapyahan Festival is among the activities of the San Remigio Fiesta from May 6-16, 2023 that culminates in street dancing and a festival showdown on May 16.
Local establishments expect tourists to boost business during the festival as they expect an increase in room reservations at the beach resorts along the Lapyahan San Remigio stretch.
The festival also features the native delicacies of the town including the manok sa lutong kawayan, which is prepared in a bamboo culm roasted over flamed charcoal.
The Lapyahan Festival, which aligns with the feast day of St. John Nepomuceno on May 16, highlights the vast stretch of white sand beach of Lapyahan Sa San Remigio.
The mayor said the town is ready to accommodate the influx of tourists during the festival day.
Mchijel Dabalos, head information officer of San Remigio, claimed that this will be the biggest and grandest celebration of the festival since its inception 12 years ago.
Dabalos said the municipality has poured P2.4 million for the festival, the bulk of which will go to the winners for this year’s Lapyahan Festival.
Some P1.8 million will go toward the prizes for the Lapyahan Festival Street Dancing and Ritual Showdown, and as a form of support, each cluster is given a substantial amount of subsidy.
They have provided the participating clusters with a stipend of around P120,000 to help them in their preparation.
The 27 barangays in San Remigio are grouped into 13 clusters, with every cluster expected to perform a five-minute routine in the ritual showdown contest.
The remaining P600,000 is allocated for the festival queen competition, which will award the “Lapyahan Festival Queen” title to the winner and other minor titles.
On the festival day, the town expects a visit from Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and the board members of the Provincial Capitol, as well as mayors of the adjacent towns and city in northern Cebu.
The town already declared both May 15 and 16 as non-working holidays, as May 15 is also the fiesta day of St. Isidro Labrador.
Work in government offices and classes are suspended for the community to participate in the fiesta activities. / KJF