General Santos City (September 6, 2017) - The mighty tuna is again put in the spotlight for the annual Tuna Festival of General Santos City.
Celebrating the festival’s 19th year, the Local Government of General Santos officially opened the festival last September 1, Friday, with the theme, “A PEACEtival of fun – Bida sa Saya, Bida sa Tuna!” which celebrates both the abundance of tuna and sea produce in General Santos City and the calls for sustainable peace throughout Mindanao.
Mayor Ronnel Chua Rivera called for the citizens of General Santos to continue in praying for the end of the violent conflict in Mindanao, reminding everyone that the 19th Tuna Festival is the first time that the celebration is conducted while the island is under Martial Law.
“So, dapat hangyoon nato ang tanan natong kaigsuonan na magpadayon sa pag-ampo na maundang na ang insurgency didto sa Marawi,” he said.
This year’s festivities were once again handled by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), with PFDA Fish Port manager Luisito Correa tasked as the Overall Festival Director. PFDA General Manager Atty. Glen Pangapalan thanked everyone for the support to the festivities.
The opening ceremony was filled with modern and ethnic performances. The city’s Oval Stage was graced by OPM singer and Lumad Bayang Barios, and some local artists from Gensan, like the MSU Kabpapagariya Ensemble, and the Kuerdas band which sang “Jambolero,” a piece that gave tribute to the labors of the renowned tuna-carrying workers at the Gensan fish port.
After the live slicing of a tuna by Mayor Rivera and his wife Ms. Jane Gollon-Rivera, Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas, Mr. Correa, Atty. Pangapalan, and members of the 18th Sanggunian, and the city mayor’s opening message, the program was ended with a massive fireworks display.
The 19th Tuna Festival began last September 1 and ended last September 5. (Hezekiah Kit Sales Canlas/VMO)