Witnessing one of the grand events of the City of Golden Friendship’s annual fiesta last August was one to remember. That was why I had thought of bringing my camera to treasure the memories in photographs.

This wasn’t the first time that I had taken photos of the Civic Parade, a major highlight of the Higalaay Festival wherein contingents from academic institutions, local organizations and companies that contribute to the city’s progress march on the streets in an array of colors and dances. The first time I did this was for our Photojournalism Class with my batchmates when I was in third year college. Like most of the crowd along the streets, I was awed by the spectacle.

Some of the photos I took are shown in this post.

I was with friends I had met in college when we watched the gallantry of military men marching on foot or riding bicycles, the grace of dancers with their majorettes twisting to the beat of drums and trumpets, the smiles and waves of local icons as well as those of politicians in the city. The heat of the bright morning sun didn’t matter as long as there was warmth by the collaborative joy around us.

It was my experience as a spectator in the Civic Parade that led me to think about unity. While there has been an occasional divide in the nation in matters of politics, religion and views of morality particularly related to recent occurrences reported by the media and subjected to arguments on social media, it was seeing the rare instance for people of all backgrounds in the community of Cagayan de Oro to come together and take part in the celebration.

To me, this exudes more brilliance than all colors combined. Every smile displayed on either spectator or performer was a testimony of the joy of the celebration. Every moment was a gem more precious than the mythic gold buried in the city. Every beat, whether those of the drums or of the heart, shared the rhythm of mutual happiness that transcends beyond conflicting beliefs and stances but is made evident in celebrations like this.

As my friends and I followed the parade from the circular path of the Rotunda, to the wide concretes of Velez St., and all the way to the urbanized establishment of Lim Ket Kai Center, my steps led me to sights usually ignored in common days – people relishing the grandeur of the parade, proving that a momentous happiness can be an essential tool for unity despite fleeting and rare.

Even though it happens only once every year, the possibility for unity can still exist on a regular basis. One example can be doing simple acts of kindness to people one may encounter every day. The Civic Parade just provides a glimpse of such reality, but it can happen if, like the spectators or performers, everyone initiates to take part on the road of life just as they did during the celebration.

We can do our part in simple acts, gaze at their colorful results, and capture every single moment and treasure their memories in our hearts.


Angelo Lorenzo seeks for adventure. But instead of riding a train, flying a plane, or sailing a ship, he faces a blank page and drums his fingers on keys. Sometimes he gets lost, sometimes he knows where he's going. What he is sure of is that adventures are worth the taking; and a page wholly written is a step further taken. Part of his journeys are found in The Lost Targaryen.

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