Spectacular lights to dominate La Union at the 5th Sillag Festival

LA UNION, March 31 -- The 5th Sillag Festival will once again showcase a display of spectacular lights in La Union from April 7 to 9, 2017 with around 150,000 people expected to participate in various activities which will be held at the Poro Point Baywalk Area.

The Sillag Festival is known for signifying hope in its major events: the Lighting of Sillag Village, Lantern Fluvial Parade, Hope Lanterns, the Sunset Run for Hope and the Street Dancing Competition with light adornments.

Sillag comes from the Ilocano word sellag which means moonbeam or illumination from the moon.

The first day of the festival will officially start at 6 a.m. with the Sillag Golf Cup slated at The Cliffs Golf Club in Thunderbird Resorts inside the Poro Point Freeport Zone (PPFZ).

Other featured activities for Day 1 will start in the late afternoon and continue until nighttime. The opening of the Sillag Delights�a trade and food fair showcasing La Union's products and cuisine�will jumpstart the afternoon activities at 4 p.m., followed by the ZUMBay (Zumba by the bay), Sunset Run for Hope, the hope lantern ceremony titled A Thousand Lanterns for a Thousand Dreams, and a Cueshe concert. These activities will be held at the Poro Point Baywalk.

The Fluvial Race or Bancathon (marathon of bancas, a Filipino term for boats) which will happen at the San Fernando Seaport at 6 a.m. will start the activities on the second day. The afternoon activities will start at 3 p.m. at the Poro Point Baywalk and will include the Kite Flying Competition and the Street Dancing Competition with dancers wearing light emitting costumes. The second day will wrap up with a concert by Hale at 9:30 p.m.

The third day of the festival will be action-packed with all activities starting in the afternoon at 4 p.m.�the Air Show, followed by the Cosplay by the Bay, LED and Fire Dancers, a Pyromusical Show, and a concert by Callalily which will start at 8:45 p.m. These activities will also happen at the Poro Point Baywalk Area.

To grasp the rich symbolism of hope incorporated in Sillag Festival, it is important to understand how hope is represented in the festival's main events. The Lighting of Sillag Village demonstrates the importance of having a strong sense of community while helping each individual to be resilient and to believe that one can always hope for a better tomorrow.

Similarly, the Lantern Fluvial Parade, which will be participated in by government agencies and companies in La Union, represents hope as it will showcase illuminated and fully-decorated boats coming back safely to shore be guided by the light emitted from the Poro Point Lighthouse.

The Sunset Run for Hope gives the anticipation that as the day ends, a bright new day beckons. This fun run will have 3-kilometer, 5-kilometer, and 7-kilometer divisions, with male and female categories.

Meanwhile, the Street Dancing Competition with light adornments shows that each person can be a source of light to his fellow human beings.

Through these meaningful activities, Sillag Festival offers visitors a unique experience in La Union as a counterpart of Baguio City's Panagbenga Flower Festival and Clark's International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

The annual staging of the Sillag Festival has benefited the tourism industry of North Luzon through the generation of businesses in the region. The festival positions La Union as the beacon of socio-economic development in North Luzon.

The Sillag Festival was launched by the Poro Point Management Corporation in 2012 in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the local government of La Union and Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos.

Be updated on the Sillag Festival 2017 by visiting its Facebook Page: @sillagfestivaloflights.

Source; Philippines Information Agency