Please Reconsider Changing the Date of the Danao City Fiesta, at least, NOT this year

Sat, July 5, 2008  2:57 pm


 July 4, 2008

 Msgr. Emilio Bataclan

Auxiliary Bishop for Northern Cebu

Danao City, Cebu

Dear Msgr. Bataclan,

I am writing on behalf of myself and for several Danawanon friends and relatives who like me were disappointed to learn, too late, you have decreed changing the date of our fiesta from the traditional 3rd Monday to 3rd Sunday of September, thus making this year’s fiesta celebration dates to September 21-22.  If tradition is followed it should have been September 14 – 15, being the 2nd Sunday and 3rd Monday.

There is no problem with us if changing fiesta dates is really necessary, regardless a week before or after from the date it used to be.  However, we feel there should have been reasonable time for information to reach far and wide before a change of date of an important event, such as a town fiesta, can be made. There are many of us extracted from our homeland, trying to make a living in places oceans apart.  Despite the distance we still consider ourselves parishioners of our home parish and have faithfully remained or perhaps even more devoted to our patron saint.

Regardless of status in life – professionals, seamen or OFWs – Danawanons do make an effort to set aside from what little we earned, so we can visit our hometown and see our families after several months or years away from home.  And there is no better time to visit than during a fiesta when friends and relatives show up to get reconnected and reminisce the good years together.

Here in California or perhaps anywhere in the U.S, employers require employees to apply, at the beginning of the year, specific dates of a planned long vacation within the current year.  Generally, U.S. employees enjoy  2 or 3 weeks paid vacation leaves for each year of service.  For us Danawanons we use this yearly vacation privilege to visit our hometown, usually in the month of September.  On my part I had filed and had my vacation leave approved for September 8 through September 22.  I cannot change that unless someone dies in the family.

Further, scheduled to visit Danao City Fiesta 2008 are 20 Danawanons, from Southern California alone, who have booked and paid non-refundable round-trip tickets as early as June, with departure date on September 8 and a return flight on September 21st or on the 22nd.  Then the other day we learned the fiesta date has changed on order of the Auxiliary Bishop.

During the past 11 years this same group had sponsored an annual medical-surgical mission at the Danao General Hospital, scheduled 2 days after the city fiesta.  For the 2008 Medical Mission we scheduled it on Sept. 16 -18.  Many U.S. based volunteers join the mission, for two reasons, to attend the fiesta and also give something to the community they left behind through their professional services and/or financial support.  Although the medical mission can still go on schedule, yet a number of our volunteers would be deprived from attending the fiesta, because their scheduled return is on Sept. 20 or 21.

 We are now earnestly appealing and hoping you reconsider your decision and have the 2008 Santo Tomas Fiesta date in Danao City, stay as per tradition, on the 2nd Sunday and 3rd Monday of September i.e. Sept. 14 -15, 2008.  Then on the following year you may go ahead and implement the dates you want.  And we will be guided accordingly. .

 Thank you.  May God bless you and the rest of your flocks in this part of Cebu.

 Faithfully yours in Christ,


 Ramon H. Barriga

 8211 Winnetka Ave.

Winnetka, CA 912306




One Response to “Please Reconsider Changing the Date of the Danao City Fiesta, at least, NOT this year”

  1. celso on July 28th, 2008 10:51 pm

    It is too bad that they have to change this long standing tradition of the fiesta celebration. I have always thought and considered the feast to be the 3rd Monday of September. The Sunday before that (whether it is the second or the 3rd) is irrelevant. That is not the fiesta, that is just the bisperas of the fiesta. I think the only reason why most of the celebrations and kaon-bahugbahug are held on the Sunday prior to the fiesta is para makapamista ang mga taga syudad sa Sugbu ug uban pang taga lagyo nga dapit. By changing the date, they are now basically saying that they are moving the fiesta celebration from the 3rd Monday of September to the 3rd Sunday of September instead. Did they give a reason why they changed it? And why on a short notice? As you said in the letter, it doesn’t matter what date they want the fiesta to be, but if they have to break a long standing tradition, they better have a good reason for doing so. And at least enough time notice.

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