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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sirena Festival of Pasig City

On my way home from work, I noticed that the Pasig City Government began displaying the tarpaulin for the coming Paskotitap 2013 to be held December 15, 2013. I also saw the large display of the letters P, A, S, I, G at Bagong Ilog and tarpaulins reminding us that Pasig City is a Green City and the Recycling Capital of the Philippines.

Homage to Pasig

Homage to Pasig City. Picture taken from pasigartclub.weebly.com

It occurred to me that the tourism board of Pasig City is doing a lousy job in promoting Pasig City as a tourist destination. Although Pasig City has the Bambino Festival every January (which is similar to Sinulog or Ati-Atihan) and the Paskotitap (which is similar to the Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando), I believe that they’re not promoting a festival that’s unique to Pasig City.

Also, the slogan of being a Green City and the Recycling Capital of the Philippines can be applied to other cities in the country, which are indeed greener than Pasig City. So I was thinking of a festival that would be unique to Pasig City – the same way as the Higantes is unique to Angono, and the MassKara is unique to Bacolod. I came up with the Sirena Festival.

Prior to adapting the new city logo, Pasig has been using a unique logo of Mutya – the mermaid of folklores. In fact, prior to being a city, Pasig City has the slogan of Mutya ng Pasig. It was very unique. No other city in the country has a close affiliation with the mermaid folklore than Pasig City, the same way that Aklan is known for the Aswang Festival.

Pasig City Logo

I still prefer the old logo of Pasig City – the one depicting the Sirena (mermaid).

If I were to advise the Tourism Board of Pasig City, I would suggest reviving this idea of Pasig City being home to Mutya – the mermaid of Pasig City. This new festival will be known as Sirena Festival and will feature the mermaid folklore, including the Shokoy (Merman). The term Sirena these days denotes two things – the mermaid and gays. Perhaps Pasig City could have a fluvial festival featuring different interpretation of what Sirena and Shokoy probably look likes. Pasig City could also hold an annual beauty pageant, both for the beautiful women of Pasig City and the gays of the city.

Pasig City’s Sirena Festival could also be associated with the current revival of Pasig River, which is known to be the home of Mutya. The Pasig City Government could probably have more statues of Mutya in different parts of Pasig City as a tribute to the famous Sirena. The Sirena Festival can also promote Pasig City as a gay-friendly city.

I hope a feasibility study could be done to know if the idea of having the Sirena Festival will improve the tourism potential of Pasig City. Pasig City: Sirena Capital of the Philippines.

Ang Sirena sa Ilog Pasig

The tale of the mermaid of Pasig City was retold in Tagalog Klasiks that was published in September 10, 1949.

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