ALL ROADS LEAD TO LOON as the town is set to celebrate its annual fiesta in honor of its patroness, the Our Lady of Light, on September 7-8, 2016. Picture above shows the imposing Our Lady of Light Church before it was leveled to the ground by the 7.2 magnitude Bohol earthquake which struck on October 15, 2013.

Loon celebrates SidlaKasilak ‘16; 17th Annual Festival of Lights

By: Adam L. Saligumba

          town of Loon’s fiesta ambiance is in the air as the province’s westernmost and biggest municipality in terms of the most number of barangays begin the countdown in the observance of SidlaKasilak 2016 annual fiesta celebration and commemoration of the 17th Annual Festival of Lights on September 7-8, 2016. Loon Mayor Elvi Peter L. Relampagos, together with Vice Mayor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez, MD and the members of the 13th Sangguniang Bayan, led the people of Loon in the celebration of this year’s fiesta activities which are held in honor of the town’s patroness, Our Lady of Light. SidlaKasilak 2016 is topbilled by the 17th Annual Festival of Lights, which showcases a street dancing and dance of lights competition that is held at night, so far the only night street dancing festival celebrated in the entire province of Bohol. SidlaKasilak is derived from the words “sidlak” (meaning to rise, akin to the sun rising at dawn) and “kasilak” (light). Loon’s fiesta calendar officially started on September 4, 2016 (Sunday), at 9:00 in the morning, with the Loon Fruits and Foods Festival 2016. On display were luscious fruits, fresh vegetables, local delicacies and baked products on sale at the Mercado de Loon. It was sponsored by the Municipal Agriculture Office of the Local Government Unit of Loon. Later was at 8:00 PM was the Search for Loon’S Campus Personality 2016. Five young and gorgeous students representing their respective schools competed for the title at the Loon Municipal Hall grounds. The beauty pageant was presented by LGU-Loon in cooperation with the Young Culture Advocates of Loon (YCAL) with Wowie S. Agbon as program director and choreographer, assisted by the Glam Gays of Loon. On September 5 (Monday) was the First Juan “Aning” Relampagos Memorial Dama Tournament, which started at 9:00 AM at the Loon Municipal Multi-Purpose Hall. It was sponsored by the Banay Relampagos and Loon Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines headed by Pantaleon Miflores. The Dama Tournament is open to all ages, young and old, who are residents of Loon. The prizes are as follows: first – P1,000.00; second – P750.00; third – P500.00 and four consolation prizes of P200.00 each. The tournament seeks to perpetuate the memory of the late Loon Mayor and World War II veteran, Capt. Juan “Aning” Relampagos, father of Cong. Rene Lopez Relampagos and present Loon Mayor Elvi Peter L. Relampagos. On September 6 (Tuesday, 5:00 PM) is the traditional “Pagtagbo sa Kasilak,” from barangay Napo to the Kasilak Parish Church via Inang-angan. Devotees are encouraged to bring their individual “parows” and take part in welcoming the image of the Birhen sa Kasilak and in the religious procession. Sponsors of the activity are the Relampagos Clan, Kapunungang Makigdaiton and Future Pillars of Napo, and Our Lady of Light Parish religious organizations. At 6:00 PM on the same day will commence the “Pasunding sa Kahayag,” a homage to the Our Lady of Light which is the only evening street dancing event in the province of Bohol. The street dancing will start from the Petron Gasoline Station and proceed to the Kasilak Parish Church. The event’s sponsors are DepEd Loon North and Loon South Districts, Kahugpongan sa Kababayen-ang Loonanon (KKL), and the barangays of Basdacu, Lintuan, Moto Sur, Moto Norte and Cogon Norte. At 8:00 PM, right after the street dancing event, the highlight and most awaited feature of SidlaKasilak 2016, the Dance of Lights Competition, will commence. The public will be treated to an awesome kaleidoscope of dancing, colorful lights in the midst of darkness that would make one think he or she is transported to fairyland. Sponsored by the LGU and, with handsome prizes at stake for the participating contingents, the dance of lights competition will be held in the Kasilak church ruins. A fireworks display will cap the evening’s activity at 10:30 PM after the announcement of winners. On the evening of September 7, vesper day, (Wednesday, 6:30 PM), a pyrotechnics show will once again dominate the skyline in the vicinity of the Kasilak Parish Church after the traditional religious procession. This will be sponsored by the family of John and Perla Piscos Ruiz. At 7:00 PM on vesper day, the surroundings of Loon South Central Elementary School will reverberate with the sounds of a grand Disco Party interspersed by On-the-Spot Contests with fabulous prizes at stake. This is sponsored by Atty. Monjie Lapez, Jojie Lopez-Pinlac, Joy Lopez-Mejorada, Engr. Anthony Mesina and JML Productions. The evening of September 8, feast day, will be enlivened by a super Disco Party featuring one of Bohol’s best known bands, Centerstage Band. This is sponsored by Bohol First District Representative, Cong. Rene Lopez Relampagos. The week-long Loon fiesta activities will be capped by the Loon Motocross 2016 at the Cogon Norte Race Track. It is jointly sponsored by the Loon Racing Team and Du Ek Sam.