Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas once again recognized the efforts of the citizens of the City of Santa Rosa during the celebration of the Sikhayan Festival 2023 held February 18 at the City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
Sikhayan is derived from a mixture of the words "effort" and "work" that are intended to celebrate and pay tribute to the industry of the people.
In her message at the opening of the festival, Mayor Arlene said it is the citizens’ hard work that was the key to the development of Santa Rosa from a farming and fishing town to being the commercial and industrial hub it is today. Added to this are the growing number of investors who, through the years, came into and continued to reside in the city. These played a crucial role behind Santa Rosa’s impressive progress.
Mayor Arlene also called on everyone to continue to work together for continued development as stated in the theme of Sikhayan 2023.
"Sikhayan is a testament to the unity and efforts not only of the City Government, not only of the industries, but of each and every Santa Rosa family," she said.
Mayor Arlene also paid tribute to the late Mayor Leon C. Arcillas, who is considered the father of the city, for his confidence in the ability of the city and its people to reach the prosperity it is enjoying today.
The city also announced that in celebration of the 25th year of the Sikhayan Festival in 2024, companies and industries in the city will participate in the street dance competition.
"Let us all prove that the Lion City will keep on roaring and will keep on developing... Santa Rosa will be the best city to play in, do business in and live in not only in South Luzon but in the whole of the Philippines," she concluded.
Santa Rosa was formerly known as Barrio Bukol which is part of the town of Bian. It became a separate town on January 18, 1792 and the celebration of the Sikhayan Festival coincides with the anniversary of the establishment of Santa Rosa as a separate town.
Participatory governance since 2007
The City of Santa Rosa, under the leadership of Mayor Arlene, has long implemented participatory governance. It is a management style in which the leader gives importance to the participation and contribution of all sectors in the formulation and implementation of plans and programs.
Because of the solidarity of all sectors, the city receives recognition every year. Some of the awards received are Seal of Good Local Governance Award, Outstanding Anti-Drug Abuse Council in 2021 from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Outstanding SUBAYBAYAN LGU in Calabarzon -Top Subaybayani Compliant LGU and Top LGU Implementer (Cities and HUC) from DILG-4A; Top 9 Most Competitive (Economic Dynamism) – Component Cities from the Department of Trade and Industry; NHA Maintainer Award 2021 from the Calabarzon Regional Sub-Committee on Nutrition; Kalasag Seal of Excellence Award - Beyond Compliant from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; and Finalist in the Most Business-Friendly LGU for City Level 2 Category of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Another proof that participatory governance continues to be implemented is the most recent Executive-Legislative Agenda. The ELA 2022-2025 is a unified plan not only of the executive and legislative branches of the local government, but also of the people. Part of ELA 2022-2025 is the plan developed by Civil Society Organizations within the city during their planning workshop in December 2022.
All of this is to achieve the goal of Mayor Arlene's leadership contained in her governance slogan “Serbisyong Makatao, Lungsod na Makabago".
Sikhayan 2023 Winners
The Sikhayan Street Dance Competition, the closing feature of the festival, was also held. Barangay Sinalhan (4th place), Barangay Macabling (3rd place), Barangay Caingin (2nd place), Barangay Pooc (1st place) won the competition.
Barangay Tagapo was presented for the second time as Grand Champion.
Barangay Pooc received Special Awards for Best in Street Dance and Best in Costume. Sofia Margaret Gamilla Austria of Barangay Sinalhan was presented as the Queen of Sikhayan.
Photos provided by Santa Rosa City Information Office