Wednesday, 09 August 2023 16:00


Cagayan de Oro City, 08 August 2023 - The Higalaay Festival took an exciting twist this year as pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in the USA, made its debut in the city. Pickleball, a dynamic paddle sport that fuses the best of tennis, badminton, and pingpong, captured the hearts of participants and spectators alike during the Higalaay Pickleball Demo Game held at the City Hall Quadrangle on August 8.

Enthusiastic participants and curious onlookers gathered from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM to witness and engage in this thrilling event, which was held in partnership with the city government, the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Physical Education Unit, the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) of the Philippines, and Norfolk Sister City Association from Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

The demo game showcased not only the exciting gameplay of pickleball but also the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Attendees were treated to fast-paced matches that showcased impressive skills, quick reflexes, and strategic thinking, all integral to the essence of pickleball.

The collaboration between local institutions and international partners has brought this exciting sporting opportunity to the city. Representatives from USTP, the PPA, and Norfolk Sister City Association came together to facilitate the event, ensuring that participants had the chance to learn, play, and immerse themselves in the exhilarating world of pickleball.

Participants of all ages, from beginners to seasoned athletes, took to the courts to experience the joy of pickleball. The event aimed not only to introduce the sport to newcomers but also to promote the values of teamwork, perseverance, and healthy competition that lie at the heart of this rapidly growing phenomenon.

City Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba, who chairs the Committee on Sister City Relations in the city council, showed her support and highlighted the importance of sports in preventing illegal drugs and negative vices.

The barangay of Carmen emerged as champions in the mixed doubles category. Meanwhile, Kristina Nadine Velasco (CHIO) and Marian Casinillo from the City Engineering Office were champions in women’s doubles, and Augusto Daba (CHIO) and Engr. Kent Malalis (CEO) was the champion in men’s doubles.


In the true spirit of celebration, attendees donned their most comfortable sports attire and came equipped with water canisters to stay refreshed and hydrated throughout the action-packed day. The City Fiesta was truly embraced in a unique way this year, with traditional festivities seamlessly blending with the excitement and energy of this new sports endeavor.

As the sun set on the Higalaay Pickleball Demo Game, it was clear that the sport had left an indelible mark on the city's festivities. The event not only celebrated the cultural traditions of the Higalaay Festival but also showcased the city's openness to embracing new and exciting experiences, making it a celebration to remember for years to come.

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12 August 2022--Five young Cagayanon artists and authors from the city’s public and private schools were hailed as winners in the 2022 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) organized by Sister Cities International (SCI).

SCI is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of sister cities, counties, and states across the United States, which maintains sister city partnerships in more than 140 countries, including Cagayan de Oro, which twinned with Norfolk City, Virginia in 2008.

This year’s theme for the annual YAAS international competition is "Generation Rescue: Sustainable Water for All".

The announcement was made at 12:00 p.m. US and Canada, Eastern Time (12:00 midnight Philippine time) in virtual ceremonies, celebrating International Youth Day during the Youth Leadership Summit 2022 attended by various sister cities organizations via Zoom.


Joining for the very first time, Cagayan de Oro was invited to participate in the competition by the sister city of Norfolk, Virginia through the Norfolk Sister City Association.

In partnership with the Local School Board (LSB), the Cagayan de Oro Trade and Investment Promotions Center (Oro-TIPC), which takes charge of nurturing Cagayan de Oro’s sister city relations, organized a city-level YAAS participated in by a total of 192 students from 12 private and 12 public schools.

The 30 top entries--five for each category, namely poetry, creative writing or essay writing, digital art, classic art, music, and photography--from the city-level leg were forwarded to the international stage.

Cagayan de Oro went on to win the grand prize in music, second place in creative writing, and third place in digital art, classic art, and photography.

Here is the list of winners in the 2022 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (international level):

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