ON DISPLAY. Local products of Cagayan de Oro City and parts of the Northern Mindanao region are on display at the Ginamâ Store in Gaston Park on August 1, 2022. The Food Processors' Association of Northern Mindanao launched the 'Tinagboan 2022' in hopes of bouncing back from the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA file photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The month-long celebration of the "Higalaay" Festival here delighted some local business owners as they bounced back from the pandemic woes, with more people going out this year.

Pretty Gin Tenio and her partner founded Dale's Taqueria food stall in 2020 when the pandemic started, but it was only this year that they expanded to two stalls and earned almost double—from PHP350,000 in August 2021, to PHP600,000 before the end of this month.

"Last year, there were limited customers, so we have more deliveries (than walk-in buyers). This year, food traffic is huge, many would go to dine-in," Tenio said.

In 2021, the Inter-Agency Task Force placed the city under the enhanced community quarantine, further restricting public movement, because of the spike of active cases at 3,300 in August.

With the opening of classes this month, Tenio said sales slightly improved “but was not that bad" since it was still better compared to last year.

Lurpee Gulle noticed the same trend in her apparel shop, Lurshoppe, as most of her clients were parents who needed to spend the budget for children going back to school.

Gulle said sales went back on track beginning on the 26th, coinciding with the major events of Higalaay last week.

"It's better now because children can go out with their parents, and people visit malls as a whole family," she said.

With this, her initial gross sales for August 2022 were around PHP350,000, as compared to the PHP250,000 tally for the same period last year.

City Administrator Roy Hilario Raagas, speaking on behalf of Mayor Rolando Uy, thanked the entire City Hall bureaucracy for making this year’s celebration of the annual festivity generally peaceful during his message in Monday’s flag-raising program.

At the launch of the festival early this month, Uy expressed confidence that the revival of events on physical platforms and economic activities would help the local business sector. (PNA)