by: Carl Jacinto
LIVELY, COLORFUL, LOUD, intensely entertaining, that characterizes Ilonggo Festivals. From the loud beat of the drums to the resounding echoes of the music to diverse dance moves and vibrant displays of colors, Ilonggo festivals are all over whole year round.
Mostly anchored to each town’s history, these festivals are also a thanksgiving for the bountiful blessings that Ilonggos have received, a clear testimony of the devotion and faith of the people from Iloilo.
Check out some of these festivals which makes merry making more fun in Iloilo!
CARABAO-CARROZA FESTIVAL, Pavia, Iloilo
Celebrated every May in the town of Pavia in Iloilo, Carrabao-Carroza Festival is a race among colorful clothed carabaos pulling artistically decorated carrozas. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
TULTUGAN FESTIVAL, Maasin, Iloilo
This Festival of Maasin, Iloilo is a tribute to one of the trees of life, the bamboo grass. Dancers perform wearing clothes made of Bamboo. They tell Maasin’s history and how Bamboo contribute to its thriving existence.. Different objects and furnitures are being featured in the parade as well. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
PASUNGAY FESTIVAL, San Joaquin, Iloilo
Celebrated every 2nd Saturday of January, who says only Spain has bullfights? San Joaquin has it’s version of this festivity too… Here, two bulls are placed on an arena to perform the dance of death… But no one dies in the end, the performance is just for the Spectator’s amusement. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
TINUOM FESTIVAL, Cabatuan, Iloilo
Tinuom.. Yes… a savoury Cabatuananon delicacy which might give your tastebud a perfect satisfaction. Not only the Festival celebrates its tasty Tinuom, but it also showcases the History of Cabatuan; the three theories of where its name originated; the fall of the town, as the last defense of Western Visayas during World War II and some of the legends and myths that molded the town into perfection. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
BINANOG FESTIVAL, Calinog, Iloilo
The festival reflects the origin of Binanog dance that has been part of the town’s culture. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
Pintados de Passi, Passi City, Iloilo
Here tattoed men, believed to have dominated the early days of Passi dance featuring supernatural traditions and beliefs. (revivingiloilo.webs.com)
KASAG FESTIVAL, Banate, Iloilo
KASAG Festival is a rich tradition in the town and has been held annually. The tradition has been built around a family friendly environment that showcases the great seafood that Banate has to offer. (mybeautifuliloilo.blogspot.com)
KATAGMAN FESTIVAL, Oton, Iloilo
The festival is a celebration of Municipality of Oton’s Glory. From historical artifacts to long-standing traditions and natural wonders, Oton is indeed a very rich town. Formerly Ogtonganon Festival, the festival name was changed to Katagman Festival after researches pointed out that it is the ancient name of the town. (iloiloilove.com)
VIVA LA VIRGEN DE CANDELARIA Y FIESTA JARO, Jaro, Iloilo City
Candelaria Fiesta (Feast of Our Lady of Candles) is a very much celebrated religious event in Jaro, Iloilo. Every February 2nd, Salognons (Jaro natives; sometimes Jareños) prepare banquets for friends, families and other relatives who gather for a celebration. It is their act ofthanksgiving for the previous year’s blessings customary to the Philippine’s catholic tradition.
Jaro is considered to be the center of the Candelaria devotion in the Philippines. (http://www.gigsilonggo.com)
PARAW REGATTA FESTIVAL, Arevalo, Iloilo City
The Iloilo Paraw Regatta, awarded as the Best Tourism Sport Event in the Philippines, is the oldest traditional craft event in Asia, and the largest sailing event in the Philippines. The Regatta is to celebrate the skills of the paraw sailors, and bring a fiesta spirit into their lives. And with the colorful painted sails, this spirit is brought into the lives of participants and tourists as well. (Jonathan Grant)
DINAGYANG, Iloilo City
The Dinagyang Festival is celebrated every fourth weekend of January to honor the Christianization of the natives and to respect the Holy Child Jesus. It is a very colorful parade coupled with a dramatization in honor of the patron Saint Sto. Niño whom Ilonggos believe was very miraculous in times of famine and drought. (www.philippinecountry.com).
This festival has been recognized as the Association of Tourism Officers of Philippines (ATOP) Best Tourism Event Hall of Famer and was given the title as Queen Festival of the Philippines in 2011 still by ATOP. Apart from this, several recognitions was also awarded to Dinagyang both in the local and international scene.
Watch this performance of Tribu Pan-ay, Dinagyang 2012’s Ati-ati Tribe Competition Champion and Aliwan Festival 2012’s Champion.
Feel the Iloilo Fever. Here’s a list of the many festivals happening in Iloilo from January to December.
*festival dates are based from www.exploreiloilo.com