Friday, October 27, 2017

Illuminating Anilao on its 13th Banaag Festival

Anilao, Iloilo will once again usher the most wonderful season of the year with Banaag Festival on October 31, 2017. This signature lights and sound show has beguiled many Ilonggos each year.

Banaag Festival is a celebration of the town’s local culture featuring inspiring performances, and incredible lights showdown. A tradition that started with fire years ago, Banaag is Anilao’s most important celebration, marking and welcoming the coming of Christmas, with the lights celebration being symbolic of illuminating our communities for the coming of Christ, our saviour.

The town streets are transformed into a magical place as more than a million twinkling battery-operated lights start to play with the sounds.  For several minutes these lights will flash and others change color to the beat of the music, bringing everyone’s spirit alive.

The dance-drama competition is the centerpiece of Banaag’s month-long spectacle that aims to bring cheer to everyone. The tribal dance performances enchant every spectator with dancing battery-operated lights in choreographed movements.

The Hiligaynon word “Banaag” or “gleam,” is a celebration of life and spirit for the Anilaonons.  Come and join the people of Anilao for a spectacular evening of dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes.

With the theme, “Maragtason nga Kasaysayan Handurawon, Itib-ong Kulturang Anilaonon,” the festivity will open on October 2 (Monday) with the Banaag Exhibit at the 5th Farm Tourism Conference and Festival; October 3 (Tuesday) Dinagyang sang mga Tigulang; October 4 (Wednesday) Banaag Festival River and Coastal Clean Up; October 6 (Friday) Anilao farmers and Fisher Folks day with ATOP Immersion Tour; October 10 (Tuesday)  Send Off Ceremony for the 4th CSDA Meet and Anilao Tanod’s Day :Sirinadya sang mga bantay Barangay.”

October 14 (Saturday) Adlaw sang Pamatan-on (Anilao Youth Day) and Balangaw sa Anilao with Color and Music Festival; October 18 (Wednesday) Anilao: Maalam Ka!; October 21 (Saturday) Anilao ports Clinic with PBA, Banaag Food Festival and Exhibition Game: Anilao vs PBA Legends; October 28 (Saturday) Graduation of all SLP Beneficiaries; October 29 (Sunday) Huganas sa Banas; October 30 (Monday) Street Dance/ Opening Salvo, Opening Program and Banaag sa Langit; October 31 (Tuesday) Dance Drama Competition; November 1 (Wednesday) Thanksgiving Mass.

If you enjoy an evening full of festive lights and amazing sights, bring your family to the Banaag Festival, a rare opportunity to witness this majestic festivity.

Anilao is located 40 kilometers northeast or an hour drive from Iloilo City. Comprised of 21 barangays It is bounded in the north by the town of San Enrique; the highest mountain of the town in the west; in the south by Barotac Nuevo; and the Guimaras Strait in the east. To get to Anilao, one can take a bus at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Emerson Franco – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09395804484.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tigkaralag: A Seasoned Halloween Festival in Iloilo

In Pavia, Iloilo, Halloween comes with lots of mystery and ghostly attractions, plus an excellent choice of celebration, the annual Tigkaralag Festival that take place every 30th of October.

The town, headed by its dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Michael Gorriceta invites everyone who fancy about experiencing thrilling and terrifying moments to their annual Tigkaralag Festival. The town has been crazy about festivities and activities related to Halloween and its peculiar customs that fanatics in adrenaline rush and dread would gather around its municipal plaza as witches, ghosts and zombies roam around the area changing the whole scenery.

Tigkaralag Festival is a tiny sample of the excitement and the passion that this charming agricultural town has in store for such an event. Thus, its annual celebration confirms that the town has not stolen its reputation as one of the best Halloween destinations in Iloilo every 30th of October.

Although Pavia does not celebrate Halloween with the lavish fanfare like in other parts of the country, that does not mean this fascinating old town, with its long and tempestuous history, frightening stories, and century-old churches and cemeteries, is not a great place to be for those seasoned Halloween fan.

Pavia certainly knows how to thrill its visitors with an eerie view up-close the parade of its scariest Halloween character. While watching the competition, you may bump into ghosts and zombies or other spooky themed characters present in the much-anticipated dance-drama competition. It can make the whole night just original and unforgivable.

Pavia is actually a wonderful place to spend an unforgivable pre-Halloween’s night with Tigkaralag. A lot of people either locals or tourists visit the town to celebrate this occasion.
And it is quite festive over there and this is why it is highly recommended as one of the best Halloween festivity in Iloilo.

Pavia is an agro-industrial municipality considered to be the smallest in terms of land area in the whole province. It is located 9.6 kilometers or a 25-minute drive north of Iloilo City. It is politically subdivided into 18 barangays bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. To get to Pavia, one can take a jeepney in Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City.

Inspiring Dumangas Through Haw-as

Dumangas, Iloilo will celebrate the bounty of its harvest with the annual Haw-as Festival r on October 26 – 31, 2017. Discover and enjoy local arts and crafts, family-friendly activities and much more!

Haw-as Festival is known for its fun-filled daily events that are family-friendly and open to all ages. Just being in the vicinity can fill you with a sense of euphoria so strong that you are bound to keep coming back for more every day.

October 1 (Sunday) Pamukaw; Opening Program with Painting Contest at 1 p.m., Pamukaw at 3 p.m.; October 26 (Thursday) Tourism Photo Shooting Contest at 9 a.m., Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of OTOP Exhibit at 9:30 a.m., Painting Contest Final Exhibit at 10 a.m., Motorcade at 10 a.m., Blessing of Harvest at 12 noontime, Street Dancing at 1 p.m., Sugbahanay sa Plaza at 6 p.m., Awarding of Painting Contest; October 27 (Friday) Gender and Development (GAD) with Haw-as Festival Pre- Pageant Night at 7 p.m.; October 28 (Saturday) Socio Cultural Day with 117 Cry for Freedom and Liberty – Liberation of Dumangas at 8 a.m., Dumangas Composo and Binalaybay, Educator’s Day at 2 p.m.

October 29 (Sunday) Agri-Fisheries Expo with Farmers and Fisher Folks Forum and Product Display at 8 a.m., 2nd Bangus Cooking Contest at 9 a.m., 2nd Sikpanay (Dumangas Actual Haw-as sa Punong) at 3 p.m., Haw-as Festival Queen Pageant Night at 7 p.m.; October 30 (Monday) Jobs Fair at 8 a.m., Dinner for a Cause/ Benefit Show at 7 p.m.; October 31 (Tuesday) Col. Quintin Salas Day and Haw–as Guban Competition with Run for Col. Quintin Salas Marathon at 5 a.m., Commemoration Program for the 147th Col. Quintin Salas Birth Anniversary with Floral Offering at the Veteran’s Monument at 8 a.m., Haw-as Festival Guban Competition at 2 p.m. and Awarding and Closing Program; November 1 (Wednesday) Ligum-Dulom at 7 p.m.

Fishpond harvest is one of the most important economic activities in the lives of the people of Dumangas. Its people take pride on their bangus and its harvest activities and as a proof of that is the annual celebration known by every Ilonggos as Haw-as Festival.

The municipal government of Dumangas headed by its dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Ronaldo Golez had worked hard in developing this festival and slowly Haw-as is recognized as an established festival in the province.

The coastal area leading to the poblacion of Dumangas gives way to a long stretch of well-paved road with occasional mangroves growing dot the scenery with refreshing spots of green and the island of Guimaras as backdrop.

The roadside features popular seafood restaurants, salt beds, inland resorts and regular grids of fishponds where during fishpond harvest season, motorists are tempted to pull over to view groups of men with bamboo fence-like contraptions directing bangus into the corners of their working pond.

So, if you are planning an enjoyable week before the start of Halloween and want to make the most of those times filled with music and good food, a fun festival should be included in your private, tailor-made travel itinerary.

Journey down to Dumangas and add more color to a vacation with a good, old-fashioned festivity. Witness Haw-as Festival.

The First-Class municipality of Dumangas is located north-east of Iloilo City. In the province, it is located in the eastern portion bordering the towns of Barotac Nuevo in the north;  Pototan in the west;  Zarraga in the south, and;  the islands province of Guimaras and Negros Occidental in the east. It is politically subdivided into 45 barangays.

One can reach the town of Dumanags via Baldoza Terminal along Baldoza Street in Lapaz, Iloilo City and serves vans bound for Dumangas.  For more information, please contact, Mr. Leonardo Quiatchon – Municipal Tourism Officer at telephone number (33) 3612400 or fax number (33) 3612884.

Pagdihon: Heart and Soul of Dingle Culture

Gen. Adriano Hernandez, the town's local hero carrying the Philippine flag

Dingle, Iloilo, in the spirit of getting to know more of the town will host to one of Iloilo’s most inspiring cultural event, Pagdihon Festival on October 25-31, 2017.

With the festival theme, “Pagdihon, Ginakabuhi sang mga Dingleanon,” special events starting its opening day on October 25 (Wednesday) that includes Float Parade at 7:30 a.m. with an Opening Program, Unified Drum and Lyre Corp and Drum and Bugle Corp Exhibition, Agri-Fair, Laro ng Lahi at 1 p.m., Miss Pagdihon and Open Stage Sound System ; October 26 (Thursday) with Senior Citizen’s Day, Teacher’s Night and Open Stage Sound System; October 27 (Friday) Mass Church Wedding, Alcoholic’s Night and Open Stage Sound System; October 28 (Saturday) Cry of Lincud, Raising of Banners, Dingle Tonight, Fireworks Competition and Open Stage Sound System; October 29 (Sunday) Boy and Girl Scouts Day, Farmer’s Coop Day, Zumba, Open Stage Live Band; October 30 (Monday) Street and Dance Drama Competition, Search for Mr. and Miss Teen Pagdihon and Open Stage Sound System; October 31 (Tuesday) Trick or Treat, Horror Night, Awarding and Open Stage Live Band.

Pagdihon offer visitors a glimpse into the heart and soul of its people highlighted by the much-anticipated annual tribal dance-drama competition. Here, all the competing tribes show off their dancing and theatrical skills in order to grab the championship crown. 

The performances features local legends incorporated to local history that rekindles the sense of heroism and a look back on the sacrifices and bravery of their local hero led by Gen. Adriano Dayot Hernandez who staged the first armed uprising in the Province of Iloilo in October 28, 1898.

Adriano Hernandez later became a brigadier general in the Philippine Revolutionary Army during the Philippine American War. As a military strategist, Hernandez was designated Chief of Staff of the revolutionary government in the Visayas in November 1898, and became an aide to another local hero from Santa Barbara, Gen. Martin Teofilo Delgado. He represented the province of Iloilo at the Malolos Congress. He led the guerrilla movement in the province of Iloilo until his surrender. To honour him, the local government erected a statue which stands proudly in Barangay Lincud. Gen. Hernandez died on February 16, 1925.

Pagdihon commemorates the blessings of having a great hero. The week-long celebration of Pagdihon Festival aims to remind the young generation of Dingleanons about their local history and for them to imitate the good deeds that their local hero possessed and the tenets that he lived by, not to mention his bravery and love for his town and people.

Other must-do activities around Dingle: Do not skip a tour through the only National Park in the island of Panay, Bulabog National Park which houses 33 known caves in the area. Take a picture in front of St. John the Baptist Parish. And do not miss the Nautod Wall. For rock climbing enthusiasts, the wall is considered a haven for both hardcore and leisurely climbers because of the variety of grade offerings from 5.8 to 5.12.

Dingle is a Third-Class municipality 37 kilometers away or an hour drive from the city. Its land area measures 7, 750 hectares politically subdivided into 33 barangays. It annually celebrates its religious fiesta every 24th of June in honour of St. John the Baptist. Market day is every Saturday.

To get to Dingle, take a jeepney at Tagbak terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Dane Dizon – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09477424341.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

PAPISIK Restobar: Showcasing Authentic Ilonggo Cuisine

Papisik Native Chicken

Native chicken, duck and goat meat are a staple of most rural Iloilo cuisine especially on special occasions.  They are served in many ways and the best place to try is in  a roadside place run by a former agent from one of the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines as a way to share his passion in eating.  Very simple PAPISIK Restobar in Barangay Maliao, Pavia, Iloilo

Barangay Maliao, Pavia, Iloilo

PAPISIK Restobar of Ariel Imperial precisely captures what local food is all about. He is not primarily concerned by the ambience of a restaurant. What he is primarily after for is good food that reflects the stated intentions of the owner. Opened in December 8 of 2016, PAPISIK perfectly cooked, honest food that used simplest yet the best ingredients that reflect the soul of the cuisine of rural Iloilo.

Kinilaw nga Kanding

The authentic rural Ilonggo cuisine offers a great variety of dishes specialties. Ilonggo food is distinctive due to the blended influences. As to the amount of meat, poultry, all parts of the animal are used in cooking including the skin, blood, and organs.

Dinuguan nga Native Chicken

You might want to try a variety of local cuisine inspired from the ones served best in many towns all over Iloilo.  Must-trys include the Papisik (Pina-upuang Native Chicken), Adobo nga Pato (duck), Adobo Native Chicken, Kinilaw nga Kanding (Ceviche Goat), Tinuom and Native Chicken Dinugu-an. Its spicy or plain Pork Sisig is another favourite.

Adobo nga Native Chicken

The traditional Ilonggo cuisine is dramatically influenced by simple seasoning used in cooking the specific dishes, a habit which has become a tradition ever since. Of course, our local cuisine varies across the country, but one can invariably find everywhere adobo in its local menu. Therefore, it is no wonder that many rural favourites is represented by native chicken, duck or goat. This course has been around ever since.  As a matter of fact, there are many ways of cooking them: one way for each day of the week, to put it that way.

Adobo nga Pato

The restaurant is made up of three open cottages, nipa hut inspired that can accommodate around 120 customers at the same time.  You could not miss it as you drive up passing Aganan Bridge in Pavia on the way to central Iloilo. The wooden tables with medium-sized bamboo benches are placed not too close together. At the center of the cottage is the display area where customers can find out what is available from a tiny whiteboard menu that hangs on the kitchen counter table. 

Pork Sisig

Many of the customers engage the owner in discussions about the food. In fact, most customers have commuted from neighboring Iloilo City to revisit the food. Many would unreservedly recommend this restaurant to all those who value food experiences.
PAPISIK Restobar opens daily from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. It also accepts delivery with no charge for a minimum order of P700.00. All meals are served with unlimited rice. For more information, please contact the owner, Ariel Imperial at 09397778100.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Carabao-Carroza Festival at 45

Pavia, Iloilo welcomes the warm temperature and the gratifying wave of heat with the celebration of Carabao-Carroza Festival on May 3, 2017.The celebration continues to fire up every Pavianhons’ spirit in entertaining their visitors with its annual festivity on its 45th year this year.

The Carabao-Carroza Festival, considered as the provinces’ oldest festival is one of the favourite cultural celebrations of the Ilonggos. It has evolved into a ritualistic occasion that combines the colourful and enjoyable atmosphere of deeply-rooted events of Carabao-Carroza parade and race annually observed every as part of the towns’ Municipal Fiesta celebration.

The local officials are more committed to the core values contained in their shared heritage that makes Carabao-Carroza Festival the longest-running festival celebration in Iloilo.

As early as 6:30 am, residents and spectators partake in the tradition as they fill the parade route to witness and cheer for their favourites. The parade is made up of 18 well-embellished carrozas along with 18 lovely muses and supported by their respective barangays officials and supporters wearing color-coded shirts. The parade starts in Barangay Ungka-I passing the poblacion area and finishes at the grandstand of Pavia National High School. The 18 muses are then introduced individually during a short program.

The second part of the celebration begins as Carabaos compete in a friendly 100-meter race at the football ground of Pavia National High School in categories with and without their carrozas.

This activity is a means of connecting to their past and celebrating their indigenous roots and ancestries. It is observed not only for blessing for good and bountiful produce during the year and for the coming year but celebrate and  honor an important and faithful partner that support those persons involved in the farming industry of this town.  Pavianhons see and consider their carabaos as part of their family.

Situated 9.6 kilometers or a 20-minute drive north of Iloilo City is the Agro-Industrial Center of the province, Pavia. Measuring only 2,703 hectares, this Second Class municipality is politically subdivided into 18 barangays and is bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. To get to Pavia, one can take jeepney in Jaro, Iloilo City.

Come along to the event. It will surely be a great day out. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tubong-Tubong: Celebrating Community and Identity

Tubungan, Iloilo will showcase its culture to visitors from around the province with the celebration of its annual Tubong-Tubong Festival, its premiere cultural event on April 28 – May 1, 2017. A trip to the town should definitely be part of your festival itinerary of Iloilo.

Tubong-Tubong is a joint community-led effort that provides series of special events at the town center. The origins of the festivity may be traced back 16 years ago where Tubong-Tubong reflected and focused its theme on how Tubungan got its name and how cooperation among its people and neighboring towns served as a catalyst for its independence as a municipality from Guimbal.

The perceived need for such celebration was also driven by the necessity to promote Tubungan and its attractions and as part of a broader effort to change perception that the town is unsafe for tourists.

The annual festival celebration offers Tubunganons  a chance to showcase their local culture through performing arts, music, cuisine, and exhibits from different barangays. This year, Tubong-Tubong will open on April 28 (Friday) with a Civic Parade at 7:30 a.m., Opening Program at 9 a.m., Indigenous Game at 4 p.m., Search for Miss Tubong-Tubong Festival 2017 at 7 a.m.; April 29 (Saturday) Sikad Kontra Droga “Tour de Primero: Tubong-Tubong Adventure at 6 a.m., Motorcross Competition at 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Basic Orientation on Driving Protocol and Tour Guiding at 5 p.m., Broom…BRROOOOM…BRRROOOOOM (A Local Motorcycle and Tricycle Show for Safety Driving) at 6:30 p.m., Paindisanay: Battle of the Best Dance Crew 2017 at 8 p.m.; April 30 (Sunday) Diskubre Igtuble (Launching of Eco-Tourism Adventure Activities) at 8 a.m., TNHS Alumni Night at 7 p.m.;

The most-awaited day is May 1 (Monday) with the Thanksgiving Mass at 8 a.m., Sigabong sa Tubong-Tubong (Battle of Class A Sound Systems) at 9 a.m., Tubong-Tubong Dance Drama Competition at 3 p.m., Awards Night and Fireworks Display at 7 p.m.

Series of special events see the opportunity of bringing together the people and communities that participate in this annual festival reflect a shared common ethnicity, heritage, and identity. Although Tubong-Tubong Festival has expanded over the years and with new events coming in, its historic highlight, its preserved customs and traditions is showcased during their festival performances.

Tubong-Tubong was derived from a Hiligaynon word “tubong” that would mean “to contribute or chip-in.”  People from neighboring Leon, Igbaras and Tigbauan settled peacefully and permanently in the area. Their presence led to its independence from the town of Guimbal in May 1, 1938.

Situated 41.1 kilometers or an hour drive southwest from Iloilo City,  Tubungan is made up of 48 barangays and is bounded on the north by the municipality of Leon, on the south by the municipality of Guimbal, on the east by the municipality of Tigbauan and on the west by the municipality of Igbaras.

To get to Tubungan, visitors can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Mrs. Marlyn Tagudar – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09152893395 or at 3960754.

Illuminating Anilao on its 13th Banaag Festival

Anilao, Iloilo will once again usher the most wonderful season of the year with Banaag Festival on October 31, 2017. This signature...