Saturday, December 11, 2010

Iloilo Celebrates 5th KASAG Festival in Banate


photo by Jose de Luna

Kasag Festival truly has something for everyone. The municipality of Banate welcomes its visitors with a weekend of fun and pure pleasure. The celebration is a tasty and entertaining tradition, with music, great food, arts and crafts, and featuring Kasag Cooking Contest. This family fun and feasting event is expected to draw visitors from all across the province and region.

KASAG Festival is a rich tradition in the town and has been held annually for the last five years. The tradition has been built around a family friendly environment that showcases the great seafood that Banate has to offer.

photo by Jose de Luna

What began in 2006 as a small celebration has grown into one of Iloilo’s premier event that draws visitors from all over the province. When KASAG Festival began, its main goal was to bring visitors to the town and support its local industry. A few special events were set up and a festival was born.

People in the community have come together over the last several years to expand the festival and make sure the celebration reflects the festival's proud history. By exposing the people of the town to the festival and its unique goals, the volunteer pool continues to grow and business and organizations continue to increase their support and sponsorships. Everyone takes pleasure in the celebration and locals and visitors show up to experience the fun.

photo by Jose de Luna

The festival’s tribe competition is the most anticipated event. Kasag Festival also offer a variety of other activities: the Opening Parade at 7 a.m. and Banate Got Talent Elimination Night at the municipal plaza, 6 p.m. on December 16; Kasag Cooking Contest at 9 a.m. on December 17; Street Dancing Competition at 7 a.m., Budol Fight at noontime and the Awards Night and SMB Live Band at 6 p.m. on December 18; the Race for Peace, a 30 kilometer mountain bike race is at 7 a.m. and Banate’s Got Talent Grand Finals with SMB Live Band at 7 p.m. on December 19, 2010.

photo by Jose de Luna

Locally-known as kasag, blue crabs support one of the province’s largest and most valuable fisheries. It is an important industry in Iloilo and is abundant in Banate.

Named for the light-blue tint of their claws, bluecrabs have thick shells and 10 legs, allowing them to swim and scuttle across bottomlands. With the demand and good price in the market, marginal fisherfolks in the area make it a source of their livelihood. And because of this, it is not surprising that the blue crab has become intertwined with the ecology, the economy, and the culture of Banate. The town enjoys and utilizes this important resource each year as restaurant fare, as livelihood and as recreation.

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