Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pangibabaw, Miag-ao on its 13th SALAKAYAN Festival

On January 31- February 6, 2011 people will crowd the municipal grounds at the historic town of Miag-ao for the 13th Annual SALAKAYAN Festival and for the town’s 295th Foundation Anniversary

The festival was born in 1999, and during the past 13 years, it has contributed to the cultural environment of the area by presenting local artists with the support of the local government.

It known to be one of the genuine Ilonggo festivals in the province today, it is a truly exciting and unique historic experience, especially for those enamored with the history of Iloilo, a living testimony to its majestic past. The festival has become a tourist spectacle and its fame is becoming well known. It brings to life the history of Miag-ao in a colorful and appealing fashion.

Salakayan features visual arts performances through the re-enactment and street dancing competitions, fine food and other events held in several venues throughout this historic center. It has special highlights daily. With the event coming up residents from all over Miag-ao are anticipating week-long activities that are family friendly and includes the entire week starting with the opening on a Sunday, January 31 with the Foundation Anniversary Mass and Food Fair; Opening of Agro-Trade Fair, Opening Salvo and MECS General Alumni Homecoming on Monday, January 31; Barangay Nyt on Tuesday, February 1; History of Miag-ao Quiz Bee and SKMF Night on Wednesday, February 2; Balikbayan Mass, Business Forum, Balikbayan Nyt on Thursday, February 3; Salakayan Re-enactment and Fluvial Procession and Vendors Night on Friday, February 4; Salakayan Tribe Contest, Queen’s Parade and the Tribes’ Night on Saturday, February 5; and the Coronation of Queen of Miag-ao 2011 on Sunday, February 6, 2011.

Salakayan Festival is observed in Miag-ao intensively and in many ways. It is manifested in traditional practice, and leaves its imprint on diverse aspects of their lives. The festival is known as the most important in Miag-ao. In this one location, visitors can experience the town’s history and culture going back to the pre-Spanish era. The annual re-enactment and tribe competition of the festival presents stories of the invasion or salakay of the marauding Moros (Muslim pirates) along the shores of the town and how victorious the locals are in waging war against Muslim marauders sometime in 1754. It has become a significant and important part of the community.

Adding color and gaiety to the street-drama presentation is the festivity the Higante or papier mache effigies. Giants measure four to five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height. Molds are pasted with lots of newspapers. The body is made of bamboo, but other materials like thin iron bars are also be used. Yards of clothing materials and accessories complete the costume of the "Higantes" symbolizing the famous personalities of the town.

The people of Miag-ao headed by their tourism-oriented municipal mayor, Hon. Julieta N. Flores work hard to offer an array of activities, events on its annual Salakayan festival celebration to lure visitors to their town the beaches, mountains and acres of farmlands. No matter when or where you visit, you’re sure to find memorable Miag-ao history in full swing.

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