Monday, December 12, 2011

Barotac Viejo’s 3rd Annual PATUBAS Festival

One of Barotac Viejo's most anticipated events, this year's 3rd annual Patubas Festival is sure to deliver a great day of free family fun located just 60.4 kilometers north of Iloilo.

Patubas is a municipal wide festival celebrating food heritage and culture in Barotac Viejo. It is a festival of feasting and merriment celebrating the abundance of blessings the people in the community enjoy. It is also a celebration to continue the local government’s goal of reconnecting their people back to where their blessings come from.

The festival takes place from the 16th - 28th December 2011 and encourages residents from this town, the rest of Iloilo and beyond to gather together and experience an exciting range of culinary delights. Patubas Festival involves and educates people in the appreciation of good, clean, fair food while showcasing the town's ever expanding network of dedicated, enthusiastic producers and all the gastronomic delights this town has to offer.

With this year’s theme, “Maghinugpong, Magsinadya para sa Mauswagon nga Banwa,” the festivity is also dedicated to music, dance, self-expression, community and the arts. It highlights with a Parade, Lights-On, Sugba-Sugba, Fireworks Display and Live Band on its opening day with local artists and musicians through local entertainment, a variety of contests, and on-stage music offering family fun. Food booths offer a wide variety of quality goods and tasty food.

While opportunities to dine and indulge in a considerable selection of cuisine will abound at this year’s Patubas Festival, the opportunity to appreciate the local talents will be equally as plentiful the previous years.

Barotac Viejo’s annual festival is a family-oriented community event spanning the last two weekends in December. This year, the festival will offer 13 days of spectacular fun, delicious food and live entertainment that will showcase local organizations and volunteers that make the town a wonderful community to live in and visit.

The main goal of the festival is to have FUN and give the Ilonggos a great time out for all the family before the new year takes hold.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Christmas in the Park Tour around Iloilo

photo by JV Perez (PALI)

The province of Iloilo has been gearing up for months in anticipation of Christmas celebrations and, as the days of holiday fun draw nearer, event plans are coming to life.

Christmas in the parks around Iloilo has been the forefront for many years as everyone enjoys walking around in the park and seeing the different Christmas lights and decorations. It is an amazing local tradition that helps bring much a much needed sense of community to many Ilonggos.

photo by JV Perez (PALI)

Celebrating the holidays has never been better for our community especially for our children. Each year the decorations are more impressive and the turnout seem bigger, with hundreds of thousands of glowing bulbs and Christmas animated figures, you will be amazed at the enchantment and wonder of it all.

Many are happy that some towns were able to afford the Christmas in the Park concept for many years. Ilonggos have been visiting these holiday attractions almost every year and for them, it is more than just a park with decorated trees, it is all about the holiday experience and cherished memories.

The Christmas displays, albeit the majority of them have been reused and abused, many still look forward to the creative themes that many of these towns and the city come up with to decorate their trees. These Christmas light displays are beautiful and a great way to share the magic and joy of the season.

Celebrate the holiday season with a drive or a stroll through many of Iloilo’s spectacle of Christmas lights display at the park where trees are decorated with hundreds of thousands of spectacular animated and stationary holiday lights that twinkle along to Christmas music, illuminating the roadway.

Iloilo is a big-time destination at Christmas, and a family destination with theme parks, a favorite holiday tradition of so many Ilonggos.

The festive lighting of municipal parks in Iloilo during the Christmas holiday season is a long standing tradition. The municipality of Pototan, not only known as the leading rice producer in Western Visayas but also the region’s Christmas Capital. The town will celebrate its 15th IWAG Festival of Lights from December 16, 2011 till January 2, 2012. This longest-running Christmas event in Iloilo draws tremendous community support.Since then, illuminated park trees grew with mounting enthusiasm in the neighboring towns and elsewhere around Iloilo. The celebration is accompanied by prayer, holiday entertainment nightly and light refreshments.

On December 15-23 the community of Janiuay will gather to kickoff the start of the holiday season at the annual Festival of Lights ceremony. The tradition of this town's Christmas Park had humble beginnings.

The town of Mina will have its week-long Christmas event celebration, “Paskwa Halad sa Banwa” opening on December 15. The spirit to serve the community is a core value of the local government of this town which gives all the opportunity to give back to the community through this event. Street dancing, ceremonial lighting, fireworks display, food fair and a garden show are the highlights of the celebration.

Over a period of time, strings of Christmas lights found their way into use in New Lucena with their annual Kasadyahan sa Paskwa from December 15-31 and caps with a countdown and fireworks display on the eve of December 31st.

The agricultural town of Alimodian will also open its Christmas event through its annual Agri-tourism Fair and Christmas Festival on December 3-23, 2011. Barangay districts of the area take turns in the nightly holiday showcase featuring the talented people of this town.

The municipal plaza of Oton is decorated with long mostly-vertical strings of a common theme and activated simultaneously in a grand illumination ceremony annually held every December 15-23 with the Light-A-Tree Program and Food Festival.

Iloilo is a big-time destination at Christmas, and a family destination with theme parks, a favorite holiday tradition of so many Ilonggos.

San Joaquin Celebrates 9th BAYLUHAY Festival

photo by Jose de Luna

Bayluhay Festival of San Joaquin is a celebration complete with culture and history.

Visitors step back in time and relive the period of the historic landing of the ten Bornean Datus in Panay. Bayluhay commemorates the barter of the island that ultimately lead to the inhabitation of the Malays in the entire Philippine archipelago.

photo by Jose de Luna

The celebration showcases the various ancient customs and traditions that we Filipinos have inherited from the Malays. Colorful rituals are deeply ingrained in the lives of the people of San Joaquin and are up t the present evident in their daily lives and existence as San Joaquinhons.

A tradition for nine years already, the feast is held annually held on the grounds of the San Joaquin Park and Sports Stadium situated at the back of the municipal hall. This year, Bayluhay is scheduled on December 14 at 3 p.m. where participating tribes will showcase their ritual dances accompanied by the loud drum beats infusing traditional elements and new components.

photo by Jose de Luna

Ritual practices in San Joaquin interpreted through a dance during the tribe competition take a multitude of forms. This takes place on any number of occasions and reflects the intentions that motivate the practice. There is a great range of variability in the degree of elaborateness and sophistication in the dances and in the way that they employ narratives and symbolic gestures.

Rituals are best understood in terms of their intentions. And the core of any ritual is the fundamental belief that there exists a delicate balance between man and nature, and the spirit world. It is believed that for good or bad, it is through the actions of man that this balance is shifted. Rituals can be interpreted as an attempt to enhance and maintain this balance. And when the balance is lost, misfortune in various forms plague the village thus, must be performed to restore the state of affairs.

photo by Jose de Luna

Re-enactors dress in elaborate Malay and Aeta costumes, bringing in many visitors each year.

Bayluhay Festival is an opportunity for the people pf San Joaquin to express their pride and honor, known to be progenies of these great and noble ancient rulers of the land. It is proof of the greatness that springs from unity among the people in their community; the local government and the private sector, cultural advocates come together.

Special events of the festivity such as church services, fireworks and beauty pageants continue all week as the history of this 800 year old adventure unfolds.

From remembering the civil war in many parts of the province to an appreciation of the arts and culture, historical events and festivals across Iloilo are numerous and varied.

Whether it is a re-enacment, or noting the life and achievements of a human rights icon, Ilonggos are proud of its history and showcases many events and festivals throughout the year.

No matter when you visit, you are sure to find memorable Iloilo historic events festivals in full swing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Watermelon Galore for Oton’s SANDIYA Festival

photo by April Gail Valencia

Many people came out for Oton’s annual SANDIYA Festival. Celebrated this year in December 6, it was a really hot day, but watermelons flowed and a good time was had by all.

photo by April Gail Valencia

There was lots of fun for kids, families and everyone who loves watermelon like the people of Oton. Many were inspired by the event’s exciting watermelon carvings; the pinaka (biggest and heaviest watermelon); watermelon relay and watermelon eating contest.

photo by April Gail Valencia
Everyone enjoyed a complimentary slice of the town’s finest watermelons during the opening ceremony where 3,500 pieces of watermelons encircled the Oton Amphitheater Green and were distributed to everyone present around the area.

For a long time, watermelon has been taken for granted by many as a sweet, tasty summertime fruit, made of sugar and water, and nothing more. And over the past years, many have taken interest to find out more about the health benefits watermelon. As it turns out, watermelon is incredibly healthy.

Nutritionists worldwide have long appreciated the health benefits that the watermelon provides especially with its healthy properties and effects on women, children, men and pregnant women. It is an important part of a healthy diet.

Among the many fresh produce, watermelon is the leader in Lycopene. It also has excellent levels of vitamins A that is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

It is also rich in vitamin C that helps bolster the immune system's defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts. It also has a good level of Vitamin B6 that helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

Celebrated annually for the last six years, the local government unit of Oton, the Oton Watermelon Grower’s Association (OWGA) and East-West Seed Company Incorporated organized this festivity with one goal, and that is to increase consumer demand for fresh watermelon through promotion, research, and educational programs.

photo by April Gail Valencia

The municipality of Oton through its very friendly mayor, Honorable Vicente V. Flores, Jr. wishes to thank all their sponsors and volunteers for making this year’s festival a great success and to everyone who came out to enjoy the SANDIYA Festival.

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