Sunday, February 12, 2012

5th BURIHAN Festival in Barangay Bitas, Tigbauan

photo by Jose de Luna

Situated in the historic town of Tigbauan and about 10 minutes by tricycle from the oldest Catholic Church in Iloilo, the Parish of St. John of Sahagun or popularly known as Tigbauan church is Bitas, one of the more popular barangays in the province of Iloilo. This rural barangay is known for its unique and promising festival inspired by the buri that has played a significant role in the economy of the community.

To show off the Ilonggo creativity and rouse awareness on the uses of buri, the Bitas Burihan Festival Association has given importance to buri by way of Burihan Festival every 11th of February. The event is not only celebrated to conserve and publicize the local tradition of buri handicraft making in the area but also to celebrate the bounty, talent, and beauty of the people of barangay Bitas and give honor and celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the barangay’s patron saint. The festivity is headed by their barangay captain, Hon. Rizaldo F. Ferasol and the festival’s very dynamic chairman, Mrs. Nora Rose T. Tubiano.

The centerpiece of the celebration is the inter-zone tribal dance competition that usually contains scenes with dressed characters as buri reapers clearly showcasing the process on how fiber is extracted from the palm as well as the many useful products made out of the fiber taken from the buri.

Next to the coconut, the buri is widely spread out in the area. It is known as a century plant and is the most majestic, largest and versatile of the Philippine palms.

The buri is of direct importance to people of Barangay Bitas. It is used for everything from its trunk that grows straight and erect from a meter in diameter and 20 meters in height, it yields a large quantity of starch. The leaves are large and fan-shaped and when mature is used for covering tobacco bales or as thatch for houses, while the ribs used for making brooms. The leaf also produces a fiber quite similar to raffia and used in making cloth or strings, and other decorative items. The fiber from the ribs of the palm’s unopened leaves is used in making hats, mats, and baskets.

Many of Tigbauanon villagers, including balikbayans witnessed the festivity in an open field in barangay Bitas. Out of the five tribes joining every year, four groups, namely: Tribu Likyad,Tribu Sasa, Tribu Luknit and Tribu Karatel made it to the tribal dance competition this year with the theme, “Patigayonon ang Madinuagon kag Mainabyanon nga Festival Naton.”

Burihan as a festival is rich in cultural history and tradition. Though it varies in style, but one thing remains the same, the celebration involved music, dance, and a great deal of lively spirit by its people.


  1. hello mr bombette thank you for this blog i am paul from brgy bitas and i would like to ask a permission to copy all content of this page as i want it to be posted in my created website its about brgy bitas you can visit it and last thank you so much for this blog mr bombette

  2. Hi paul, surely you can copy this. Thank you very much for viewing my blog, I hope that in my little way, i can help promote ILOILO to the world. I am now preparing for Saludan Festival of your hometown and hope you can come, too. it's on Oct 22-25, 2012. Godbless!

  3. yes mr bombette thank you again site is almost finish now fully customize and integrated to facebook pls add me in your fb account peter paul tubiano and regarding sa saludan pls ehe copy ulit ako ha my next project cguro about tigbauan naman at sorry wla p ako sa pinas and mr bombette be one of my team ehe photographer n lng kulang

  4. pag n build ko n ang site for tigbauan meron kng section for all your works lahat ng blog mo post ko din dun

    1. thank you gid peter paul, hope we can meet! sorry for this very very late reply. Brgy. Bitas will celebrate its 8th Burihan Festival this feb 5-11, 2017. hope you can come home


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