Thursday, March 1, 2012

KANAWAY Festival: The Best of Northern Iloilo, All in One Place!

Iloilo is the center of festivals in the region. Every next month there will be festival somewhere across the province.

Although modernity has eroded much of the uniqueness of our culture, many towns in Iloilo commemorate their significant past by way of celebrating their traditional festivals annually as a manifestation of their ethnicity and cultural unity with the special objective to demonstrate and experience a particular identity.

These traditional festivals have been continued among the Ilonggos throughout its long history. They are mostly based on history, religion and livelihood.

Iloilo is an agrarian and aquatic society with most of Ilonggo population depending on agriculture and fisheries for their living. So, it is not surprising that Iloilo celebrates a number of festivals in various towns that depict the livelihood of their community and are celebrated with pomp and show.

Kanaway Festival is a new event in Iloilo Province that celebrates the beauty and spirit of the people in the northern area. KANAWAY is a Hiligaynon term that refers to the northwest trade wind. The festival is a convergence of the various festivals in the 5th district of the province, namely: Tambobo Festival of Ajuy, Panulo Festival of Batad, Patubas Festival of Barotac Viejo, Tampisaw Festival of Concepcion, Panagat Festival of Estancia, Saug Festival of Lemery, Panaad Festival of San Dionisio and Sulay-Basya Festival of Sara.

Kanaway is also a time for communal thanksgiving, being grateful to God for such bounties from their seas; and for the golden harvest from their fields. The celebration depicts the way of living of each of the towns giving importance and value to their Patron Saints.

The celebration of local festivals has been alive for many of years. The customs we see in the different towns today remind us of ancient celebrations of thankfulness for prosperity and peace, and the endeavors of our forefathers. It consists of stories of those who believe that gratitude for blessings is a virtue all must possess.

Be a part of the festival of festivals through Kanaway to promote what is good about northern Iloilo. Festival representatives from the northern towns will showcase their Ilonggo traditions through dance and music. Surely, everyone will learn a little about themselves in our Ilonggo heritage and help keep our beloved traditions alive.

With this year’s theme, “Kultura Sang Quinto: Matahum Handurawon, Itib-ong Naton,” the municipal mayors and the Northern Iloilo Center for Culture and Arts of the 5th District of the province of Iloilo invites everyone to its 3rd Kanaway Festival on March 1-4, 2012 with its highlight, the tribal dance competition featuring the different festivals of this district at 1 p.m. at the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, Victorino Salcedo Campus, Estancia.

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