Monday, April 22, 2013

41st Carabao-Carroza in Pavia

Carabaos are used for farming and to pull carrozas or bamboo carts. In the rural areas, Carabaos are often brought to festivities and used as a popular ride for kids. Today, carabaos are a part of the popular culture of the Ilonggos.

And in the early 1970s, a carabao race became a popular attraction of the small yet progressive town of Pavia, Iloilo. The people of Pavia, Iloilo annually hold a unique kind of festival---the Carabao-Carroza Festival. Every 3rd day of May, as a festive opening for May-time festival, people from neighboring municipalities gather in the grandstand of Pavia National High School to witness the fun and entertaining flat and carroza races of carabaos in a 110-meter track.

Originally carabaos are used as processing power for farmlands. And as an expression of joy for the rich and abundant harvest, farmers hold a carabao race. The area that has been harvested was used for Carabao race. Finally, Carabao racing tradition until now continues to grow and is preserved.

The annual race, now on its 41st year is the highlight of the festivity that preserves their local culture and a way of promoting the carabao as our country’s national symbol, and as the farmer’s main work animal.

Farmers of the town not only prepare their carabaos for the race but also for the much-anticipated grand parade where it is stirred by the old tradition of using carrozas to carry the local produce of the barangays and their respective muses.

The carabaos are individually manicured, polished, and brushed till their bodies are clean and shiny. Each are then artistically painted and paraded with 18 beautiful muses representing the 18 barangays of the town. The parade starts at 7 in the morning at Ungka-I and ends at the race area.  

The Carabao-Carroza Festival is just as popular as ever and continues to hold its original purpose and meaning that is why it is one of the much-loved and very important celebrations not only for the people of Pavia but of the Ilonggos as a whole. The festival has been a notable aspect of Ilonggo culture for many years now and will be for the many years to come.

Carabao-Carroza Festival is not just a party of the Pavianhons of this celebration held every year. The festival is not just a tradition that carried generations from one to the next generation. The Carabao-Carroza Festival is a pride of every Ilonggos.

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