Thursday, January 2, 2014

SAAD Festival: A Decade of Celebrating Leganes Culture and Faith

In Iloilo, there is always a special reason for people to go out into the street, singing and dancing. The peaceful town of Leganes is no exception. Religion is a great influence in the festive celebration of Saad. It is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with the culture and traditions of the Leganesnons. Saad Festival is annually celebrated with special care and great pomp.

The Feast Day of San Vicente Ferrer is one of the most important religious festivals Iloilo. San Vicente Ferrer, a Dominican missionary, known to be the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment was born at Valencia, Spain in January 23, 1350, is the patron saint of Leganes and the town’s Roman Catholic Church built in constructed in 1872 and then renovated in 1996 using the old bricks is dedicated to him.

This Neo-classic church also holds the palapak or the treading of the saint’s statue normally to one’s head. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine in the belief that the pilgrimage could bring about healing. Believers show much loyalty to the saint through this customary religious practice. Follow the thousands of people who participate in this traditional pilgrimage every year.

Starting this year, every 23rd day of January then on, the “Mecca of Western Visayas,” the peaceful town of Leganes will celebrate a religious and cultural tradition, to commemorate the birthdate of this town’s religious icon. It is common during this festivity to see lots of people following the procession and the much anticipated cultural dance competition.

Besides the faith that overflows Saad Festival, the town will also host series of special events. The 10th year celebration will kick off with its pre-festival activities starting on January 6 (Monday) with the LGU Sportsfest; January 6-30 Cultural Heritage Tour students in the Secondary and Tertiary levels; January 11 (Saturday) Band Concert; January 17 (Friday) Opening Salvo, Agro-Industrial Fair, Photo Exhibit, Food Festival at 2 p.m., Talent Competition for Miss Leganes Saad Festival a 6 p.m.; January 18 (Saturday) Mangrove Clean-up and Planting at 8 a.m., LIGA Barangay Night at 7 p.m.; January 20 (Monday) Mga Sinadto nga Hinampang at 8 a.m., Drum and Lyre Corps Competition at 2 p.m., Coronation Night of Miss Leganes Saad 2014 at 7 p.m.; January 21 (Tuesday) Career Coaching Symposium and Launching of NSRS Jobs Fair at 8 a.m., Band Concert at 7 p.m.; January 22 (Wednesday) Saad Sinadsad Dance Parade at 2 p.m., Solid Waste Management Night at 7 p.m.; January 23 (Thursday) Eucharistic Celebration at 4 p.m., Cultural Parade at 5 p.m., Saad Cultural Dance Competition at 6 p.m., Awarding and Fireworks Display at 8 p.m.

Saad Festival is a journey that started being encouraged for religious reasons, but for the last nine years, the festivity comprises a much wider spectrum. Come and visit Leganes. Saad festival will show you the best in Leganesnon tradition.

The municipality of Leganes is 10.9 kilometers away from the city. To get there, one can take a jeepney at Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City. For more information, please call the Municipal Tourism Officer of Leganes, Mr. Jerry Anas at (033) 3296622 or at 09127721033.

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