Wednesday, April 2, 2014

12th Historic Bantayan Festival of Guimbal

photo courtesy of LGU-Guimbal

One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Guimbal history first hand is to attend to its annual festival taking place every April.  To share in the fun, interest and passion of its historic era, series of special events showcasing this town’s culture will provide an opportunity for guests to experience its intimate charm through this festive occasion celebrated this year on April 8-12.

photo courtesy of LGU-Guimbal
The five-day festivity will open on April 8 (Tuesday) with a Mass at the Catholic Church at 2:30 p.m., Float and Street Dancing Competition at the Poblacion Area at 4 p.m., Opening Program and Drum Beat Competition at the Amphitheater at 7 p.m.; April 9 (Wednesday) Search for Anyag Kang Bantayan at the Amphitheater at 8 p.m.; April 10 (Thursday) Boat Racing at the Bantayan Beach Resort at 8 a.m., Porma Balas and Pita Lawas at the Bantayan Beach Resort at 8:30 a.m., Fluvial Parade at the Guimbal Shoreline at 1:30 p.m., Re-enactment of the Moro Raids at the Bantayan Beach Resort at 2:30 p.m., 10th Bantayan Indie Film Festival at the amphitheater at 8 p.m.; April 11 (Friday) Musical Concert with Artists at the amphitheater at 8 p.m.; April 12 (Saturday) Tribal Dance Competition at the Poblacion at 3 p.m, Merry Making at Rizal Street at 5 p.m., Awards Night and Fireworks Competition at the amphitheater at 9:30 p.m. The Food Festival and Agricultural Fair will run from April 8-12 at the Public Plaza. All of our events are open to the public and family-friendly.

photo courtesy of LGU-Guimbal

History would tell us that piracy was rampant in the Philippines as early as 1595 where Muslim Moros or pirates raided several pueblos in the Visayas. Their favorite targets were Spanish held territories especially the coastal resettlements populated by Christianized natives.

photo courtesy of LGU-Guimbal
Riding in caracoas or out-triggered vessels with thirty to forty rowers on each side, the pirates, known for their murderous and barbaric acts pillaged the islands as they were drawn by the prize of more captives. Predation in those times was principally a matter of maritime kidnapping where the Muslim Moros carry the Christian Filipinos into slavery. They were also drawn by the gold and silver ornaments in the churches of the Spanish friars. Churches were despoiled by burning them down to ashes, chalices and images were abused.

The Christianized coastal pueblos suffered for many years as many were placed to torches that devastated everything. The natives suffered from oppression. This later on drove them to rebellion. They resisted by revolted against the Muslim Moros where many of them participated in the struggles, whether as a rebel or Spanish auxiliary.  The natives became courageous and warlike.

photo courtesy of LGU-Gumbal
For 12 years, Guimbal has been retelling its history through its much-anticipated dance-drama competition which highlights the historic the battle that took place between the natives and the Muslim pirates. It also brings to life the experiences of its people during the Spanish era.

The drummers provide the foundation and energy for the presentation. Their intricate and complex rhythm changes direct the dancers and form readily identifiable signatures during performances. The presentations have always been extremely well-received by the public.

Just a few minutes from the city, you will discover Guimbal through its charming coastline, with a working waterfront dotted with resorts, restaurants, historic structures, there is something for the whole family.

The town is 29 kilometers south from the city. It shares borders with Tigbauan on the east; on the northeast by Tubungan; Igbaras on the northwest; and west by Miag-ao. With a land area of 44.61 square kilometers it is politically subdivided into 33 barangays. One can ride a jeepney in the South Bound Terminal in Mohon, Oton, Iloilo. For more information, please contact Mrs. Karen Gayanilo-Felicio, Municipal Tourism Officer at 09177222477 or (033) 3155277/ 3155288.

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