Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CARABAO-CARROZA Festival: Keeping Pavia’s Traditional Culture Alive for 42 Years

photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn

The Carabao-Caroza Festival of Pavia, Iloilo is one of the celebrated local traditions of this agro-industrial town apart from its native delicacy, the “baye-baye” and pottery making. Though similar festivities can be seen in other parts of the Philippines where the colorful parades are held in common with other towns and villages, the celebration is Paviahons way of paying tribute to the water buffalo, a fantastic and very important contributor to the local farmers in the area.


photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
Every 3rd of May, the town presents a gala appearance with buntings. Promptly, at 7:00 a.m., the band starts playing loudly as spectators shout with joy. Crowds from surrounding barangays gather to see the colorful parade as it marches along the streets of the poblacion.


photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
Leading every participating barangay in the procession are contesting colorfully-decked carrozas driven by carabaos where owners curry them until their bodies shine, then adorn the beast with flowers and ribbons, others paint their animals and take them in procession to the racing ground. The bamboo carrozas are elaborately decorated, oftentimes with three-dimensional figures which appear to float on the surface of the street. Each carroza is an original work of art and is every year designed new from the ground up. The artist of the carroza solicits potential sponsors within the barangay to fund the construction. Artists design the carroza that will not only draw favorable attention from the crowd and the judges, but one that will also catch the eye of television crews and photographers that cover the parade. The carroza parade is expected to remain an important part of celebration. The carrozas are expected to become more elaborate and technically sophisticated as artists vie for the attention of a wider audience.


photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
An added attraction to the parade are the eighteen barangay muses in traditional Filipino costume join the parade, enthroned in their carrozas surrounded by flowers and local produce known in the barangay. Local officials participate in the procession and are dressed in colorful shirts and sporting traditional buri hats. The marching is accompanied by drum and bugle corps from elementary schools in the area.

The festival’s centerpiece is the carabao race that has become a culture and an attraction for tourists and visitors. After the parade, the carrozas proceed to the grandstand of Pavia National High School for the fun and entertaining flat and carroza races of carabaos in the school’s 110-meter track. The race is a simple carabao race in which mostly the owner, ride bareback on the well-manicured football field and usually lasts no more than 60 seconds. It is not common though for the riders to be thrown off their carabaos while racing to the finish line. Carabaos go neck and neck during the race. The race has even become a serious business among the participating farmers.

photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
This festival is about sharing experiences, giving inspiration and entertainment. The celebration is a direct reflection of Pavia’s culture.  It is this town’s method of sharing the story they want to tell. The annual celebration of the festival ensures that, in the coming decades, the younger generation of Pavianhons  will still come together to celebrate and listen to the stories of their families and friends, of their history and background and that they will be able to retell the stories when they grow older.

Pavia is 9.6 kilometers north of Iloilo City. Though known to be one of the smallest municipalities in the province with an area of only about 2,703 hectares, it is tagged as the Agr-Industrial Center of the Region.  Politically subdivided into 18 barangays, the municipality is bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Mrs. Susan Jovero – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09173009041.







2 comments:

  1. This festivity reminds us of the importance of the traditional way of farming.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you SolidGold Iloilo for viewing!

    ReplyDelete

Illuminating Anilao on its 13th Banaag Festival

Anilao, Iloilo will once again usher the most wonderful season of the year with Banaag Festival on October 31, 2017. This signature...