Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SURONG Festival: Showcasing the Cultural Traditions of Janiuay

photo by M. Villa courtesy of Discover Janiuay Page

The municipality of Janiuay will celebrate its 3rd Surong Festival on April 24-26, 2014. With the theme, “Surong Festival: Nagapakusog sang Turismo kag Nagapabakod sang mga Negosyante sa Pagpasad sang Mapag-on kag Mainuswagon nga Banwa,” the celebration will be highlighted by its Kinabun or tribe performances on April 26, Saturday at 3 p.m.

photo courtesy of M. Villa of Discover Janiuay Page

Surong is an eco-agri and cultural festival. It also showcases the journey of every Janiuaynons in all the challenges and adversities of their lives. The festival intends to build a strong common future among its people, rooted in their historically rich common past.

photo courtesy of  M. Villa of Discover Janiuay Page

Janiuaynons are known for their strength of character. They are brave, tireless and prayerful. They see life’s challenges as a blessing and that it comes into a persons’ life for a reason. And chooses to learn valuable lessons from the challenges they encounter. Janiuaynons believe that to be able to reap their benefits, they should accept them with absolute faith. They believe that the more difficult the adversity, the more valuable will be the lessons it offers to teach. By exercising faith in a power greater than themselves, they discover they are not alone in any adversity.

Janiuay is a showcase of natural history and dramatic landscapes. It is also an ideal place to combine relaxation and adventure. It is also a sought after destination by adventurous tourists. Many natural and historical attractions await visitors in this place complemented with routes to explore.

RUINS OF SAN JULIAN PARISH CHURCH was built on baked bricks and corals with its Neo-classical architecture with byzantine elements. Originally, it measured 75 meters long and 16 meters wide. It stands on a hill fronting the municipal park. During its construction, red bricks, sandstone and limestone were used. It was finished in February 1770. It was said that its belfry used to carry three magnificent bells, the largest weighing close to a ton.  World War II damaged the belfry, and the bells were lowered to ground after the war. The largest bell crashed down during the relocation and suffered a crack 18 inches (460 mm) in length from its lip upwards. When sounded it gives a distinct baritone rattling sound that can be heard for miles. It is now mounted in the new church's belfry that was built in the late 1960’s. The bricks from the ruins were used to construct the Japanese Landing Field in Tiring now the New Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan.

photo by Jun Fuerte

JANIUAY CATHOLIC CEMETERY of Neo-gothic architecture was constructed in 1875. Known to be one of the most artistic Spanish Colonial cemetery in the entire Philippines, it is made up of three dramatic grand arched gates, it has individual staircases made from slabs of stones and limestone blocks. It was said that the entire materials of the cemetery were quarried as far as the town of Dingle and were hauled by 52 carabaos. The cemetery is fenced by steel and supported by columns made of coral stone. The centerpiece is the octagonal-shaped capilla built by artisans from Manila. It has lancet-shaped doors and windows. This would have been a place of final vigils and services for the dead. Construction was under the watchful supervision of an Agustinian friar, Fr. Fernando Llorente with actual construction being undertaken by Don Placido Marin through forced labor. In November 20, 1885, the cemetery was finished and inaugurated by Archbishop Payo.

photo by Bombette G, Marin

WORLD WAR II JAPANESE PILLBOXES on both ends of the bridge in Janiuay overlooks the the Suage River. Both pillboxes, one is about 25 feet tall with a diameter of 9 feet were riddled with bullet holes that tell the story of some fierce fighting and resistance to the Japanese occupation of the area during the war by the resistance guerrillas. Both pillboxes are still intact. Japanese Pillboxes are dug outs where soldiers use to shoot from in World War II.

DAMIRES HILLS TIERRA VERDE is a leisure farm with a touch of contemporary Filipino hospitality. Situated in Barangay Damires, it is a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility. The resort is situated within a very natural surrounding equipped with facilities and amenities for your fun and convenience. The resort has an Infinity Pool, Fountain and Kiddie Pool, a Restaurant and Bar, Picnic Huts and Cottages, Overnight Cottages, Zipline Adventure, Kids Adventure Park, Farm and Fruit Picking, Biking with ATV Trail and Trekking, Ropes Course and Team Building Facilities. The resort is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every weekdays; Saturdays at 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. For more information please call 09096991390/ 09176325901 or email at damireshills_philippines@yahoo.com.ph.

Approximately 29 kilometers from the city, the town occupies a fertile plain that is bordered by Cabatuan to the south; to the southwestern part by Maasin; to the eastern part, with which it share a border along Mina; Lambunao to the north; and by the Province of Antique to the west. The Janiuay mainland comprises 60 barangays in its 17,910-hectare land area. To get to Janiauy one can take a jeepney at the terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro, Iloio City. For more information please call Miss Corel Hanna Locsin-Yap, Municipal Tourism Officer at (033) 3171709 or 5318719.

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