Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 Haw-as in Dumangas

The Local Government Unit of Dumangas celebrates its ties with its fisher folks by hosting its annual Haw-as Festival on October 25-31, 2014. Celebrated annually for the last 12 years, the people gather to celebrate their commercial seafood industry - its past, its present and its future. It is a thanksgiving festival that marks the bountiful season and the time for harvest of good things from the sea.

Haw-as is a matter of pride for the people of Dumangas reminding them of all the good things God gives them and this makes them want to share with others.

The celebration brings about a community wide recreational highlight.  With a variety of food, fun and entertainment accompanied by the enthusiasm of a homecoming atmosphere, the festival attracts visitors from neighboring municipalities.  The event brings Dumangasanons together and preserves the saying, After all, life is to enjoy.

photo by Hawili Hurom

With the theme: “Tuigan Nga Pagpasalamat Para sa Bugay Sang Duta, Dagat kag Langit,” the week-long celebration kicks off with the Food Festival at 6 p.m. on October 25 (Saturday); October 27 (Monday) at 5 a.m. is the Run Against Illegal Drugs (RAID), a fun-run to increase awareness against illegal drugs spearheaded by the DMPS, at 9 am is a Drug Symposium, 1:30 p.m. is Health Education Day spearheaded by Municipal Health Office; October 28 (Tuesday) is Teachers Day and Jobs Fair sponsored by DOLE-PESO Dumangas at 8 a.m., in the afternoon is Laro ng Lahi, and the Search for Haw-as Festival Queen 2014 at 7 p.m.; October 29 (Wednesday) is the Dungganon Nga Dumangasanon 2014 Outstanding Taxpayers Award at 7 p.m.; October 30 (Thursday) is the Haw-as Festival Street Dancing and Guban Competition at 2 p.m.; October 31 (Friday) is the Commemoration of the 144th Birth Anniversary of Col. Quintin Salas with a Cultural Contest on Binalaybay and Composo at 7 a.m. and the 2nd Season of March of the Saints at 3 p.m.                       

Now in its 12th year the festival is one of Iloilo’s established food shows. There is always a special atmosphere at the celebration, a unique mix of the town’s vibrant festive scene and its traditional fishing and farming community. Dumangasanons are also what make it so special. They possess an appreciation of the simpler things in life. Together they bring the town to life and provide Dumangas with a showcase to be proud of.

photo by Hawili Hurom

The Guban competition undoubtedly is the highlight of the festival. As a fishing and agricultural community, performers burst with verve and vitality. Men and women sometimes perform some dances exclusively, while in some performances they dance together. They express their joy and happiness in a dance expressing their gratitude to God and their patron, St. Agustin whom they worship with great devotion. The accompanying music is provided by drumbeats. Segments form of dance with specific costume.

The town’s Cultural and Historical Week is also celebrated. The annual event, supported by a Municipal Ordinance in 2009 is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize efforts to preserve, interpret and educate Dumangas history and to have fun at the same time.

Haw-as is meant to promote peace, love and unity through music, dance, food and an array of fun and exciting activities. The festival also strives to support the community by providing different types of charity services for the needy. It is through the celebration of this festival that the people of Dumangas proudly preserve their culture and heritage.

The coastal area of Dumangas offers a unique route to new experiences marked by beautiful scenery where anyone can log off, unwind and enjoy numerous opportunities for wildlife viewing. Visitors will enjoy scenic water views—mangrove areas, ponds, and special wetlands. Along each are colourful communities where the town’s history is told, cultural traditions are maintained and a slower pace of life predominates.

Dumangas is a 1st class municipality in the province of Iloilo and is located 30 kilometers northeast from Iloilo City. It is politically subdivided into 45 barangays with a land area of 11, 677 hectares. It is bounded in the north by the Municipality of Barotac Nuevo, on the south and east by the Guimaras Strait and on the west by the Municipalities of Pototan and Zarraga.

When traveling to the municipality of Dumangas via the Monfort Coast Boulevard, one can take a van at Baldoza Transport Terminal in Barangay Baldoza, Lapaz, Iloilo City. From the terminal, taxis and jeepneys are available going to the city. Jeepneys to Dumangas is available at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak,Jaro, Iloilo City.

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