Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saad: Celebrating Faith, Love and Unity among Leganesnons

photo courtesy of FB Leganestourism Iloilo

The annual Saad Festival of Leganes, Iloilo celebrated this year on January 15-22 is a celebration that honors St. Vincent Ferrer, the town’s patron and brings Leganesnons together. It is primarily a domestic celebration associated with the miraculous cure and blessings of the winged Saint to devotees who annually visit the parish every feast day.

Patron saints are the faithful who have died and gone to heaven. Saints specializes in helping people with particular types of concerns. Believers say that God regularly performs miracles through patron saints when people pray to them.

photo courtesy of FB Leganestourism Iloilo
Contemporary evidence pictures the saint to have been a man of medium height, with a lofty forehead, and very expressive dark eyes. His hair was fair in color. The saint can be seen as a statue preaching, wearing a black preaching cloak of the Dominican Order, with one hand upraised and another hand bearing holding a book identified to be the Book of the Apocalypse. St. Vincent Ferrer is known to be the Preacher of the Judgement, the Angel of the Judgement as foretold in the Apocalypse of St. John.

Many Catholics believe in St. Vincent Ferre and that miracles and intercession or the process of praying to him to approach God on your behalf, are all connected. Many have reported their personal stories of intercession. Many believe that when they pray for assistance from the saint they can petition from God on our behalf. And many have learned that praying for St. Vincent Ferrer works.

St. Vincent Ferrer was one of the most gifted saints. He was a politician, penitent, theologian, healer, exorcist, preacher, miracle worker, judge, reconciler and peacemaker, a prophet, an apostle, and he earned the title of “Angel of Judgment.” He was perceived as a man and angel.

Devotees from neighboring towns and provinces travel to participate in this event highlighted by its cultural dance competition on January 22 (Thursday) at 3 p.m. This festival is known around the region as one of the more popular religious festivals.

photo courtesy of FB Leganestourism Iloilo

Saad is partly a procession and a dance-drama event. Many Catholics join the procession by carrying symbols associated with the Saint. An image is carried at the back of the procession, which goes around the town center to the performance area fronting the church.

Palapak is an anticipated feature of the tribe performances. It is done by gently pressing the base of a small image of San Vicente Ferrer on the head of the devotee. Crowds gather for the “palapak” and light candles to offer prayer. Palapak is a religious tradition of Leganesnons.

photos courtesy of FB Leganestourism Iloilo

Saad steps are broken into floor work, turns, leaps and expressive movement. The coordination of the steps forms a beautiful dance piece that is glorifying to God while also serving as a blessing to the audience. The leaps and jumps help to tell stories of God with lifting desiring the strength to praise God more fully. It adds to the strong message component, but also looks gorgeous in flowing skirts, providing a glorious praise show. Commonly seen are positions of praising--a kneeling prayer, an outstretched arm, a curled up, contorted body--these are all symbols of worship and reverence.

St. Vincent Ferrer is honored to be a part of Ilonggo’s faith journey.  The town of Leganes serves as the primary religious educator. 

Leganes is 10.9 kilometers north from the city. It is made up of 18 barangays politically subdividing its 3,216 hectare land area. To get to Leganes, one can take a 20-minuterjeepney ride from Jaro Plaza. For more information, please contact, Mr. Jerry Anas - Municipal Tourism Officer at 09127721033.

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