Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fun and Feasting for Banate’s 9th Kasag Festival

photo courtesy of LGU-Banate

The Municipality of Banate, Iloilo will celebrate its annual KASAG FESTIVAL on December 15-30, 2015. The festivity has become a tradition to many of its festival goers. The celebration combines the colourful and enjoyable atmosphere of special events and the community’s Christmas celebration.

On its 9th year, Kasag Festival will open on December 15 (Tuesday) with the Opening Parade, Food Festival and Parol-Making Contest; December 16 (Wednesday) with the Battle of the Mini-Sounds and Talent Night; December 17 (Thursday) with Miss Gay 2015; December 18 (Friday) with Laro Ng Lahi and Basketball Tournament; December 19 (Saturday) with a Car Show, Christmas Carol Contest and Championship for the Basketball Tournament; December 20 (Sunday) with the Search for Miss Kasag 2015; December 21 (Monday) with a Gift Giving; December 22 (Tuesday) with the Street Dancing Competition, Boodle Fight, Awarding and Fireworks Display, and; December 23 (Wednesday) with the LGU Christmas Party and Live Band.

What started as an idea for this local marine festival to build community spirit and to enhance the local economy has turned into a regionally-recognized celebration of its local seafood. The festival attracts visitors from nearby municipalities and provinces in the region.

Kasag Festival celebrates the contribution made by the blue crab industry by those persons involved in the local fishing industry. It became the starting point for the annual festival that also showcases its unique and pulsating choreographed steps. The dance maps out the crab’s journey through movement where it traces its connection from the sea to land.

photo courtesy of LGU-Banate

The synchronized movement symbolizes the crab, often accompanied with arched legs, and movement of arms and hands like scissors. Dancers also present the color change on crabs from blue to orange through their suggestive costumes.

Blue crabs mean money in Banate. During the past years, blue crab sales among producer groups in the area have increased, translating into better livelihoods for the local rural families.

To help local producers gain an economic boost, the municipal government with other agencies introduced blue crab cultivation as a supplementary income source for marginalized fishers. It teaches producers how to catch small crabs in the wild and fatten them in cages. Blue crab sales now make up a significant portion of Banate’s income. Higher income has meant a better life for its people.

Banate stretches 11,886 hectares from Barotac Viejo and San Enrique in the northwest; Banate Bay in the southeast; and Dingle and Anilao in the west. It is about 50 kilometers north from Iloilo City. Its land area measures 11,886 hectares politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

To get to the town, one can take a Ceres Bus at the Northern Iloilo Public Transport Terminal in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Hon. Norlene Cabangal-SB Member on Tourism at 09085549021 or Mervin Escriba-Municipal Tourism Officer-OIC at 09905349190.

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