Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tubong-Tubong: 15 Years of Free and Family-Friendly Festival



Tubong-Tubong Festival in Tubungan, Iloilo began in 2002.  Now, 15 years later, this event continues to bring the town together to celebrate summer with entertainment and events. With this year’s festival theme,”Tubong Tubunganon, Kadalag-an Padayunon,” the festival of Tubong-Tubong of Tubungan will run on April 27 – May 1, 2016. The highlight is the dance drama competition scheduled on May 1 at 9 a.m. at the Municipal Open Field.


The term Tubong-Tubong is derived from the Hiligaynon word 'tubong.' In gambling or in games, it means 'to add,' 'to contribute' or 'to chip-in' to the original bet.

The Spanish Laws of the Indies requires a considerable number of people in order for a town to become a full-pledge independent municipality. Tubungan was an arrabal of Guimbal and was not spared from piratical attacks in the area. It had remained an arrabal of Guimbal until March 15, 1938 when former President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive Order No.143 and proclaimed Tubungan as an independent municipality in May 1, 1938.


The highlight of presentations is the dramatization on the tragic death of the Augustinian parish priest assigned to the town, Padre Isidro Badrena. Historical accounts noted that a great number of locals were believers of non-human entities such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects that they possess a spiritual essence.


Despite heavy influence of Catholicism in the area, Tubungan, specifically in Balabago, situated 5 kilometers from the poblacion was considered a sacred place of the Babaylanes or persons known to be intermediaries between the physical world and supernatural world. A sacred well-spring is found where once in every seven years, a congregation of Babaylanes believed to be more than a thousand Babaylanes coming from the different places in the region would come together to the sacred well to perform rituals and celebrate in extravagant rites. On the 8th day of April, 1874, the Spanish priest together with Don Lucas Tamara – tubungan’s head, Don Camilo Tamonan and various local residents went to Balabago to peacefully dissuade the Babaylanes of their unholy practices. Unfortunately, Padre Badrena was killed by one of the Babaylanes. In honor of his death, a cross was erected in Balabago which has now become a historical landmark in the area.


Belonging to the First Congressional District, Tubungan is a fourth-class municipality located 41.1 kilometers or an hour away southwest from the city. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Leon, on the south by the municipality of Guimbal, on the east by the municipality of Tigbauan and on the west by the municipality of Igbaras. The town is politically subdivided into 48 barangays distributed to its 8,518 hectare land area.


Organized by the local government of the town headed by their dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Vicente T. Gargaritano, Jr. and supported by businesses and individuals in the community, this event brings Tubunganons together to celebrate their appreciation to their community’s history.  Come and join the fun.

To get to the town, one can take a Tubungan jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Mrs. Marlyn Tagudar at 09152893395 or at 3960754.












Monday, April 25, 2016

Sandiya Growers and Financiers Day for Katagman Festival in Oton



The people of Oton hope you are making plans to join them on May 2, 2016 at the Municipal Grounds, 1 p.m. as the tradition of the Sandiya Festival continues in 2016 with the Sandiya Growers and Financiers Day.  


The event is part of the annual Katagman Festival beginning April 28th (Thursday) till May 3rd (Tuesday). There will be something for everyone in the vendor area and special events and entertainment throughout the day for the children in this very friendly and sweet rural town.

Come see watermelon activities that will surely provide plenty of entertainment, laughter and fun for everyone. Do not forget the old fashioned watermelon weighing, catching, eating and carving contests for all ages. Enjoy reminiscing about yesteryear in this old-fashioned special event during the festival in the heart of Oton.

Sandiya or Watermelon, also known as “pakwan” in Filipino had long been a calling card for Oton. The Festival itself dates back nine years ago by LGU Oton through its Municipal Agriculture’s Office in partnership with Oton Watermelon Grower’s Association (OWGA) and East-West Seed Company Incorporated staged a one-day festivity each year.


Watermelon is grown commercially in lowland areas after rice harvest. The fruit differ in shapes, colors and sizes and are often grouped according to these characteristics.


In Oton complementary growing season at three times a year provide the people in the area ample supply of watermelon. Thanks to East-West Seed Company that distributes high-quality watermelon seeds and continues to give farmers better seeds for better yields.


Considered to be one of the most powerful, body-healing fruits, watermelon has amazing health benefits covering everything from our brain all the way to the cells in our feet:

1.   Watermelons have lycopene that is very important for our cardiovascular 
          health and an important factor in promoting bone health.

2.   Watermelons have citrulline shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in 
          our fat cells.

    3.   Watermelons have anti-inflamatory and anti-oxidant support elements 
      through its rich iphenolic compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and 
      triterpenoids.

4.   Watermelon is a natural diuretic which helps increase the flow of urine, but 
          does not strain our kidneys.

    5.   Watermelon is rich in potassium that helps regulate the action of nerves             and muscles in our body.

    6.   When fully riped, watermelons have an alkaline-forming and  eating lots 
      of alkaline-forming foods can help reduce your risk of developing disease 
      and illness caused by a high-acid diet.

7.   Watermelon is a wonderful source of beta-carotene when converted in 
          the body becomes vitamin A that helps produce the pigments in the retina 
          of our eye and protects against age-related macular degeneration as well 
          as prevents night blindness.

8.   Watermelons have very high vitamin C content.


There is something for all ages with this year’s Sandiya Growers and Financiers Day for the 2016 Katagman Festival, so come join us for a little taste of summertime fun.

Oton is a First Class municipality. Approximately 10.2 kilometers or a 25 minute drive away south from Iloilo City. The town is bordered in the east by the district of Arevalo in Iloilo City; west by the municipality of Tigbauan: north by San Miguel; and the southern portion by a stretch of shoreline of the Sulu Sea. Made up of 37 barangays, the town has a total land area of 8,456 hectares. For more information, please contact Miss Irene Otero – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09479954730 or at (033) 3351014.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Expressing the Unique Character of Oton through Katagman Festival



Scheduled on April 28 – May 3, 2016 with the theme, “Kasaysayan sang Maskara nga Bulawan Aton Balikan, Masanag nga Buasdamlag aton Maaguman,” visitors to the annual Katagman Festival in Oton, Iloilo can enjoy the many special activities that form part of this towns' heritage. They can shop, eat local foods, listen to music and make friends, all in the same place and at the same time. And while you can do that just about anywhere, Katagman has special events that offer their own flair.


April 28 (Thursday) Opening of Agri Fair and Garden Show at 9 a.m., Mass at 3 p.m., Parade at 4 p.m. and the Search for Hiyas Sang Katagman at 6:30 p.m.; April 29 (Friday) FITS Day and Laro ng Lahi at 8 a.m., Search for Ginoong Erpat and Ginang Ermat at 6:30 p.m.; April 30 (Saturday) Fun Run at 6 a.m., Synchronized Clean-up Day at 6 a.m., Fishing Tournament and Lampirong Diving Contest at 7 a.m. in Fishport; Awarding of Outstanding Ogtonganons and Youth Achievers 2016 and Composo Duet Contest at 7 p.m. May 1 (Sunday) On-the-spot Painting Contest at 7:30 a.m., Porma Baras/ Sinadya sa Baybay at 7 a.m., Motorboat Race at 7 a.m., Awarding of Fishing Tournament at 7:30 a.m., Lampirong Shelling and Eating Contest at 7:30 p.m.; May 2 (Monday) Fun Ride at 6 a.m., Borador sa Katagman at 7 a.m. in Barangay Trapiche; Awarding of Top Business Tax Payers a.m., Sandiya Growers Day at  1p.m., Hataw sa Katagman at 5 p.m.; May 3 (Wednesday) 444th Foundation Day Mass at 2 p.m., Street Dancing Competition at 4 p.m. and Music, Dance and Theater Competition at 6 p.m.


Oton, Iloilo has many historical and cultural sites, such as Barangay San Antonio, the Batiano River, ruins of the old church. But the major cultural attraction of the town is the annual celebration of Katagman Festival.

The cultural icon is the golden mask had been an important part of traditional animist beliefs in many ancient cultures for thousands of years. They play an important role during commemorations of rites.


The gold death mask is one of the many evidences that ancient Ilonggos already had a very rich culture including interesting burial practices before the Spaniards arrived.  In fact, the first gold death mask ever discovered in the Philippines was in Barangay Sa Antonio in Oton discovered in an excavation activity by Landa F. Jocano in 1973.

According to Jesuit Pedro Chirino in his Relaciones de las Islas Filipinas, published in Rome in 1600, the wealthy locals in the Visayas honor their departed loved ones with a golden masks where gold are pounded gold into thin sheets that would make up pieces to cover the eyes, nose, and the mouth. It is believed that when the face of the dead is covered with a gold mask, evil spirits cannot enter the body.

The custom of burying their dead with a golden mask was believed to have originated from southern China when some settled in the area when the town of Oton was once a center for trade route. The Batiano River was considered to be one of the most important Malay Ports in the Viasayas.

The gold death mask discovered was dated sometime late 14th to the early 15th century A.D The gold death mask was declared as a National Cultural Treasures and is known to be one of the 15 Most Intense Archaeological Discoveries of the Philippines.


These masks were an important part of the ancient local culture. They were used during ceremonies and each one was hand crafted. They have a special charm that comes from the significance behind the art; the significance of their way of life.

Almost all presentations in the dance-theater competition for Katagman Festival is accompanied by music, songs and masked dancers. The gold burial mask worn by performers during the dance-drama presentations is seen as part of their ceremonial costume. It is used to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. Characters come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance, and are enhanced by both the music and atmosphere of the occasion.



The festival of Katagman is one of the more established cultural celebrations in our local festival calendar. Already renowned for its strong cultural ties, Oton tends to pull out all the stops when it comes to its annual celebration. Visitors are immersed in their rich local culture. A simple -day affair is a beautiful expression of its unique character.

Katagman is the old name of Oton under the leadership of Datu Paiburong long before the Spaniards came. Oton is a first class municipality in the province of Iloilo. It is politically subdivided into 37 barangays distributed to its 8, 456 hectare land area. It is 10.2 kilometers or a 20 minute drive south from the city. The town fiesta in honor of the Immaculate Conception is annually celebrated every December 8. Market days are every Mondays and Saturdays. For more information, please contact Miss Irere Otero – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09479954730.





Thursday, April 21, 2016

Water for the Environment for 2016 Tampisaw Festival

Barangay Taloto-an, Concepcion

Tampisaw, a Hiligaynon term “to frolic” or “playfully wade in the water” also known as Concepcion’s Festival, is a three day festivity that coincides with the annual Earth Day Celebration---celebrated in almost 192 countries across the globe, the event is to increase awareness and appreciation of our natural environment.

Barangay Taloto-an
The people of Concepcion, Iloilo appreciate the uniqueness and rich biodiversity of their town by annually celebrating Tampisaw Festival, aimed at understanding their natural environment and how they should protect everything around it. Tampisaw is also known to be the first home-grown, community based, eco-tourism festival in the region.

This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of water to all forms of life in the planet, “Tubig: Kabuhi, Dapat Tapin-an” outlines the town’s 3-day celebration from April 28-30, 2016. It opens with an Orientation on Mangrove Planting at 7 a.m. proceeding to the Launching of Coral Planting in Botlog and Bulubadiangan and the Covenant Signing in Forging Partnerships with different Partners on April 29 (Thursday) at 9 a.m., Municipal Fishing Port; 10:30 a.m. Fluvial Procession from Municipal Fishing Port to Eco Park; 1:00 p.m. Symposium on Climate Change ESWM/ DRRM; 4:00 p.m. Inter-Agency Games; 7 p.m. Talent’s Night.

Day 2 (April 29 – Friday) Coastal Clean-Up around poblacion area at 6 a.m.; 7:00 a.m. Orientation on Mangrove Planting fronting Municipal Hall; 9:00 a.m. Pinta Lawas (Body Painting) Competition at the Municipal Auditorium; 10:30 a.m. Pumpboat Race at the Municipal Fishing Port; 1:00 p.m. Festival Parade Street Dancing at the Municipal Plaza; 2 p.m.; Festival Dance Presentation at 2 p.m.; 4 p.m. Inter-Agency Games; 7 p.m. Live Band.

Day 3 (April 30 – Saturday) Coastal Clean-Up around poblacion area at 6 a.m.; 8:00 a.m. Triathlon along and El Nino Stakeholders Forum at the Municipal Session Hall; 9 a.m. Laro Ng Lahi; 10:30 Invitational Basketball Game; 1 p.m. Recycled Arts Contest; 4 p.m. Inter-Agency Games; 7 p.m. Search for Perlas Sang Tampisaw 2016.

Agho Island
 Our water resource continually teaches us about the interconnections found in our environment, and of the need for an ecology-based perspective. People have always had a special affinity towards water. Water quantity and quality concerns are basic to society's well-being, and water-related issues continue to be vitally important to every community.

The municipal government headed by their very dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Milliard Villanueva is committed to the protection and conservation of their many valuable landscapes. The LGU had worked in partnership with other organisations to support community programs which promote conservation. Many actions are being taken to prevent pollution especially at their island beaches, with the local government tackling sources of pollution in a range of ways.

Bulubadiangan Island
Concepcion has 16 satellite islands which offer a real sense of escape to its visitors. There is something about the colors of its sea, white sands with palms perfect for slinging up a hammock.  Swimming galore and you have all the trappings of a great travel destination. The island beaches of Bulubadiangan, Agho, Bagabo, Danao, Bali-gui-an, Tambaliza, Botlog, Igbon, Bago Sipol, Mangalabang, Sombrera are its finest escapes. The reality of these islands is that development has not scarred the beachfronts.

Agho Island

Concepcion is 111.4 kilometers or at least a 2 hour and 20 minute drive north from Iloilo City. It has a land area of 9,702 hectares comprised of 25 barangays of which 16 are component islands. It annually celebrates its patronal fiesta every 8th of December in honor of Immaculada Concepcion. Market day is every Thursday. One can take the bus at the new Ceres Terminal, Barangay Balantang, Jaro Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Engr. John Rey Asturias – Municipal Tourism Officer, Concepcion at 09982168581.

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