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.

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