Monday, June 13, 2016

Sara Celebrates San Juan with Masskara sa Sulay-Basya Festival



People who go to the town of Sara, Iloilo on June 24 cannot stay dry as the whole community of devotees perform their annual rites by dousing one another with water or sprinkle water on guests to honour their Patron Saint, John the Baptist.

The Sulay-Basya Festival now on its 14th year highlights the annual rites with series of special events from June 19-24, 2016.


With the theme, “Pagpasag-uli, Pagpanibag-o, Pagkinasadya: Arangka Sara!,” the celebration opens on June 19 (Sunday) Opening of Food Festival with Live Band in the evening;  June 20 (Monday) Parade at 7 a.m. and Opening Program , the Sulay Basya Got Talent sponsored by NIPSCV-VSC is at the evening; June 21 (Tuesday) Pintados de Walkaton at 5:30 a.m., Laro Ng Lahi at 9:30 a.m., Boodle Fight at noontime, Basketball Championship Game, Mass Dance Competition at 3 p.m., Showcase of Talents with guest DJ courtesy of Globe Telecom in the evening; June 22 (Wednesday) Hashtag Luke and Showtime Dancers with MKF Production Artists in the evening; June 23 (Thursday) Taebo in the morning, Talent Showdown with Search for Little Miss DepEd in the evening; June 24 (Friday) Tribe Competition at 9 a.m. followed by the Basyahanay Parade, Coronation Night in the evening with Guest Artist.


Both coined from Hiligaynon words, “Sulay” is a term for “to get wet” and “Basya” is “to douse with water,” the festival, celebrated as Masskara sa Sulay Basya features performing groups in masks.

Masks are the order of the day at the tribal dance competition as brightly-costumed performers dance to the samba beat, considered as the dance of celebration and joy with lively and rhythmical movements. The dancer’s painted masks and elaborate costumes, all vying for prizes in judging that will be held in the morning.


Our local custom is the most appropriate way of the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the precursor who prepared people for the coming of Jesus Christ. St. John baptized the people with water. To remind one of one's baptism, people in the community use a tabo or water dipper, others have water guns to douse everyone with water. By allowing oneself to get wet, devotees hope to receive blessings and the community have bountiful harvest in their farming.


Celebrate Sara’s culture at Masskara sa Sulay Basya led by the rhythmic beat of Samba. Guests are guaranteed to see a dazzling array of beautiful samba dances, surely making the festival a one- of- a-kind festival in Iloilo.


The municipality of Sara is a 2nd-class municipality belonging to the 5th Congressional District of the province of Iloilo. It is 97 kilometers northeast from the city and is politically subdivided into 42 barangays. Its land area measures 18, 300 hectares and is bounded on the north by the province of Capiz, on the east by the towns of San Dionisio and Concepcion, on the south by Ajuy, and on the west by Lemery. It annually celebrates its patronal Fiesta every 24th of June in honor of San Juan de Bautista. Market day is every Mondays and Saturdays.

























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