Thursday, December 15, 2016

10th KASAG Festival in Banate

Banate, Iloilo will celebrate the bounty of its seas and tourism through Kasag Festival on December 15 – 23, with the tribal dance competition on December 21, 2016 at 6 a.m. This annual event of food and fun starring of course, the blue crab is also every visitor’s chance to explore the town, its waterfront with activities on land and by water in and around the area.

The blue crab, locally known as Kasag is perhaps the most sought-after shellfish in Iloilo where the majority of the catch is commercial. Despite their name, blue crabs are typically more of a gray to dull blue-green in color. Only their claws are truly blue, with the claws of mature females tipped in a bright orange-red. With three pairs of walking legs, blue crabs generally walk sideways, clearing a path with sharp lateral spines. Large, powerful claws are used for defense, digging, sexual displays and to gather food.

Crabbing is part of Banate's heritage, and crab feasts are a favorite local tradition. Heaps of blue crabs (now red, after steaming), are piled high on newspaper-covered tables and eagerly devoured in residential backyards, in local restaurants and picnic sites.

Kasag Festival began in 2007 to market its popular industry: Blue Crab, a well-known and popular food among Ilonggos. It is organized and produced annually by the municipal government for the benefit of the residents of Banate. The festivity is a time for the community to celebrate the abundant resources that they receive from the sea.

It is the intent of the organizer of the festival to coordinate a variety of family oriented activities that will provide men, women and children a festive and fun recreational outlet. It is also intended to boost local tourism to enhance their business and organizations and assist as a fundraising opportunity to raise needed revenues. The measure of the success of Kasag festival is both in community participation and in financial revenues earned.

The original celebration of the festival was held every 24th day of June highlighted by the tribal dance competition set on the final day of its Annual Religious Town Fiesta in honor of St. John the Baptist.

Come out and enjoy the celebration. Tell your family and friends and come join the people of Banate for a wonderful 9-day long of delicious food and fun music.

The coastal town of Banate in northern Iloilo is 50 kilometers from the city center. Its land area measuring 11,886 hectares shares border with Barotac Viejo and San Enrique in the northwest; Banate Bay in the southeast; and Dingle and Anilao in the west. The town is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

To get to Banate, visitors can take a Ceres Bus at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

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