Monday, January 9, 2017

San Joaquin Municipal Fiesta Highlights Pasungay



San Joaquin, Iloilo marks its Municipal Fiesta on January 16-21, 2017 with the annual Pasungay – Pahibag (Bull and Horse Fight) January 21, a Saturday at 9 a.m till 12 noon. The event is the highlight of its 6-day Municipal Fiesta celebration.


January 16 (Monday) Opening Day with a parade and Liga Night with special performance from the Hashtag; January 17 (Tuesday) Drum Corps Parade and the Search for Dayang Kang Bayluhay; January 18 (Wednesday) Fun Run; January 19 (Thursday) Bayluhay Festival Street Dance and Tribe Competition; January 20 (Friday) Sarswela and Balikbayan Night; January 21 (Saturday) Pasungay and the Coronation of Municipal Fiesta Queen.


Horse and bull fighting is a traditional sport in San Joaquin and has increased in popularity among its people, more and more San Joaquinhons began to take part, and horse and bull fights became part of its barangay to municipal fiesta. Later, it was designated as Pasungay.


The bull and horse fights lasts for only half a day and into the fight arena at the San Joaquin Sports Stadiumcome the magnificent and awesome bulls and horses, led by their owners. The muscled, sturdy bulls and horses gather in the arena are itching to fight. Then it starts. The first few pairs of bulls attack at each other using their horns, they spin around and the exciting and absorbing fight arouses cheers from the hundreds of crowds of spectators. Alternately, a pair of horse is brought inside the arena, pouncing at each other, they rear up and kick with their hind legs. Some spectators even climb trees to get a better view of the arena. Betting at times precedes the fight.


Ownership of a winning bull or horse is some form of a status symbol. Bulls and horses are not only primary means of transport used to carry people and crops to the lowlands, but as medium of exchange in lieu of money. At times, bulls and horses are given to a bride as a dowry. And of course, the worthier bulls and horses are those which won more fights in horse and bull fighting event.


San Joaquin is an unending succession of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and mountain peaks. In between the sea and mountain are stretches of flat lands. People especially in the upland barangays of the town conduct bull or horse fights as a special featured event during celebrations as a form of thanksgiving or to honour a special guest during a celebrated occasion. This tradition dates back about hundreds of years.

A Second Class municipality, San Joaquin is the last town south of the province of Iloilo. It is 85 kilometers away or an hour and twenty minute drive from Iloilo City. It has a land area of 23,135 hectares subdivided into 85 barangays.

To get to the town, one can take a San Joaquin jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, take any bus at the Antique Terminal in Molo or at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Miss Erlyn Alunan – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09176619120.


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