Bohol’s festivals celebrate life, offer thanks amid challenges
Text: Deneb R. Batucan
Images: Alex Badayos
COME the month of May, the Boholanos from different parts of the Philippines, and even the world, would never fail to come back to their hometown. The month of May brings in not just the heat of the summer but a long line of month-long festivities in different parts of the island.
Boholanos would often go over the top in celebrating town fiestas, always welcoming guests into their home for scrumptious home-cooked meals and the ever-present lechon baboy and the Boholano humba. No one is exempted everyone should have their plates, stomachs, and even their hearts, full.
SunStar Weekend highlights three distinct May fiestas in the island of Bohol where food, fun and friendship is of abundance.
Saulog Tagbilaran Festival
Kicking of the month of festivities, Saulog Tagbilaran is the festival celebration of Tagbilaran City that is in homage to their patron, St. Joseph the Worker. It starts nine days before May 1, its fiesta day, with activities every night, including Mutya ng Tagbilaran, a beauty pageant, as well as the street dancing parade and field performances from all 15 barangays on the fiesta day.
Saulog, which is a Visayan word for celebrate, has special dance steps — unique to the festival — that each street dancing contingent should incorporate into their dance: pagpanguros, pagsipilya ug pagdukduk, paghalad and pagsaulog. These steps stem from carpentry, which was St. Joseph the Worker’s job.
This ten-day festival happens on May 1 to 10 at the municipality of Calape, Bohol, commemorating their peoples rich devotion to their town saint, St. Vincente Ferrer. It is also an offering, or pahinugod, for Calapehanons to always come home during the town fiesta.
Highlights during the Pahinugod Festival are the concerts and exhibits which happen during the ten-day fiesta as well as the street dances that culminates the celebrations.
A festival of music and dance in Loboc, Bohol, Bolibongkingking Festival got its name from the local term used to describe the sound of the gongs and drums. The music is used for the ritual dances performed in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lobocs patroness, using native instruments as a form of prayer and thanksgiving.
Saulog: a Visayan word for celebrate
Special dance steps of the Saulog Festival:
These steps stem from carpentry, St. Joseph the Worker’s job.
230+ – Number of fiestas all over Bohol for the month of May
If you’re looking to partake in the ultimate Bohol fiesta experience, here are the dates of some of the fiestas in different towns of Bohol.
May 8 – San Miguel, Saint Michael
May 10 – Calape, Saint Vincent Ferrer
May 15 – Bilar, Saint Isidore the Farmer
May 15 – Tubigon, San Isidro Labrador
May 19 – Candijay, Saint Joseph
May 22 – Loay, Blessed Trinity
May 23 – Loboc, Our Lady of Guadalupe
May 29 – Talibon, Blessed Trinity