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FESTIVALS IN BATAAN
Feast Days Feast days, or “fiestas” in local parlance, are generally festive celebrations that involve fairs, carnivals, a tiangge (flea market), craft exhibits, amateur song and dance contests, musical shows. On the eve of a fiesta in Bataan, the merriment already begins with a serenata (brass band) concert or contest at the town plaza. On the big day itself, a drum and bugle band marches around the main thoroughfares with the kurakol or kuraldal or sambale (street dancing) strutting along its wake.
The people of Calaguiman had been practicing this tradition since 1947, which was started by one family in this barangay.
A traditional Lenten presentation renacting the life and passion of Christ presented by the local folks of Calaguiman in major roads, culminating at the town plaza. Early on Good Friday people would flock down the main streets to watch the senakulo, a passion play depicting the suffering of Jesus Christ starting with the betrayal of Judas up to the funeral of Jesus. The participants are all dressed in costumes depicting the role they portray.
Bataan Day Celebration
Araw ng Kagitingan or Bataan Day is an annual event, a national holiday April 6-9, that commemorates the gallantry of Filipino and American soldiers during WW II. Defeat/ fall of Bataan and honors the bravery of Filipino soldiers who offered their lives for freedom of the country The president of the country, together with other dignitaries, war veterans and officials of the province usually leads celebration of the Bataan Day at the Shrine of Valor in Mt. Samat.
It is said that the name “Balanga” was derived from a kind of pot used for cooking or fetching water. The cooking pot is made of a special clay and is locally known as “banga”. To commemorate this humble beginning of the now progressive city, the Banga Festival is being celebrated.
Celebrated every second day of May, the festival reenacts Queen Helena’s and her son Constantine’s quest for the cross of Jesus Christ.
Santacruzan De Mayo
Every first week of May, a 2-week Santacruzan is held in Bagac featuring grown-up ladies and their constantinos, where a group of ladies, with their abanikos, chant songs of praise during the procession. The Santacruzan is brought around the town every night, starting May 2 and on the 15th day a “piging” is held starting with a mass in the morning followed by a procession and a Sambale or dance of townspeople. Another procession at night is held wherein the Reyna Helena’s cross will be passed to the following year’s Hermana Mayor.
Beating the late summer heat, the municipality celebrates its town fiesta on the 24th day of June, with lots of merry making, with street dancing and a week long hosting of various festivities which includes civic-military parade, cultural presentations of songs, dances from almost every sector of the community.
In memory of the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the town’s patron saint, biblically known as the one who baptized Jesus Christ with water on the river of Jordan, a short presentation reminiscing the act is played before the crowd after which everybody in town joyfully joins the Kuraldal- a dance –around parade with floral dresses and hats, flowers and leaves swayed and waved in merriment, while on-lookers wet them all with water, a resemblance of how Jesus was, when St. John, the Baptist poured over his head the water of Christianity.
Palis Lasa Festival
An agro- religious festival held annually in Mabatang, Abucay. It starts with a thanksgiving mass and a street dancing where participants adorn themselves with colorful costumes made of tiger lass or “lasa” used to make walis tambo.
Feast Day of Nuestra Senora del Pilar
The feast day is celebrated every 12th day of October to honor the miraculous Nuestra Señora del Pillar.
Feast Day of Nuestra Senora del Rosario
The feast day is celebrated every 2nd sunday of October to honor the miraculous Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
Alimango Sugpo Festival
Celebrated every second Sunday of October to honor the miraculous Virgin Mary of the Rosary.
For the past years, the Bantay Pawikan, Inc. and the Morong local government unit have been conducting the Pawikan Festival during the last week of November. For the past years, the Bataan Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government and the Provincial Tourism Office, had organized series of activities that aims to generate awareness and gather funds for the continuous development and rehabilitation of the conservation center. This symbolic celebration, usually held at the end of November, will hopefully bring sustainable progress to Bataan in terms of safeguarding the natural environment and unify people from all walks of life under the preservation program.
Montemar Beach Club Inc., a privately owned beach resort in the town of Bagac also celebrates the Pawikan festival yearly. This is part of the corporation’s thrust to conserve and protect these endangered animals which are also present in the coasts and pristine beaches of Bagac. These two “pawikan” projects clearly showcase the efforts and importance of marine turtle conservation in the whole province of Bataan…how private commercial establishments do it in Bagac, and volunteerism of the community in the Morong Pawikan Center.
Paskuhan sa Mabatang
In Mabatang, Abucay the joys of Christmas is extended to the streets. Every “sitio” in the barangay is lavishly adorned and lighted to the obvious delight of everyone. People from all over the province and nearby towns would drive around Mabatang to check out the new gimmick Abukeños have come up for this year. It shows the creativity and ingenuity of the people in this much-awaited season.
Read More on The Historical Province of Bataan
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