Kasanggayahan Festival shows best of Bicol’s culture

Rhaydz B. Barcia

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Kasanggayahan Festival shows best of Bicol’s culture

PERFORM. Cultural performers from Iriga City, all smiles, grace the street presentation at the regionwide "Festival of Festivals" held in Sorsogon City.

Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

Performers from across Bicol show their distinct and vibrant cultural heritage during the concluding event of the Kasanggayahan Festival

SORSOGON, Philippines – The cultural heritage of the six provinces of Bicol were showcased once again in Sorsogon after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dressed in colorful costumes, mostly made from indigenous materials, performers from across Bicol showed their distinct and vibrant cultural heritage during the concluding event of the Kasanggayahan Festival.

Kasanggayahan, which means “prosperity,” brings together the festivals of the different provinces in the Bicol region, where performers from various provinces demonstrate their rich heritage through graceful and rhythmic cultural performances on the streets and during the final competition showdown at the Sorsogon capitol grounds.

The Kasanggayahan Festival is an annual event held in Sorsogon to commemorate its establishment as a separate province from Albay on October 17, 1894.

This year’s festival was significant for Sorsoganons as they celebrated the 129th anniversary of the province’s founding and the 454th commemoration of the first mass at the historic Gibalon shrine in Magallanes, Sorsogon. 

The place is believed to be where Christianity begun in Luzon.

Bobby Gigantone, Sorsogon’s provincial tourism office chief, said 11 contingents from the six provinces of the Bicol Region competed.

This year’s Kasanggayahan festivity included contingents that showcased the following:

  • Coron Festival of Tiwi town, Albay province
  • Abaca Festival of San Andres town, Catanduanes
  • Burak Festival of Virac town, Catanduanes
  • Parau Festival of Pilar, Sorsogon City
  • Gayon Ciudad Festival of Sorsogon 
  • Voyadores Festival of Naga City
  • Kamuy-an Festival of Baao town, Camarines Sur
  • Tinagba Festival of Iriga City
  • Kaogma Festival of Camarines Sur
  • Isla Rancho Festival of San Pascual, Masbate
  • Bantayog Festival of Santa Elena, Camarines Norte

The Isla Rancho Festival of Masbate contingent bagged the top prize of P1 million. 

The first runner-up was the Gayon Ciudad Festival-Sorsogon City contingent, and the 2nd runner-up was the group that featured the Bantayog Festival of Santa Elena, Camarines Norte.

Herbie Aguas, Department of Tourism-Bicol director, said the DOT spent P1.8 million for cash prizes while Sorsogon Governor Edwin “Boboy” Hamor contributed for consolation prizes.

Each of the 11 contingents received P25,000 and an additional P200,000 from Hamor. –

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