The Miagao’s 296th Foundation Anniversary and Salakayan Festival 2012 is week-long celebration starting February 4-12, 2012. This year’s theme: “Ugyon, Miagaowanon!”
Here is a short information about Miagao and Salakayan Festival.
Miagao’s beautiful setting and well-preserved architecture makes it one of the most beautiful towns in Iloilo. One of the oldest cities in the province, Miagao was founded by Spanish settlers in 1538 and became an independent town in 1716. Situated 40-kilometers southwest from the city, the town is bounded by the municipality of Sibalom, Province of Antique in the northwest; in the northeast by Igbaras; Guimbal in the east; south by Panay Gulf; and in the west by San Joaquin. Having the most number of barangays in the province at 119, Miag-ao is populated by 57,092 (2000 Census on Population) people that living peacefully in its 13,286-hectare land area.
Miagao contains a few, yet very important and popular architectural and artistic monuments illuminating its rich past with architectural wonder dating from the colonial era. The natives’ fascination with religion past displayed itself with the construction of a stone church. It was of highly supervised construction. The stone blocks used were quarried from the nearby towns of San Joaquin and Igbaras. The Baroque-Romanesque style of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, popularly known as the Miagao Church, located in the poblacion, was constructed in 1786 and completed in 1797. Considered as truly a “Filipino Church,” it exudes a native touch due to the presence of coconut, papaya and guava shrubs alongside St. Christopher carrying the child Jesus in its façade. The church constitutes one of the architectural wonders of the world with its inclusion in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in December of 1993.
The Salakayan Festival
Coined from the native word “salakay” or “to attack,” the SALAKAYAN Festival goes beyond recreation. It goes beyond the functional purposes of the celebration. It is an awareness presented through cultural performances that tells a story; serves religious, political, economic, or social needs that gives spectators an experience that is pleasurable, exciting, and aesthetically valuable.
The festival honors and commemorates the bravery of its ancestors. With the tribe presentation as the festival highlight, performers dance depicting the frequent Moro raids that caused panic throughout the community as Muslim raiders attacked the town’s coastline from their bases.
And because of the importance of its harbor, Miagao became a victim of frequent raids by Muslim pirates—a seafaring group of landless warriors who sought fame and fortune through plundering, trading, or demanding tribute from fearful residents in the areas and around the coastal and river areas. The natives initially fragmented in response to these waves of attacks by developing new alliances. And in 1754, they defended their town through fierce fighting.
With the annual celebration of the SALAKAYAN Festival, Miagao’s culture and history are preserved for subsequent generations. Though a variety of special events are available, generally the festival will leave much to be desired.
I hope i had given you a little background about Miagao.
Here are the Schedule of Activities of the 2012 Salakayan Festival:
Feb 4. – Opening of Food Fair (Miagao Town Plaza)
Feb. 5 – Balikbayan Day
Feb. 6 – Opening of Agro-Trade Fair
- Opening Salvo
- Vendor’s Night
Feb. 7 – Barangay Night
Feb. 8 – S.K.M.F. Night
Feb. 9 – M.V.S. Class ’62 Golden Jubilee
Feb. 10 – Salakayan Commemoration Day:
- Commemoration Mass (Baybay Norte)
- Blessing of boats and Fluvial Procession (Baybay Norte)
- Larong Pinoy and Sea Games (Baybay Norte)
- “Sugba-Sugba” Festival (Baybay Norte)
- Salakayan Re-Enactment Cultural Show
- M.C.E.S. Grand Alumni Homecoming
Feb. 11 – Salakayan Tribes’ Contest 2012
- Grand Civic and Float Parade
- Tribes’ Night
Feb. 12 – Coronation Night of Queen of Miagao 2012
Get a chance to visit Miagao and witness the Salakayan Festival 2012.