September Festivals in the Visayas Worth Seeing

The Visayas region in the Philippines is famous for its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes. As the month rolls around, it becomes even more alive with a variety of September festivals in the Visayas that celebrate the rich history and traditions of the area.

From religious processions to colorful street dances, there is no shortage of exciting events to experience. If you want to explore the Visayas this September, check out these festivals worth adding to your itinerary. Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or simply someone who loves to immerse yourself in new cultures, these festivals will leave a lasting impression.

So prepare your bags and experience the magic of the Visayas during this festive season!

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September Festivals in the Visayas: Pitlagong Festival (September 28, Argao, Cebu)

Sali-argaw tree (Source: Joseph Solis in Australia/Wikimedia Commons)

Argao is a renowned town in the province of Cebu, established as a pueblo by the Spanish in 1608. It became named after the area’s flourishing plant species, “Sali-argaw”. The people of Argao are profoundly religious and actively participate in socio-cultural activities during Fiesta and Holy Week Celebrations. They are hospitable, hardworking, and determined.

The locals celebrate the Pitlagong festival to honor their patron saint, Saint Michael the Archangel. They use bamboo instruments called “Pitlagong” to clean the sugong container for collecting coconut wine or vinegar. “Tuba” is an essential part of the daily lives of Argawanons.

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Banigan Festival (Septemer 28, Bassey, Samar)

Parade during the Banigan Festival (Source: Lawrence Ruiz/Wikimedia Commons)

The Banigan Festival, also known as Kawayan-Banigan Festival, will be held on September 28 to September 29, 2018, in Basey, Samar. The festival is a yearly celebration of various types of mats and showcases the town’s primary sources of livelihood – bamboo weaving and mat weaving. The rugs, made of colored “tikog” Fimbristylis miliacea leaves, are meticulously woven and beautifully designed with vibrant colors.

Basey is known as the Banig Capital of the Philippines, and the festival features an annual street dance parade highlighting the town’s woven mats and bamboo crafts. The weaving tradition has been passed down to generations and has become a way of life for the people of Basey. The Banigan-Kawayan Festival is a tribute to the local bamboo mats and promotes Agri-tourism across the nation.

September Festivals in the Visayas: Karansa Festival (3rd Sunday of September, Danao, Cebu)

Danao’s Karansa Festival (Source: Mark Linel Padecio/Wikimedia Commons)

The Karansa Festival is a well-known and lively celebration that takes place among the residents of Danao, Cebu Province. The event features dancing performances, food, and drinks to celebrate the region’s pottery-making industry. It occurs yearly on the third Sunday of September in honor of the city’s patron saint, Santo Tomas de Villanueva.

Participants engage in happy and playful dancing and jumping activities accompanied by music, drumming, and occasional loud shouting. The festival is a unique way for potters to express their joy and satisfaction after a day’s hard work using four basic techniques: making kiay, shaking karag and kurug, and juddering karahay.

Karansa is a term that originated from Barangay Suba, where the people are well-known for their pottery-making skills. They used to celebrate their daily work by performing dance steps. Judges evaluate each group based on costume, coordination, dynamics, and overall performance. The pottery makers drink coconut wine and dance as a way of expressing gratitude and helping them relax.

Minuluan Festival (September 8 – 10, Talisay City, Negros Occidental)

The Ruins in Talisay City (Source: Ninya Regalado/Wikimedia Commons)

The Minuluan Festival is an annual celebration in Talisay City, honoring the unique identity and rich culture of Talisaynons. The festival showcases the traditions and customs of the past, as well as the bravery of their ancestors. In addition, the festival commemorates Talisay’s patron saint, San Nicholas de Tolentino, and features various cultural activities such as Prinsesa sang Minulu-a, social night, visual arts displays, and more.

Tambobo Festival (September 8 – 10, Ajuy, Iloilo)

The Tambobo Festival is a celebration that focuses on the local products of Ajuy and their storage facilities. This festival serves as a way of giving thanks for the rich resources of the town. The community showcases cultural performances during this festival and holds a grand feast to appreciate the yields and blessings received. The festival starts with a food celebration and a group trail race, followed by a band on the second day.

The festival’s highlight is the Search for Lin-ay sang Tambobo, which marks the end of the five-day celebration. Tambobo, which means storage or warehouse in Hiligaynon, is where locals keep agricultural products until needed or ordered.

September Festivals in the Visayas: Karatong Festival (September 7, Dulag, Leyte)

The Karatong Festival is an exciting dance celebration that tells the story of the karatong, a bamboo instrument used in the 16th century to alert the townspeople of incoming Moro marauders. The people of Dulag, also known as “Dulagnon,” used the karatong to communicate with each other in ancient times. It served as a warning system for impending danger and helped to protect the town from intruders.

Nuestra Señora del Refugio miraculously saved the locals during the invasion of Dulag by Moro attackers who sought the Golden Bell by transporting them to safety on top of the karatong. Dulag is a historically significant municipality located on the eastern coast of Leyte, facing the Leyte Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. Gently sloping, rolling hills characterize the terrain in the western area of the town.

Locals know Dulag as the “Liberation Town” since it managed to rebuild and thrive after World War II. Today, it is a thriving coastal town that overlooks Leyte Gulf.

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Final Thoughts

The Philippines has much to offer beyond its stunning beaches and natural attractions. The country boasts a rich history and vibrant culture that you can discover through the various festivals we celebrate. If you decide to come, you’ll have a fantastic time experiencing numerous September festivals in the Visayas.

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