Guide to Kasadyahan Festival: Kasadyahan Festival, now known as Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahan, is celebrated every fourth week of January and preludes the Dinagyang Festival. According to the Province of Iloilo, it is the ‘Festival of Festivals’ and gathers performances from respective municipalities in the province.
The Kasadyahan Festival was introduced sometime in the 80s to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the province and showcase the best of Western Visayas. To date, the festival is proudly presented by the Iloilo Provincial Government, in collaboration with the Iloilo City Government and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc (IFFI).
For 2024, the Province of Iloilo puts its tourism catchphrase, ‘Fun, Foodie, Friendly Iloilo’, to center stage. The mantra matches the province’s vision encapsulated in MoRProGRes Iloilo, a Movement for a Robust, Progressive, Globally Competitive, and Resilitient Province of Iloilo.
About MoRProGRes. MoRProGRes, a Movement for a Robust, Progressive, Globally Competitive, and Resilient Province of Iloilo, is the brainchild of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. to position Iloilo as an ideal investment destination for power and energy, water, telecommunications, and road works.
Banaag Festival | Anilao
Celebrated every first Week of November
Anilao is a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo, 42 kilometers (26 miles) from Iloilo City. As of 2020, it has a population of 30,500+ people and is politically subdivided into 21 barangays. The municipality takes pride in its annual event, the Banaag Festival, recalling historical practices when local sentinels light a torch to warn residents of incoming pirates.’ The celebration, meanwhile, was initiated by Vice Mayor Therese ‘Matet’ Debuque more than a decade ago. To date, the Banaag Festival is one of the most sought-after tourism events in the province.
Cry of Jelicuon Festive | New Lucena
Celebrated every last Week of October
New Lucena is a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. As of 2020, it has a population of 24,314. Before its name, New Lucena was known as ‘Jimanban’, which was a part of the municipality of Cabatuan. Moreover, the ‘new’ in New Lucena was added in 1955. New Lucena is centrally located in the province of Iloilo, and it is 24 kilometers (15 miles) from Iloilo City. Politically, it is subdivided into 21 barangays. Tourism highlights include the famous Mila’s Hill Inland Resort, an initiative of the Jarfel Corporation.
The Cry of Jelicuon is an homage to the revolutionaries led by General Martin Delgado who fought for freedom during the Spanish rule. General Delgado led his voluntaries to Barrio Hilicuon, nestled in the boundary of Santa Barbara, Cabatuan, and New Lucena, and cried ‘long live independence’. (Sonza, Philippine Free Press, 1953). Essentially, the Cry of Jelicuon commemorates the heroic acts of the revolutionaries against Spanish forces.
Hirinugyaw Suguidanonay Festival | Calinog
Celebrated every last week of October
Calinog is a first-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. In a 2020 census, it has a population of 62,853 people. Politically, it is subdivided into 59 barangays, four of which are in the población area. Event highlights in the town include the Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay, a festival coined from the Visayan term ‘jubilation’ and is celebrated in honor of the Child Jesus, similar to the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.
Hirinugyaw Suguidanonay is a celebration offered to Santo Nino, the Child Jesus. ‘Hirinugyaw’, a local term for revelry, is paired with ‘suguidanonay’, another local term for storytelling. It is also a tribute to the indigenous people called ‘Sulod’ or ‘Sulodnons’, which translates to persons living in closet-like territories, specifically that of Panay Bukidnon. The Sulodnons are known for their rich culture, especially epic tales often referred to as Hillinawod, directly translated as stories of the Halawod River. It tells of adventures by fictional characters Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon, and Dumalapdap.
Kaing Festival | Leon
Celebrated every third week of November
Leon is a second-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. In a 2020 census, it has a population of 51,990 and is 36 kilometers (22 miles) from Iloilo City. Leon is known as the ‘vegetable basket of the province’ due to its supply of asparagus, cabbages, Baguio beans, sayote, eggplants, carrots, and other vegetables. Politically, it is subdivided to 85 barangays.
Tourism highlights in the town of Leon include the famous Bucari Mountain Range, dubbed the ‘summer capital of Iloilo’ and ‘vegetable garden of Iloilo’, as well as the Pineridge Bucari Mountain Resort, Bucari Pine Forest and Waterfalls, and the Leon Church.
Kaing, which directly translates to a basket made of bamboo strips, is a local find in Leon, well known for its bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. To locals, the festival celebrates the town’s abundant harvest.
Kasag Festival | Banate
Celebrated every third week of December
Banate is a fourth-class municipality with a population of 33,376 as of 2020. the coastal town is known for its fishing and agricultural practices, as well as its variety of produce such as rice, sugarcane, beans, coconut, and bananas. It is also known as the Kasag, or crab, capital and is also known for its krill, shrimp paste or ginamos, and fresh fish.
The Kasag Festival celebrates its unique seafood bounty, especially kasag. The festival was initiated in 2007 as a promotional means to market its industry. To date, it is a well-loved gastronomic festival in the province of Iloilo.
Katagman Festival | Oton
Celebrated every third week of May
Oton is a first-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. As of 2020, it has a total population of 98,509. It is also a part of the Metro Iloilo – Guimaras area centered on Iloilo City. Eleven kilometers (6.8 miles) west of Iloilo City, Oton is bordered by the municipality of Tigbauan to the west, San Miguel to the north, Pavia to the northeast, Panay Gulf to the south, and the district of Arevalo, and Iloilo City to the east. Politically, it is subdivided into 37 barangays.
The town’s economy is fueled by a growing number of properties – Gaisano Oton, Puregold Oton, and Vista Mall are located in this town. Other tourist attractions include Anhawan Beach Resort and Spa, Adhara Eco Boutique Resort, and Sheridan Boutique Resort to mention a few.
The Katagman Festival is a celebration of the town’s founding anniversary. It is celebrated every May 3rd and is participated by constituent barangays. The celebration began in 2003 and is worded Katagman, from the former name of San Antonio. The festival was previously called Ogtonganon Festival.
Pantat Festival | Zarraga
Celebrated every third week of December
Zarraga is a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. As of 2020, it has a population of 27,305. Just 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) from Iloilo City, Zarraga is politically divided into 24 barangays. Tourism highlights in the town include the following: Zarraga Church, and various inland resorts.
Pantat Festival is a celebration of the town’s flourishing pantat (catfish) industry. It is often lauded as one of the biggest celebrations in the second congressional district of the province.
Saad Festival | Leganes
Celebrated every first week of April
Leganes is a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. As of 2020, it has a population of 34,725. It is nestled 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from Iloilo City and the town is made up of houses, farms, and light agricultural spaces. Moreover, Leganes is part of the Metro Iloilo – Guimaras area. Politically, it is subdivided into 18 barangays.
Before its name, Leganes was formerly known as ‘Valencia’, named by early founders after the town’s patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer of Valencia. The church, a tourism highlight, is known as the ‘Mecca of Iloilo’ and is the most visited site in the town. Event and tourism highlights for Leganes include ‘Biraw Paraw’ (the town’s tourism event), Gethsemane Retreat House and Orchard, and Leganes Church.
The Saad Festival is a cultural presentation depicting the life of the town’s venerated icon and patron saint, San Vincent Ferrer, often referred to as the ‘angel of healing’. One of the town’s practices, the ‘palapak’, relates to the act of pressing the image of the saint on the head of the devotee and is a widespread act during this festival
Tultugan Festival | Maasin
Celebrated every December 29
Maasin is a third-class municipality in the province of Iloilo. In a 2020 census, it has a total population of 38,461. It is 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Iloilo City. Politically, it is subdivided into 50 barangays. The Tultugan Festival celebrates the town’s bamboo industry.