September Agricultural Festivals

Costumes are designed with the vibrant color and qualities of the fruits popular in Victoria. (Travel Oriental Mindoro Website)

Welcome to the first of the ‘Ber’ months! While many folks are already probably thinking of putting up Christmas lights, there are others who are excitedly putting up festival banderitas.

Before settling into the Christmas spirit, here are some agri-related festivals you can celebrate in the month of September.

Anihan Festival | Dueñas, Iloilo
End of the Month

The locals of Dueñas, Iloilo hold the Anihan Festival in honor of their patron saint, St. Jerome. The festival is to thank him for a good harvest and for the courage he bestows on the locals during trying times.

The festival is celebrated with colorful street and interpretative dances which showcase the customs and traditions of the different tribes residing in Dueñas.  There are also fun events such as the Miss Anihan pageant, parades, agro-industrial trade fair, food fairs, and Laro ng Lahi (traditional games).

Street dancers express their thanks to the bountiful harvest blessed by their patron saint through their performances. (Screengrab from the Local Government Unit of Dueñas / Facebook)

Kialegnon Festival | Magsaysay, Davao del Sur

A whole week is dedicated to the thanksgiving festival of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur called the Kialegnon Festival. The festival is opened by cultural performances performed by the tribes of Magsaysay to appreciate the town’s culture. 

The week is also filled with other festivities such as a fun run, food fairs, sports competitions, dog shows, and the annual pageant, Hiyas ng Kialegnon.

Cultural dances are performed to open the week-long celebration of the Kialegnon Festival. (LGU Magsaysay / Facebook)

Agal-agal Festival | Tawi-tawi

If you love seaweed, then the Agal-agal Festival is the place to be. The locals of Tawi-tawi take pride in the abundance of delectable seaweed in their region, and the festival also coincides with the province’s founding celebration, Kamahardikaan sin Tawi-tawi, and the colorful indigenous boat festival called Lepa Festival.

It’s a week-long affair that highlights Tawi-tawi’s agricultural and cultural pride that include the unique cultures of the Badjao, Jama Mapun, Sama, and Tausug. They have cultural street dancing locally called the Igal Ma Lan. Major activities, such as parades, cultural showdowns, and the Search for Budjang Tawi-tawi pageant, often happen on the day of Kamahardikaan sin Tawi-tawi. 

The Agal-agal Festival is an agricultural and cultural affair for the locals of Tawi-tawi. (Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government / Facebook)

Kapakyanan Festival | Victoria, Oriental Mindoro
September 18

Kapakyanan is a Mangyan term which means “kasaganaan” or abundance. While Victoria’s main crop is rice, the Kapakyanan Festival celebrates the abundance of citrus and tropical fruits such as rambutan, lanzones and durian. 

Due to this abundance, Victoria is known as the “Fruit Basket of Oriental Mindoro.” The festival is celebrated with street dancing, fruit picking, and other traditional festivities highlighting local fruit.

Costumes are designed with the vibrant color and qualities of the fruits popular in Victoria. (Travel Oriental Mindoro Website)

Nuang Festival | San Agustin, Isabela
September 26

Carabaos are the star of Nuang Festival in San Agustin, Isabela. Nuang is the Ilocano term for carabao, and the festival is anticipated by carabao owners as they are able to flaunt their carabaos at the festival’s parade.

Many of the town’s carabaos are also the results of crossbreeding efforts initiated by the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Carabao Center, which is why they take pride in the improved breeds of their local farm-helpers.

The Nuang Festival also coincides with the town’s founding day which doubles the joyous vibe during this period. Competitions are held to find the “Best Buffalo in Milk Production,” “Best Dairy Caracow,” “Best Dressed Buffalo for female,” and “Best Draft Carabao for native male”.

The streets are “blackened” by the numerous carabaos walking the streets of San Agustin. (DA – Philippine Carabao Center Website)

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