Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sorsogon's Kasanggayahan Festival

Every October of each year, the KASANGGAYAHAN FESTIVAL is celebrated in Sorsogon in commemoration of its foundation as a Province. It is a province-wide festival, with the center of activities in Sorsogon City.

Kasanggayahan is an old Bikol word, the meaning of which can be gleaned from this short verse:

"When the fields are green
and the grains are golden;
when the machines work well
and all business prosper;
when the birds in the sky chirp freely
and men on earth are peacefully happy;
in Bikol, it is KASANGGAYAHAN,
meaning, a life of prosperity.”

The Kasanggayahan Festival, which is listed by the Department of Tourism as one of the annual Philippine Festivals, is celebrated with a series of cultural, historical, religious, agro-industrial and economic activities, showcasing Sorsogon’s abundant agricultural products, particularly food and decorative items from the versatile Pili tree, which is indigenous to the province.

The Festival is highlighted by the inimitable Pantomina sa Tinampo. Pantomina, a traditional Bikol dance, is known as a dance of love and courtship – actually the “dance of the doves” or “sinalampati” ( “salampati” is Bikol for dove), as it was then known before the coming of the Spanish colonizers.The Pantomina, or “pantomime”, imitates, in dance, the courtship and lovemaking of the doves. But it is only in Sorsogon where this is danced in the streets, or “tinampo”, by droves of eager dancers wearing colorful native attire, as they cajole and coax tourists and onlookers to join in the fun and merrymaking, partake of tuba, the native coconut wine, and lechon, or roast pig, carried by dancers as they swing and sway and do their love dance down the streets of Sorsogon.


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