Every last week of April
Municipality of Janiuay
Surong Festival is an eco-agri and cultural festival. It also showcases the journey of every Janiuaynons in all the challenges and adversities of their lives. The festival intends to build a strong common future among its people, rooted in their historically rich common past.
Janiuaynons are known for their strength of character. They are brave, tireless and prayerful. They see life’s challenges as a blessing and that it comes into a persons’ life for a reason. And chooses to learn valuable lessons from the challenges they encounter. Janiuaynons believe that to be able to reap their benefits, they should accept them with absolute faith. They believe that the more difficult the adversity, the more valuable will be the lessons it offers to teach. By exercising faith in a power greater than themselves, they discover they are not alone in any adversity.
Iloilo has its own beautiful traditional Lenten celebration. Throughout Lenten season, many towns have precious and moving traditions played out every year during Holy Week or Semana Santa, part of a tradition celebrated throughout the country.
Many towns spend all year planning for the spectacle and is home to some of the biggest Lenten traditions. For visitors and tourists here in time for the Lenten spectacle, towns offer plenty of other things to do.
Visita Iglesia is a Lenten base for exploring Iloilo. It is a popular activity among families and friends where they go from one church to the other pausing at each station for quiet meditation and prayer.
Theatrical dramatization of the Passion of Christ brings to life the death of our Lord. Annually celebrated in the town of Barotac Viejo the Taltal is this town’s way of maintaining devotion and traditions today.
Annually in Cabatuan, residents along the streets begin preparations weeks and even months in advance creating beautifully intricate life-size Lenten characters of the Stations of the Cross. Along with this is the traditional Filipino ritual involving an uninterrupted chanting-singing of the verses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Pasyon is structured in five-line stanzas, with each line containing eight syllables performed in the local dialect, Kiniray-a as a song a capella or with the accompaniment of a guitar. Many Cabatuananons consider Pasyon and Kapiya as their “panata” or personal pledge during Holy Week. It has evolved into a community activity that allows their community devotees to express their faith.