Tag Archives: Miagao

Pagdaug – Saludan Festival

3rd week of March
Municipality of Miagao
1st District, Iloilo


Saludan, a Hiligaynon term coined from the word salud, the traditional way of gathering or accumulating a thing for its interest or value such as threshing rice using a basket or catching fingerlings through nets.

Fishing and farming has been Tigbauan’s way of life for several generations. They grow many crops and fish for food. This is not only for survival means but also to bring families together to celebrate the planting and harvesting seasons, to share ideas on how to maintain a farmland’s fertility and to take good care of their seas. And also it is to impart this knowledge of farming and fishing to the younger generation. Their lifestyles and festivities are thus exclusively linked to the annual celebration of their festival.

The traditional harvest festivity of Saludan is celebrated alongside Pagdaug, a festival segment commemorating the annual observance of the Liberation of Panay. The festivity has become the symbol of Tigbauans’ esteem not only in terms of its abundant varieties of local produce but also for the honoured Tigbauanons who served and died, and all who supported the World War II effort from this town.

The festival highlight is the tribe performances that illuminate the Japanese experience during the WWII era with personal stories. Symbolic of the defining event are dramatizations of some chilling reminders of its Japanese wartime existence. The presentations will draw on the commemorative experiences of spectators watching by capturing, in the audiences’ own words, their individual reflections on those Tigbauanons who have sacrificed their lives during WWII.


Salakayan Festival

1st week of February
Municipality of Miagao
1st District, Iloilo


The annual celebration of Salakayan Festival is an opportunity for the people of Miagao to pay tribute to their cultural roots. Taken from the Hiligaynon word “Salakay” or “to attack,” the festival is marked by the locals ready to defend their land from the attacks of Muslim pirates. This dance-drama presentation depicts the battle waged by the local defenders against the piratical activities and slave-hunting expeditions of the Muslims pirates or Moros—name-calling of Spanish authorities of the Islamic people of Mindanao.

Moros take the able bodied and were brought to the slavers’ lairs to join the other captives from other settlements awaiting the long journey south. Those who attempt to flee were either clubbed or killed if they resisted vigorously. Among the able-bodied captives, women and children were preferred because they commanded a higher price in the market in Sulu, Makassar and Java. Once taken into custody, the slaves were then stripped naked and are fastened by a rattan collar around their necks. The captives were then forced to row the vessels. Slaves were sold to work heavily in the fields or negotiated to merchants for other Asian markets. Others were used as household retainers or as rowers of pirate vessels. Slaves who proved their loyalty and converted themselves to Islam were raised in status and often becoming raiders themselves.

The presentation ends with the victorious battle that took place in May 7, 1754. Along with the tribal dance competition is the special procession of the Higantes or towering figures that commonly depict archetypes of the town, such as historical figures of local relevance.

Coastal settlements in the islands of Panay became the objects of frequent Moro raids. Many towns in the north and south of Iloilo became easy targets and Miagao was not spared from these raids that resulted to the burning of the original structure of St. Thomas of Villanova church situated at that time in Sitio Ubos.

The history of the Salakayan Festival began with modest gatherings in the streets around the town center. And throughout the week-long celebration, series of special events to mark Salakayan became potent festival symbols.


Salakayan Festival

1st week of February
Municipality of Miag-ao
1st District, Province of Iloilo

Salakayan, coined from a Hiligaynon term “salakay” or “ to attack,” is a street dance-drama that merges arts, lore and customs of the town. It tells of personal power and daily activities of the people. The main theme depicts the victorious battle waged by the locals against Muslim marauders sometime in 1754. An important historical occasion for the people of Miag-ao, this annual festivity attracts guests to its week-long activity of Food Fair, Agro-industrial and Trade Fair, Fluvial Parade, Higante contest, Literary Musical contest, Evening Socials and the hablon and patadyong Fashion show.

EDISON MOLANIDA
Municipal Tourism Officer
Contact nos.: (033) 3158050.

Miagao Church

St. Thomas of Villanova Parish

The present structure of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish was started in December of 1786 abd was finished 1797.

As a place of worship and as a fort used in defending the town against MORO raid, the church boasts its artistic facade Decorated with a relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child amidts coconut, papaya and guava shrubs. In February 16, 1963, it was awarded a historical maker by the Philippine Historical Commission; declared a national shrine though Presidential Decree No. 260 in August 1, 1973; and was listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1994, the only one in Visayas and Mindanao.