Tubong – Tubong Festival
Every May 1st
Municipality of Tubungan
1st District, Iloilo
Tubungan continues to celebrate its proud heritage every year with its annual Tubong-Tubong Festival. It is a favourite of Tubunganons as the occasion calls for more entertainment than any other time of the year. It is the year’s most important community activity. Family members gather in the poblacion, traveling from across far-flung mountain barangays to spend the celebration in each other’s company.
Tubong-Tubong is derived from the word ‘tubong,’ a term used in gambling or in games, meaning ‘to add,’ ‘to contribute’ or ‘to chip-in’ to the original bet. The Spanish Laws of the Indies requires a place to have a certain number in terms of population in order to be recognized as a town.
And to comply with this requirement, people from neighboring towns were recruited and encouraged to settle in Tin-an, the original town of Tubungan. Its recognition as a town during the Spanish regime was made possible through tubong-tubong in terms of population.
Tubong-Tubong Festival was established with its mission of promoting and preserving the cultural and artistic heritage of the people of this town. While dedicated to maintain the traditional aspects of their past, the celebration also presents to the public, a variety of cultural programs. The municipal government is also active in encouraging and promoting the development of youth who will carry their heritage with them into the next century.
The celebration’s highlight is the tribal dance presentation that depicts the spirit of cooperative effort involving a community of members and features a small fiesta to express gratitude. Other tribes focus on indigenous beliefs such as folk rituals established among the people in the community and the non-human beings, such as spirits and divinities. Cultural practices as expressed in a collection of stories are also presented where it shaped the history of this town and what the future lies for Tubungan.