1. MANGGAHAN SA GUIMARAS FESTIVAL – (1993)
An identity festival of the Province of Guimaras celebrated every April 16 – 20 for the sustained promotion of Mango Industry. Varied activities are being showcased depicting the cultural and historical heritage, livelihood, myth and legendary stories portrayed in a cultural showcase, streetdancing and SINADYA (merrymaking). Spread over a weeklong schedule, promoting its products, services and milestones in an agri – trade fair/exhibits, food festival, special events, nightly shows and entertainments and Search for Mutya Ng Guimaras. Manggahan culminates in a grand showcase of cultural festivals in a bid to show the world that there is more to Guimaras than its sweet, fiber and pest-free mangoes.
2. ANG PAGTALTAL SA JORDAN, PROVINCE OF GUIMARAS – (1975)
A Lenten presentation staged by the townspeople of Jordan patterned to Oberammergau in South Bavaria, Germany. It is the final act of play when Jesus was taken off from the cross and laid on his mother’s lap. Backed up by a strong Christian community, Jordan has registered its first festival in Pagtaltal sa Jordan, Guimaras, a Good Friday spectacle. This saga of the sufferings of Christ is enacted with intense spirituality, religious realism theatrical color and mass appeal that outclass other presentation of similar flavor. The ever increasing throng of spectators, both local and foreign, who brave the summer heat to witness Pagtaltal is a proof of its popularity. Pagtaltal should be in everyone’s Holy Week schedule.
1. PALAYAG FESTIVAL – Muicipality of Buenavista
Celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January by the municipality of Buenavista. This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. It is celebrated in honor of the town’s Patron Saint Sr Sto. Nino. “Palayag” marked a new footprint during the 2008 Buenavista Centennial Celebration They defined “Palayag” as to sail through “Layag”-using water vessel. This is really indeed a Kinaradto-form of sea travel.
Swift “Paraos,” connected Iloilo and Guimaras. In 1850’s, Iloilo was opened by Sir James Bowring, a British Governor of Hongkong as an international port. Negros then has no good harbor for bigger ships so they used Guimaras as transship point to Iloilo. This gave an explanation why Jordan Wharf has the sugar bulk. While Jordan wharf was prospering, Buenavista was still enjoying with its sandy shore.
Dr. Jose P. Rizal stated in his diary written in August 4, 1896, “Opposite Iloilo there is an island where the families go for picnics…. there are various vessels with foreign flags….” The land being referred to is surely Guimaras and the picnic place is the white sand, the “pasil of baybay”. “Baybay”(which is presently called Sto. Rosario), was the beach where sailboats from Guimaras Island daily bring in cargoes of fruits, fish and vegetables to Iloilo City. The same beach had been a subject for panting by an artist Miguel Zaragoza (1849-1923), and being exclaimed “Buena Vista” by the Iloilo Spanish Gobernadorcillo. The present day wharf was just constructed during World War II, the time of Gen. Douglas McArthur.
The beauty of our place as coupled by the craft of our people in miniature boat making was not just a culture by accident, but a culture rooted in our past. The natural beauty of our place and the economy of our town is dramatically boosted up by the swift and gaily “layag”-using sea vessel. Thus, PALAYAG is a festival of the beauty of our town and the hospitality of the Buenavistahanons which can only be experienced by other people if they will travel, treck and tour our places. “Gani, dali na, PALAYAG ‘ta pa-BUENAVISTA”.
2. BULANTIHAN FESTIVAL – Municipality of Jordan
Celebrated every last Friday of January by the municipality of Jordan. The three major source of income of the people of Jordan are farming, fishing and mango production. The products are brought in the market for “bulante” (trade). It is primarily a celebration of the economic endeavor that made Jordan what it is today. Bulantihan also pays tribute to the skillful artisans and the enduring workers in an endearing characterization thru dance drama.
3. BALSAHAN FESTIVAL – Municipality of Sibunag
Celebrated every 20th day of February by the municipality of Sibunag. It is Sibunag’s way of immortalizing the mystical Sibunag River which makes its way thru most of the town’s barangays. It is a major geographical feature of the town’s barangays. The river holds many interesting myths and legends that are sure to tickle one’s imagination, and whet one’s appetite to unravel its secrets. Use of the Balsa in your trek for some satisfying discoveries you will pleasantly rewarded.
4. ASINAN FESTIVAL – Municipality of San Lorenzo
Celebrated every 19th day of February by the municipality of San Lorenzo. Marvel at how the ordinary salt has gravitated the people of the community in an annual gathering with all the delicious trimmings of specialty products. Not everything in the Asinan Festival is salty though, as there is the spicy seafood, the juicy citrus and crispy nuts. With the proper blend of the unique hospitality and the natural smiles of the people and one will hunger for more of the Asinan spectacle.
5. KAROSAHAN FESTIVAL – Municipality of Nueva Valencia
Celebrated every 25th day of April by the municipality of Nueva Valencia. The karosa is a local invention that has helped shape the agri-based economy of the municipality. Made mostly of a bamboo and pulled by the beast of burden, the karosa has transported many products from the farm to the center of population. Before it gets relegated to the history books as things of the past, the karosa has been transformed centerpiece of the celebration, complete with colorful and ingenious display of the bounties of the land. This is the Karosahan, a proud tradition where beautiful maidens compete for attention with the gaily-decorated karosas with their load of goodies.
1. LAYAG FESTIVAL- (Every 1st week of May) Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras
Barangay Hoskyn is a coastal area facing Iloilo City. It is located southwest of the Municipality of Jordan, popularly known as “Sanao”. For the past few years riding in “Layag de Bela” or “Paraw” is the only means of transportation. To commemorate and to preserve the use of “Layag”, the Barangay organized “Layag Festival”. Various activities were implemented by the people to feel the spirit of the festivity such as Paraw Regatta, mini Paraw Regatta, Pinta de Layag, Street dancing and the highlights of the festivity is the coronation of “Layag Queen”. “Layag Festival” is celebrated every first week of May.
2. PADAGYAO FESTIVAL- (Every May 15) Parish of Saint Isidore the Worker, Navalas, Buenavista, Guimaras
According to Eugenio Ealdama, in his Beautiful Customs and Traits of the Panay Visayans, it is a quaint old custom. DAGYAO is kind of voluntary, free and reciprocal group service. Seldom solicited, it is always enthusiastically given. It requires no pecuniary payment, but whoever receives the benefit imposes upon him the obligation to return at some future time. Service in one form or another in the spirit of helpfulness and therefore, does not consider it as giving him a right to demand reciprocal action. DAGYAO manifests itself beautifully in such neighborly and collective activities as the building of a new house or repair of an old one, the preparation of rice and cornfields. As a rule, the work is finished in one day; but where a longer time is needed as in the construction of a house, the neighbor takes much of their time. Often the recipient of this gracious act, as a matter of custom and as a means of making light flavors received, would make the last day of work an occasion for indulgences. Bamboo sheds are improvised, from which the appetite- provoking smells of especially prepared foods and the peculiar odor of tuba a favorite local beverage, in seemingly interminable flow-all these served in the afternoon when the work is over in the midst of unsophisticated rejoicing.
3. SARANGGOLA FESTIVAL – Tastasan, Buenavista, Guimaras.
Kite flying festival which is participated by barangay folks and neighboring barangays and municipalities of Guimaras. It manifests the ingenuity and creativity of the locals as well as their expertise in maneuvering the kites to fly swiftly and smoothly with the winds.
4. ROSAS SA BAYBAYON FESTIVAL-(Every June 23-24 of the year), Getulio, Buenavista, Guimaras.
Activities are celebrated along the beach where guests enjoy the “fun and frolic” with the community during the St. John’s the Baptist Day. It is highlighted with the Search for “Rosas de Baybayon”.
5. SAKAYAN FESTIVAL- (Every last week of August), Montpiller, Buenavista, Guimaras
It is a celebration showcasing the livelihood of the community in a coastal barangay
- KASADYAHAN SA KABUKIRAN – Every June
- HARVEST FESTIVAL – Every October to November
- IWAG SANG PASKUA – Every December 8-23, Municipality of Sibunag
- PASKUA SA BARANGGAY – December 1 to 31, Salvacion, Buenavista