The Pandayan Festival is held at barangay Lonoy, Jagna to celebrate the canonical erection or the parochial anniversary of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. All eight upland barangays of Jagna which is under the parochial jurisdiction of the Parish participates in the activities. Activities include a nine-day novena in honor of the patron saint, a procession of the image of St. Joseph the Worker, Carpentry and Handicrafts Fair, an inter-barangay basketball tournament and last but not least, the street dancing competition.
The festival is relatively new. The first festival was celebrated last February 27, 2008 on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of the parish. It was the brainchild of Lonoy’s energetic and young parish priest Fr. Epifanio Gupita who sought a celebration that would be more meaningful while paving the way for the people to show their skills, not only in dancing and creativity but also in carpentry works and handicraft making.
“Panday” in the local dialect means “carpenter” and “pandayan” refers to the place where the carpentry work is done. So it was deemed apt and proper that the festival was called “Pandayan Festival” in honor of St. Joseph who was himself a carpenter. The catholic faithful believed that St. Joseph taught the child Jesus carpentry skills in his own “pandayan” in Nazareth.
Carpentry is a humble yet dignified occupation that takes much patience and inherent skill to produce a work of art. The people of Lonoy have such skills, as other Boholanos in the island, yet their skills are greatly unappreciated. No occasion came along wherein they can show their skills and works of art and thus hopefully earn enough to feed their families.
Thus, the 1st Pandayan Festival was born. Aside from giving honor to St. Joseph, the festival’s theme “Padulong sa Ekonomikanhong Kauswagan sa Pamilya” called for the setting up of activities that would lift up the economic situation of Lonoy. Hence, the Carpentry and Handicrafts Fair was established giving the skilled people of Lonoy the chance to bring their masterpieces and display them at the booths put up for the occasion.
Yet no festival is complete without some fanfare. Street dancing and subsequent competition is, and always has been, the highlight of any festivities. In Lonoy, Jagna, the street dancing competition was the main highlight during its anniversary celebrations. Various groups clad in colorful costumes joined the contest.
Etched in the local history as the first Pandayan Festival Champion is the Lumad Lonoyanons of the host barangay Lonoy. They romped away with the grand cash prize of Php 15,000.00 in the Street dancing category and likewise garnered the prize of Php 15,000 + trophy as best contingent to portray the theme of the festival. The group also earned another Php 5,000 + trophy when they were adjudged “Best in Production Design”.
Contingent Pandayan sa Odiong ended 2nd in both categories with cash prize of Php 10,000.00 each and another minor award as Best in Costume with Php 5,000.00 plus trophy. Barangay Can-ipol contingent was declared 3rd in both categories earning them a total cash prize of Php 10,000.00 plus trophy while the non-winning contingents of barangays Mayana (which had two entries), Calabacita, Cambugason and Cabungaan each received a consolation prize of Php 1,000.00.
The competent board of judges in the street dancing category was chaired by Jagna First Lady Nimfa Abaya-Lloren together with singing priest of the famous Jeduthun Quartet Fr. Nash Tiempo and Ms. Shirley Ann Daroy. Ex-Bayanihan Dance Company member Mr. Antioco Lloren led the judges in the Theme Portrayal category assisted by Ms. Fe Bertumen and Ms. Joy Cagulada.
Talibon Bishop Most Reverend Christian Vicente Noel, D.D. officiated in the Pontifical Mass with more than twenty priests concelebrating with him earlier in the day. The Parish of Lonoy was created through an Episcopal Decree signed by Bishop Noel on February 27, 1999 with eight barangay jurisdiction independent from the parochial affairs of the parish Matrix of Jagna.
Earlier preparations included a nine-day novena in honor of the patron saint with different priests taking turns in celebrating the Holy Eucharist. The inter-barangay basketball tournament also added much to enliven the celebrations as they brought in people from other barangays to witness the games aside from the players themselves.
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