Tagbilaran City celebrates various festivals and feast days in each of its barangays from January to December. Most prominent of these festivals are the following:
Ubi Festival The Ubi Festival is held from January 15-19 in the city of Tagbilaran. Here, farmers and producers display their ubi (purple yam) and ubi products such as jam, pastillas, pies, cakes, and other concoctions. This is now a yearly activity looked forward to by lovers of this sweet purple yam considered by most Filipinos as holy. The old folks always teach the young generation to revere this God-given food to the extent of kissing it whenever it accidentally falls to the ground.
Town of Tagbilaran Foundation Day Every February 9th, the city celebrates the founding of the Tagbilaran City as a town once known as San Jose de Tagbilaran.
Blood Compact Festival The Blood Compact Festival is celebrated every March 16, to commemorate the native act of shedding blood done by Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on March 16, 1565 as a treaty of friendship between the two: Sikatuna, representing the brown race and Legaspi representing the King of Spain and the white races. In Tagbilaran City, this day is considered as a special working holiday.
Lenten Festival The Lenten Festival is unique in the sense that it does not connote fanfare, live and loud music but silence, prayer, and “Visita Iglesia”; including Lenten processions of the “Stations of the Cross”, the “Santo Entiero” held every Good Friday, and the “La Soledad”, a special procession in honor of the sorrowing Mother of God every evening of Good Friday. Pilgrimage to Elley Hill is observed by some of the faithful during the Lenten season. This is a city-wide activity. In fact, not only Tagbilaran observes with solemnity this Lenten festival but the whole archipelago of the Philippines.
Feast of San Vicente Ferrer Barangay Bool celebrates the feast day of San Vicente Ferrer annually on April 3. Aside from the novenas, the barangay celebrates the feast with fanfare, dances and competitions and a special mass on the day itself. As is the practice of Boholanos, almost every household of Barangay Bool prepares a feast as thanksgiving for the years’ harvest and good fortune.
Feast of Saint Joseph, the Worker The whole city of Tagbilaran celebrates the feast of this beloved saint every May 1 of each year. The feast celebration encompasses the following barangays of the city: Poblacion 1, 2 and 3, Dampas, Cogon and Mansasa. Aside from a special Mass and procession, other activities include a motorcade and a fluvial parade on the day itself. Nine days prior to the actual feast day and in consonance with the 9-day Novena to Saint Joseph, nightly entertainment are held and includes the yearly search for Miss Tagbilaran. Labor Day activities are likewise held on this day.
Flores de Mayo Festival The Flores de Mayo, otherwise known as the “Flowers of May”, is a month-long festival that occurs from May to 31. The central focus is to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary where daily novena and Mass are offered as well as a special daily rite where all the Catholic faithful offer the Blessed Mother with flowers. Small children (those who can afford to buy costumes) present themselves daily as angels and participate in the rite. Included in the celebrations are daily catechesis of the children, the teaching of religious songs and dances and the much looked-forward to, the games. The month-long festivity usually ends with a search of the “Flower of May” and her “damas” and the coronation program.
Feast of the Sta. Cruz The feast of the Sta. Cruz is celebrated every May 3 at Barangay Dao.
Feast of San Isidro Labrador Every 15th of May, Barangay San Isidro gives honor to their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.
Feast of the Holy Trinity This feast is celebrated every June 10 in honor of the Blessed Trinity at Barangay Manga.
Feast of San Antonio de Padua Barangay Ubujan gives honor to their patron saint every June 13.
Charter Day Tagbilaran City’s charter day is celebrated every July 1 and this is likewise the launching day of the Sandugo month-long festivities. The local government has declared this day as a special non-working holiday for Tagbilaran City only.
Sandugo Festival The Sandugo Festival is a historical event that takes place yearly in the island of Bohol, specifically in the city of Tagbilaran. Otherwise known as the Bohol Sandugo Celebration or the Blood Compact Commemoration, this festival commemorates the treaty of friendship of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Datu Sikatuna; two people of different race and creed. Captain General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi led the expedition that represented the King of Spain and Datu Sikatuna was a native Boholano chieftain. The festival incorporates activities for the whole month of July.
Now, this month-long celebration that even extends up to August includes Trade-Agri Food Fair, nightly entertainment, and search for Miss Bohol Sandugo, Sandugo Punchfest, and the street parade with a street dancing competition and the re-enactment of the Blood Compact. Aside from that, church services are held, grand fireworks are displayed for all to see, and the parade involves colourful costumes and loud drum beats, cockfighting and sports tournaments.
Feast of the Sta. Cruz Barangay Taloto gives honor to its patron, the Sta. Cruz, on July 16th of each year.
Bohol Day July 22 witnesses the commemoration of Bohol’s separation from the government of Cebu. This is a province-wide celebration and has been declared as a special non-working holiday in the whole province. Its celebration adds to the fanfare and activities of the Sandugo Festival.
Feast of San Roque This special feast in honor of San Roque is held every August 16 at Barangay Tiptip.
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary The IHM parish encompassing the barangays of Taloto, Booy, Manga, Ubujan, and Tiptip gives honor to their patron, the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 22.
Feast of the Birhen Sa Barangay This feast date falls on September 3 at Barangay Lindaville in honor of their patron, Birhen Sang Barangay.
Alay Lakad (Walk-for-a-Cause) This annual fitness walk is a solemn activity usually held every October. The exact date for the “Alay Lakad” is movable. This is done to raise funds for various skills training programs, anti-drug abuse campaigns and scholarships for out-of-school youths.
Feast of Birhen Sang Barangay Barangay Cabawan celebrates this feast every September 11.
Feast of Sta. Cruz September 13 is the day when Sitio Sta. Cruz of Poblacion 3 gives honor to its patron, Sta. Cruz.
Capt. Salazar, Guerillas and Veteran’s Day This celebration is citywide and falls on October 22.
Carlos P. Garcia Day This day falls on November 4, the birth anniversary of the foremost Boholano Statesman, poet, educator, and 4th President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos Polestico Garcia. This day has been declared as a special non-working holiday.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Barangay Booy celebrates this feast day on December 12 of each year in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
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