Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival in Bohol, Philippines

by Peter Garant

The Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival is one of the main festivals in Bohol, specifically celebrated at Loay.

Here is the typical location of the Loay Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival. Loay is in the south west coast of Bohol and at 18 kilometers away from the city of Tagbilaran. Loay is at the mouth of the Loboc River where the regatta takes place. The Loay town is established in the year 1740 and as early as that, the Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival has been celebrated.

Although the town celebrates its feast day in May (the exact date is movable within the month), the main attraction in Loay is the celebration of the Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival, which is celebrated amidst that colors of activities such as the agricultural-industrial market fair, musical instrument competitions as the drum and bugle competition, and of course the grouped masquerade street dancing and the boat races along the river. The event is also highlighted by the fabulous display and parade of the image of Saint Francis Xavier, the Loay town's second patron to whom the Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival is celebrated in honor.

The Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival is celebrated in his honor every first Saturdays of the month of December.

Since the festival is
a religiously originated one, you might want to stop over at the Loay Chruch located just over on a plateau overlooking the sea on the upper part of Loay called Ibabao.

Another prominent feature of Loay that you might notice upon festivities visit is the Loay plaza. The sheer simplicity of the Plaza takes from its Spanish colonial roots with only a wide open stretch of space without any landscaping or decorative embellishments. The only distinctive features amidst the grassy area are the two coral stone buildings which are very simplistic yet classical to look at. One of the buildings is a one-story being used as a public school, whicle the other one is a two-story emblemed with the Virgin Mary. The second one is under renovation to be converted as an archdiocese Spanish period archive for church documents coming from all 38 parishes from the diocese of Loay.

Other sites that you don't want to miss upon visiting during the Sambat Mascara Y Regatta Festival are the Clarin Ancestral House, Rio Vista Heights, the Clarin Beach Resort, Himontagon Hills, Punta Baluerte, and the Spanish watchtower located at Villalimpia.

Experience this winter festival. Don't wait till Christmas to experience all the fun and sightseeing you can get.

Peter Garant is writing Philippines Travel Articles for

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