Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin
MIAGAO, Iloilo and the rest of Ilonggos will celebrate the day that commemorates the bravery of Miagaowanons, to honor a battle in Ilonggo history as well as highlight the heritage and culture of its people during the towns 303rd Foundation Anniversary alongside 21st Salakayan Festival on Feb 3-10, 2019.
Salakayan is one of the most anticipated festivals in Iloilo province. The community gather and share customs. They celebrate with music, dancing, food and parades. Themed Miagao Salakayan: Panghangkat sa mga Pamatan-on Padulong sa Paghili-usa sa Sining Panahon, a host of cultural activities will take place daily throughout the 8-day celebration starting February 3 (Sunday) with the Soft Opening of Food Fair at 7 p.m., MVM Class 1969 Golden Alumni Homecoming at 6 p.m. and Zumbathon at 5:30 p.m., Isuzu Car Show and Phoenix Petroleum Inc. Showroom and Clinic at 8 a.m.;
February 4 (Monday) Pamukaw at 5 a.m., Transport Sector Caravan at 7 a.m., Salakayan Mass at 9 a.m., Opening of Agro and Industrial Fair at 10 a.m., Opening Salvo at 2 p.m., Opening Program and Raising of Barangay Banners at 5 p.m., Transport Sector Night at 6 p.m., and Miss Salakayan Talents Night at 7 p.m.
February 5 (Tuesday) Pottery Painting Contest at 9 a.m., Opening of Photo Art Exhibit at 10 a.m., Salakayan Re-enactment at 4 p.m., MCES Alumni Night at 6 p.m., Search for Miss Salakayan Pageant Night at 7 p.m.; February 6 (Wednesday) LarongLahi at 9 a.m., Drum and Lyre Competition at 2 p.m., Balikbanwa Night and Vendors Night with The Search for Mutya Sang Mercado at 7 p.m.;
February 7 (Thursday) Volleyball and Basketball Tournament at 8 a.m., Higante Contest at 4 p.m., Liga Night at 7 p.m.; February 8 (Friday) Mass and Fluvial Parade at 8 a.m., Games at Sea at 10:30 a.m., Cavalcade of Dances at 2 p.m., One Night in Unity for Children at 7 p.m., SK Night at 7 p.m.
February 9 (Saturday) Tribe Competition at 8 a.m., Float Parade at 2 p.m., Tribes Night at 7 p.m. February 10 (Sunday) Thanksgiving Mass at 7 a.m., AGAPE at 9 a.m., Coronation of the Queen of Miagao 2019 at 8 p.m.
Salakayan (from the root word salakay meaning to attack) is a dance-drama presentation that commemorates the historic battle between the people of Miagao and pirates from the south who depopulated many of our Christianized coastal towns through their constant attacks. It was in 1754 when the locals finally defeated the pirates in a historic battle.
The Higantes parade is a special feature of the tribe competition. It is a popular attraction to the tradition where several giants in papier-mâché of popular figures in history of the town are being paraded on the streets to the delight of everyone.
Why not visit Miagao on these days as part of a festival hopping adventure in Iloilo from January to February, although, Miagao is a lovely town to see at any time of the year.
The town of Miagao is 40.5 kilometers or an hours ride south from Iloilo City. It is politically subdivided into 199 barangays over a land area of 13,286 hectares. Miagao is bordered by the towns of Igbaras to its northeast; Guimbal to its east, San Joaquin to its west; and the municipality of Sibalom, Antique Province to its northwest.
To get there, one can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo or at the terminal at the wet market near Robinsons Iloilo main mall. Metered taxis are also available at the terminal.