Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin
LEGANES, Iloilo plays host to one of the unique religious celebrations in Iloilo.
The celebration of Saad Festival, is an important religious festival for the province every year. Celebrated this year on January 23-31, the festival highlights the cultural dance presentation on January 31, a Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
San Vicente Ferrer is the patron saint of Leganes and many believers are having their Panaad to attend the Mass and experience the Palapak.
The long-standing religious tradition of Palapak is a ritual done after a Mass in the church of Leganes. Catholic believers of St. Vincent Ferrer would line up as the statue of his image touch the body parts needing help, believing that a spiritual cure will happen.
There are those who entrusted their faith through the saint are hopeful that what they have asked for will also be granted. The shrine receives influx of pilgrims especially during the festival.
In addition to the Mass and Palapak, the LGU of Leganes organizes an annual religious festival that is held in a makeshift performance area fronting the churches and at the bandstand a few meters away from the church and feature dance-drama performances of their local culture.
Perhaps the most famous part of this dance presentation is a parade of the image of St. Vincent Ferrer. A procession, the most symbolic is where dancers dressed in robes carry images of the winged Saint and are welcomed ladies in traditional clothes with veils on their heads and scapulars around their necks. Dancers in robes spread incense and carry a crucifix. A re-enactment of the Palapak is also incorporated in the procession.
In addition to events centered around St. Vincent Ferrer, there are many other types of events taking place as part of the festival, such as shows and traditional foods among other things. January 23 (Wednesday) Birthday of St. Vincent Ferrer is celebrated with a Pamukaw Caravan around the municipality, Opening of Ukay-ukay Festival and Trade fair and kiosk;
January 24 (Thursday) Mass for Grand Salvo at 2 p.m., Grand Salvo Parade and Program at 3 p.m., MLSF Talent Competition and Gala Fashion show at the covered gym at 7 p.m., Concessionaires Night and Foodfest with live band from 7 p.m. onward with Major 7 band and Sativa Reggae Band;
January 25 (Friday) Street Kulinarya, Poblacion Night and Foodfest with live band from 7 p.m. onwards with the First Edition Band and the Ninth Avenue Band;
January 26 (Saturday) Invitational Basketball Games and Color Run (SKMF) with the theme, Maragtas sang Pagtuo, Bahandi sang Leganesnon, Governors Night and Foodfest with live band from 7 p.m. onwards with the Makaya Band and the Spice Jam Band.
January 27 (Sunday) with Patubas Expo and Kinaadman Showcase, Foodfest with live band at 7 p.m. onwards with Acoustic Band and the Ninth Avenue Band.
January 28 (Monday) MLSF 2019 Coronation Pageant and Foodfest with live band from 7 p.m. and onwards with the DJ Poison Ivy and Perfect Pair- Sequencer;
January 29 (Tuesday) the 1st Arte saKalye (Street Art Painting Competition) with LBMX wild ride and Flash Mob and Zumba Night, Sports activities Leganes Ball Club Night and Foodfest with live band from 7:00 p.m. and onwards with X10 Band and DJ- Cal40;
January 30 (Wednesday) Mass at 2 p.m., Sinadsad Dance Parade at 3 p.m., Mayors Night and Foodfest with live band from 7:00 p.m. till onwards with the Spill Band and the Spice Jam Band;
January 31 (Thursday) Mass at 3 p.m., Cultural Parade at 4 p.m., Cultural Dance Competition at 4:30 p.m., Awards Night and Street Party and Fireworks Display at 8 p.m., Foodfest with Live Band from 7:00 p.m. till onwards with the Represent Band and the Sativa Reggae Band.
Leganes is a fourth-class municipality situated 11 kilometers away or a 30-minute drive from Iloilo City. It is one of the 19 coastal towns of the province and the only coastal municipality that shares a common border with the city. The town is adjacent to Pavia in the southeast; in the west by Sta. Barbara; and in the north by Zarraga.
To get there, one can take a jeepney at Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City. For more information, please call the Municipal Tourism Officer Jerry Anas at (033) 3296622 or at 09127721033.