San Joaquin Celebrates Annual Fiesta with Pasungay

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

MUNICIPAL fiestas are good avenues to learn about a town’s rich culture. Along with the annual fiesta celebration of the historic town of San Joaquin is Pasungay, one of the more popular, well-organized special event and a great way to immerse yourself in the typical fiesta celebration of the town.

Another action-packed Pasungay Festival will be held on January 19, 2019, starting 10 a.m., at the San Joaquin Sports Stadium situated at the back of the Municipal Hall to the thrill and delight of residents and local and foreign tourists.

Pasungay is a water buffalo or carabao fight held as part of an ancient tradition of San Joaquin. There is no other place in the region where bullfighting is observed. Bullfighting exists in San Joaquin and is an important part of their history and culture. The town has always been famous for it.

Thousands of spectators, including local and foreign tourists, watched in awe as the carabaos lock horns and try to push each other until one would give up and flee from the pursuing winner.

Many San Joaquinhons breed prized bulls that they present during these contests and are nourished both physically and psychologically in preparation for the annual event.

Along with Pasungay is Pahibag or the traditional horse fight, the carabaos, bull and horse fights provide entertainment and harmless fun to thousands of spectators.

While Pasungay and Pahibag are well-established cultural celebrations in the province, many are catching attention. The festival season has just began, so it is time to start marking your calendars and getting out to discover some of the myriad municipal festivals and celebrations that this province is famous for.

Pasungay and Pahibaghas become one of Iloilo’s tourism attractions that even the Department of Tourism Region VI had taken into its list.

The Second-Class municipality of San Joaquin, last town south of the province of Iloilo is 85 kilometers away or an hour and 20-minute drive from Iloilo City. It has a land area of 23,135 hectares subdivided into 85 barangays.

To get to the town, one can take a San Joaquin jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, take any bus at the Antique Terminal in Molo or at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Municipal Tourism Officer Erlyn Alunan at 09176619120.