Bonga Festival – Thanksgiving for all the blessings and graces for the good harvest received

Bonga Festival is a way of thanksgiving for all the blessings and graces they received . It’s emphasizes the highlights of a street dancing and ritual. Bonga refers to a term fruit which means bearing of fruits. This festival is held in Sibonga Cebu every 9th of August where their livelihood are fishing and agricultures. This celebration is in honor of their two patron saints (Our lady of Pilar and Saint Filomena).

The term ‘bonga’ is a transliteration of the English word for fruit, or ‘harvest’ for a wider meaning. This harvest festival is annually celebrated on October 12. This festival coincides with the celebration in honor of the town’s patron saints – St Felomina and Our Lady of Pilar. Dressed and adorned with colorful and various costumes, the street dancers and performers gladly promote the town’s produce and native products. Musicians of all ages play musical instruments, beat the drums and some groups perform the rondalla string ensembles, which usually includes guitars, bass (bajo), and banduria.

This tradition is being celebrated annually but has developed into a more colorful and vibrant festivity while keeping its religious tone. The solemn parade of the town’s patron saint is now being accompanied with performers with colorful costumes and elaborate paraphernalia. For the ritual showdown dancings, elementary students and high school students are the usual and traditional contingents. However, this time more sectors have been taken in including senior citizens group, women’s organization and an LGBT group (BAKHLAH) among other sectors of Sibonga’s community.

BongaFestival, #ophirph

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