Ibalong Festival – Inspired by popular legend regales visitors with tales city’s pre-colonial past

The Ibalong Festival is a non-religious festival in Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines based on the Ibalong Epic, and is held on August. The festival celebrates the epic story Ibalong who was accompanied by three legendary heroes, namely Baltog, Handyong, and Bantong. People parade in the streets wearing masks and costumes to imitate the appearances of the heroes and the villains, portraying the classic battles that made their way into the history of Bicol. The Ibalong Festival aims to express warmth and goodwill to all people; visitors and tourists are encouraged to celebrate with the Bicolanos. The Ibalong Festival is also known as the Ibalon Festival.

The annual festival’s name was inspired by the popular legend that regales visitors with tales of the city’s pre-colonial past. As part of the cultural celebrations, the festival is also held as a celebration of the locals’ tenacity. Legazpi city is prone to typhoons that regularly wreck devastation, yet it is simply amazing the kind of resilience that the locals portray.

As with many festivals in the Philippines, the center of attraction at the Ibalong Festival is the synchronized dance parades on the city’s streets. The most spectacular thing about these dances is the majestic backdrop of the iconic Mayon Volcano. The dances are also a great place to interact with the locals.

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