Sinanggiyaw Festival celebration of fruitfulness of harvest and dancing
The “Sinanggiyaw Festival” has its meaning derived from the traditional Cebuano words. The “Sinanggi” which means fruitfulness of harvest and “Sayaw” means dance and also giving honor for Saint Francis of Assisi. This festival is being celebrated on every 4th day in the month of October and this year shall be the 158th year of the “Sinanggiyaw Festival since it was established in the town of Dumanjug in the year 1855. The town has managed to maintain their church as their landmark of the event. This church was completed in the year 1864 and was considered as one of the oldest church in the Philippines.
On celebration, the people in town are always preparing a colorful costume, a wonderful parade and an entertaining dance. They are displaying their agricultural products and some of the harvests, like rice, corn, coconut, camote and banana. The street dance is focusing on three aspects, the planting, the harvesting and lastly, the thanksgiving to their patron for such a bountiful harvest. During the event they have an exhibit of wood crafts, handy crafts, garments and other agricultural products. You will never miss in every event the singing contest that is being audience by many tourist, balikbayan and local officials of the town and its constituents. There are also group dance contest which has a theme about the natural resources of the municipality of Dumanjug. The contestant’s are most likely young people, by which makes the youth aware of the importance of agricultural resources, and becoming more involved in helping to take good care of our nature. The festival also is a family affair which every individual or member of the family are participating for the upcoming event. Many tourist around the world spend their vacation every year just to witness the beautiful place and the wonderful festival. The people who live in Dumanjug are very hospitable. There are many more activities are which being held during the event with some fun games with prizes for every participant, group or individual.
The term Sinanggiyaw is derived from two Cebuano “sinanggi,” which refers to harvested crops or the way crops are harvested, and “sayaw,” which means to dance. The second word was shortened to show the last syllable of the Cebuano word. The term “Sinanggiyaw” essentially means “to dance in the same manner as harvesting crops.” The dance steps used for the street dancing competition demonstrates three aspects of farming, namely planting, harvesting, and thanksgiving. The participants in the competition are mainly elementary and high school students, who showcase their talents in front of residents and visitors to the town. Colorful costumes and props are used by the participants of the competition. In addition to the competitions, the Sinanggiyaw Festival is also a venue for the town to showcase its products to visitors. Booths are set up in the town to display the different farm and food products of the town. The different agricultural products that can be seen on display include corn, rice, bananas, coconuts, and camote or sweet potatoes, among others. The exhibit also puts on display the different handicraft items produced in the town. These items include furniture products and handicrafts created by the talented craftsmen of Dumanjug. The Sinanggiyaw Festival is just one of the many festivals celebrated in the island of Cebu each year. These festivals highlight the uniqueness of each town as well as demonstrate the religiosity of Cebuanos who never forget to give thanks for the blessings they receive every year.
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