Araw ng Agusan del Norte is a cultural, historical, and founding anniversary celebration as well as a festival that celebrates ethnic minorities in the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines. It is held every 17th of June. Organized by the provincial government, it is also known as Araw ng Agusan del Norte and Sadow Festival or simply Sadow Festival. A six-day affair that begins in June 12, it is the biggest festival in the province.
History of Araw ng Agusan del Norte
Araw ng Agusan del Norte translates Agusan del Norte Day. It is a three-part celebration: founding anniversary, a tribute to ethnic groups, and an observance of the historic independence of the country.
Historically, the province was part of Surigao. It was established as Agusan province with the passage of Act No. 1693 on August 20, 1907. Then on June 17, 1967, it was split into Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur by virtue of Republic Act No. 4979.
Moreover, it also carves a space for Sadow Festival. Sadow Festival’s schedule of activities seem to suggest that it is a celebration of cultural heritage of the province and ethnic identity of its indigenous people. In 2021 observance for instance, activities associated with the Sadow Festival were video presentations of three tribal groups: Manobo, Mamanwa, and Higaonon. The 2021 edition was also said to be the 7th, thus working out the math the first Sadow Festival was conducted in 2015.
Lastly, kick-off activities of the festival begins in the 12th of June. It is the day that the nation commemorates as day of independence and freedom.
Araw ng Agusan del Norte Schedule of Activities
Araw ng Agusan del Norte has a full schedule of activities. It features some of the most elaborate cultural shows featuring ethnic customs and tradition, entertainment, etc. It also has competitions in various formats such as in percussion and Glockenspiel, Filipino traditional games, cuisine, essay writing, quiz bee, gardening, booth displays, model LGUs.
Here are some of the must-see highlights.
Trade Fair has become an annual event of the festival that is not to be missed out on. It is an open market for crafts, arts, agricultural produce such as fruits and vegetables, food baskets, and other proud products. It is participated by city, municipalities, institutions, and business entities and an opportunity to showcase the best they can offer.
Arbor Day is observed by government employees and officers. It is a day that is spent on revisiting and working on the multi-year plan for a tourist lane development in the municipality of Buenavista. The tourist lane is a stretch of vacant areas by the road traversing several barangays of Buenavista where trees are planted to become a lush, green entryway to an eco-park that is planned to be put up.
Independence Day marks the beginning of the six-day festival. It is generally observed by the raising of the flag at the grounds of the provincial capitol in Butuan City, thanksgiving mass, and an opening ceremony. It is conducted in solemn remembrance of the nation’s independence from centuries of Spanish colonization.
Parade is a yearly tradition of proud and colorful dancers and floats. Contingents representing different localities perform in street dance competitions. Meanwhile, the float parade is also a competition where the most meaningful, best decorated floats are recognized.
Where to go
Most activities happen in Butuan City such as in provincial capitol, indoor venues, covered court, major thoroughfares, etc.
How to reach Agusan del Norte
Regular Flights are available that arrive in Bancasi Airport, also called Butuan Airport, from various points of the country. Within Mindanao, one can also take buses that have schedule trips to the province. One may also buy tickets in ferries and shipping vessels from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindano and disembark in Masao and Nasipit.
- Republic Act No. 4979. Official Gazette. June 17, 1967. Retrieved August 13, 2022
- Cebuano Press Releases: Cebuano Press Release: Sadow festival gipahigayon sa Agusan Norte. Philippine Information Agency. June 28, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2022
- Molde, Nora C. Lanuza. AgNor set to celebrate Sadow Festival, Independence Day on June 12. Philippine Information Agency – CARAGA Region. June 9, 2016.
- Cong. Angel Matba celebrates 5th Sadow Festival. Politiko – Mindanao. June 17, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2022
- Historical Background. Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte. Retrieved August 14, 2022
- Act No. 1693, August 20, 1907. Supreme Court E-Library. Retrieved August 14, 2022
- Republic Act No. 4979. Official Gazette. June 17, 1967. Retrieved August 14, 2022
- AgNor celebrates Araw ng Agusan: ATI-Caraga joins in. Agricultural Training Institute – Department of Agriculture. May-June 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2022