Ligao Cityhood Founding Anniversary celebrates the conversion of then municipality of Ligao, Albay, Philippines to a city in 2001 every March 24. The date is also a special nonworking holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 11113, a law that was signed on .
History of Ligao
The City of Ligao is a component city of Albay, a province that belongs to the Bicol Region that also consists of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Masbate. During the Spanish conquest, it was called Cavasi whose population increased with the influx of people attracted to its growth. It was annexed to Polangui in 1606 and then to Oas in 1665, but it was transformed to a town the next year.
Its people are mostly engaged in farming, and its development was spurred by its inclusion in Bicol River Basin Development Project (BRBDP) in 1976. Originally, BRBDP was created through Executive Order No. 412 on May 17, 1973 and covered 312,000 underdeveloped areas marked with poverty and lands that promised untapped productivity. When President Decree 926 was signed on April 29, 1976, Ligao was one of the towns that was added to the program.
The ascension of the municipality of Ligao to a city was made possible through the passage of Republic Act No. 9008, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Ligao, Province of Albay, into a Component City to be Known as the City of Ligao. It was signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 21, 2001 and eventually enacted by a plebiscite on March 24, 2001. This is the date that Sunflower Festival remembers annually.
History of Sunflower Festival
In the occasion of its 13th anniversary as a city, the local government led by Mayor Patricia Gonzales Alsua launched Sunflower Festival in March 2014. The fest was establish to represent the city’s culture, tradition, and history, tracing their roots to the legendary stories of families, the legacy of Spanish colonization, and the thriving metropolis that it has become.
It was also organized as recognition of sunflower, called mirasolis in the local language, as a vital part of its local economy. In 2014, it was reported that sunflowers were found in 20 hectares in the city. Its a source of oil and ingredient for confections, and it can become animal feeds.
The festival is known for street dance and performers with visual spectacles of decorative sunflowers found in their accoutrements, props, paraphernalia, and festive dresses.
Ligao Cityhood Founding Anniversary Activities
In 2018, the calendar of Ligao Cityhood Founding Anniversary activities lasted for three days. In 2023, the calendar was week-long with opening activities in March 20 and closing rites in March 26. Events included Agri Fair exhibit, social services, sports, jobs fair, anniversary ball, cityhood thanksgiving mass, Farmers’ Day, awards and recognition (Citizens Lifeline Service Awards) civic parade, drum and lyre exhibition, concerts, caravans, live bands, and talent contests.
How to reach the City of Ligao, Albay
One can book a flight to Bicol International Airport in Daraga and take an hour or so trip to the City of Ligao.
- Mars Argueles. Sunflowers bloom in Ligao. Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 3, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Ligao Sunflower Festival. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Jazzmine Quiambao. March Agriculture Festivals 2023. Manila Bulletin. March 6, 2023. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Republic Act No. 9008. Official Gazette. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- HOLIDAYS — LIGAO CITY, ALBAY. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Republic Act No. 11113. Official Gazette. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Ligao City. Albay Tourism E-Data — Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- City Profile. City Government of Ligao. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Bicol Biennial Evaluation: Bicol River Basin Development Program. USAID. August 1979. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- Presidential Decree No. 926. GoSupra. Retrieved March 22, 2023
- PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 926 April 28, 1976. Lawyerly. Retrieved March 22, 2023