Mahaguyog Festival is a combination of various agricultural produce. It is taken from mais (corn), halaman (plants), gulay (vegetables), and niyog (coconut).
History of Mahaguyog Festival
Mahaguyog Festival was launched in 2010 as thanksgiving for bountiful harvest and an exhibit of the talents and skills of the people of the city of Sto. Tomas.
In October 2015, the fest was featured on Philippine stamps issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation. The commemorative stamps were designed by artist Rodine Teodoro and officially launched in the city hall on November 6, 2015. They were on sale for ten pesos with 101,000 copies in circulation.
The stamps contained images of agricultural produce, the name of the Mahaguyog Festival, and the seal of the city government of Sto. Tomas. Moreover, the first day cover also paid tribute to Miguel Malvar who is known for being the last general to surrender to the Americans and who was born in a village of Sto. Tomas.
History of Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Mahaguyog Festival is also the city’s anniversary of its founding in the 17th century. It was established in 1666, which makes it one of the first towns organized during the Spanish period in the province of Batangas. A church was established within a striking distance from the San Juan River. Over time, the population grew in the area.
The city has long been known for its farm produce particularly with vast cornfields and export of corn products in the past. In recent years, it has become a progressive city with residential and commercial developments.
The proposal to convert the town to a city was made by Batangas third district representative Nelson P. Collantes in 2015. It received a unanimous vote through House Bill 5160 in the Senate in March 2018. It cityhood was institutionalized by virtue of Republic Act 11086, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Sto. Tomas in the Province of Batangas into a Component City to be Known as the City of Sto. Tomas.
The law was approved on October 5, 2018 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, becoming the fourth city in Batangas and the first city under Duterte administration. It was ratified through a plebiscite on September 7, 2019.
Devotion to St. Thomas Aquinas
Mahaguyog Festival is held in conjunction with the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of the city. Its church along General Malvar Avenue might look contemporary, but it has a long history that dates back to the Spanish conquest. An ancient, cracked bell that is in display was cast in the 19th century.
Mahaguyog Festival Activities
Religious activities are organized by Sto. Tomas Aquinas Parish. The parish starts the nine-day novena and mass on February 25.
Furthermore, secular activities are organized by the city government and culminating events occur in March 7. Many of the events take place in the gymnasium and town plaza. The highlights include the processsion along primary thoroughfares, food fair, job fair, fireworks display, and variety show. Slated in the schedule too are the Miss Gay Sto. Tomas, talent competitions, fireworks display, and musical events.
How to reach Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Many buses ply the route from Metro Manila to Batangas (from Buendia Station to Lipa, for instance) and pass through Sto. Tomas.
- History. Sto. Tomas LGU. Retrieved February 28, 2023
- Mahaguyog Festival. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved February 27, 2023
- Saul Pa-a. Batangas town to celebrate foundation with ‘Mahaguyog Fest’. Philippine News Agency. February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2023
- Mahaguyog Festival. Department of Tourism. Retrieved February 28, 2023
- Ed Amoroso. Batangas festival postponed due to COVID-19. The Philippine Star. March 1, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2023
- PHLPost to launch Mahaguyog Festival stamps. Official Gazette. November 4, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2023
- Santo Tomas, Batangas in the 19th Century as Described by a Spanish Historian. Batangas History, Culture & Folklore. March 3, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2023
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- Republic Act 11086. Official Gazette. October 10, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2023
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