Singkaban Festival is a cultural festival held in the province of Bulacan, Philippines every September 15th. This week-long celebration culminates on the date that marks the anniversary of the start of Malolos Congress in 1898 and is considered the mother of all the fiestas in the province.
History of Singkaban Festival
Singkaban Festival comes from the word singkaban, which refers to a welcoming arch made of bamboo. It is customarily found in entrances that greet visitors, and it is created to be used in many celebrations such as fiesta. Bamboo, thus, has become a mainstay in the festival and it is considered one of the important resources in the province. Elsewhere in the country, bamboo wood is also equally celebrated as in Abrenian Kawayan Festival of Abra.
The festival used to be called Linggo ng Bulacan that translates to Bulacan Week and it is in fact still called by that name occasionally. First held in 1986 under then governor Roberto Pagdanganan, it took its current name starting in 1997. Singkaban Festival was stopped in 2020 and 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic and revived in 2022.
The festival also commemorates the historic Malolos Congress. The fest’s closing ceremonies take place in the 15th of September, the anniversary of the opening of the Congress.
The Malolos Congress was convened in Barasoain Church in Malolos, then the capital of the Philippines, in 1898. As the legislative body of the Philippine revolutionary government that spanned from 1898 to 1901, it drafted the Malolos Constitution, regarded as the first Philippine constitution and the first republican constitution in Asia. It was approved by then President Emilio Aguinaldo on January 21, 1899.
Singkaban Festival Schedule of Activities
Singkaban Festival schedule of activities spans for an entire week. Activities include competitions, folk dances, the traditional music called kundiman, balagtasan (poetry recitation) fairs, conferences, performing arts, exhibits, food festival, and concerts. There is also a competition in singkaban-making or in the making of entrance-arches. Here are some of the biggest highlights.
Gawad Dangal ng Lipi
Gawad Dangal ng Lipi is a prestigious recognition of individuals who have shown excellence and achievements in their respective fields and provided honor to the province.
Hari at Reyna ng Singkaban
Hari at Reyna ng Singkaban translates to Singkaban King and Queen. It is a beauty pageant for male and female candidates who either won titles in or are endorsed by the localities that they represent. Winners are selected based on being the best ambassadors of the province and role models of the youth.
Indakan sa Kalye
Indakan sa Kalye is the street-dancing competition. It is participated by contingents that are sent by the local government units of component localities. The competition showcases the dances featured in each of their local cultural festivals.
Parada ng Karosa
Parada ng Karosa is the float competition. Just like the street-dancing competition, it is participated by contingents that represent the localities of the province. The floats are decorated to become visually striking and showcase the rich cultural heritage, tourist spots, etc.
How to reach Bulacan
Buses ply the route from Manila to Bulacan (and vice versa) regularly. The 30-kilometer trip may take half an hour or more depending on the traffic situation. Tickets may cost anywhere between ₱60-80.
Singkaban Festival Summary
|Historical event||Malolos Congress|
|Organizer||Provincial Government of Bulacan|
|Other Names||Linggo ng Bulacan|
- Singkaban Festival 2021 Ends with a Virtual Concert. Provincial Government of Bulacan. September 20, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Lopez, Ron. ‘Singkaban’ Bulacan’s way of celebrating history, art. Philippine Daily Inquirer. September 11, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Evolution of the Philippine Constitution. Official Gazette. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Malcolm, George A. The Malolos Constitution. Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Mar., 1921), pp. 91-103. The Academy of Political Science. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Escalante, Rene. Collapse of the Malolos Republic. Philippine Studies , Fourth Quarter 1998, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Fourth Quarter 1998), pp. 452-476. Ateneo de Manila University. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Balbin, Manny. Singkaban Festival showcases Bulacan’s arts, history, culture. Philipine News Agency. September 9, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2022
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- Bulakenyo dancers promote local festivals on Indakan sa Kalye. Provincial Government of Bulacan. September 13, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Garcia, Patrick and Velez, Freddie . 14 Bulakenyo heroes bag Gawad Dangal ng Lipi 2019 award. Manila Bulletin. September 17, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2022
- Balbin, Manny. Bulacan’s ‘Singkaban’ fest returns after 2 years. Philippine News Agency. September 8, 2022. Retrieved September 22, 2022