Karansa Festival is a cultural festival and religious fiesta in the city of Danao, Cebu, Philippines every third Sunday of September. It is held inhonor of St. Thomas of Villanueva, the patron saint of the city.
It is also one of the cultural festivals in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
The city also celebrates the Danao City Charter Day every June 7.
The word karansa comes from the potters of Barangay Suba, and it is a thanksgiving dance in the spirit of merriment. Pottery makers share and partake coconut wine after their work and dance in celebration.
History of Karansa Festival
The forerunner of Danao’s cultural festival was the Moro-moro.
It was a yearly stage play depicting a battle between Christians and Muslims and created by Mano Atong Ormoc in the 1940s. The theatrical performance was presented in time with the religious festival of St. Thomas of Villanueva.
It gained much popularity through the efforts of Vicente Camoro, and it was one of the mainstays of the annual fiesta and a much-awaited activity attended by the public.
After Camoro’s untimely passing, the Moro-moro tradition ceased to exist starting in 1980 according to a first-hand source. It was replaced by Ramon Durano Jr. with Karansa Festival, one that is inspired by the Sinulog Festival.
Interestingly according to the provincial government article, Karansa Festival was discovered in 1999.
Devotion to Sto. Tomas de Villanueva
The devotion to Sto. Tomas de Villanueva dates back to the Spanish conquest.
Prehistoric settlers were practicing animism before Christianity came. Augustinian Recollects began to preach to the natives either in 1621 or 1671 in accordance to the mission of Christianizing northern Cebu.
The church they erected was placed under the patronage of St. Thomas of Villanueva. It became a parish in 1742.
The construction of the stone church began in 1755. It was unveiled in 1824. The convent was completed in 1842.
Karansa Festival Activities
Religious activities of Karansa Festival are held at Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish. Novena prayers and mass are held for nine days leading to the fiesta on the third Sunday of September.
Its highlights include the cultural dance competition. The Karansa dance movements involve kiay (sway), kurug (shake), karag, and kurahay (judder). A beauty pageant called Karansa Festival Queen is also held.
How to reach Danao City, Cebu
Danao City is accessible via provincial buses bound for nothern Cebu. A sea port also hosts regular trips to and fro Camotes Island.
- Morexette Marie B. Erram. Danao to tone down fiesta celebrations, bans liquor. Cebu Daily News. September 15, 2021. Retrieved September 13, 2023
- Culture & Heritage. City Government of Danao. Retrieved September 13, 2023
- Ericson L. Batulan. History of Karansa Festival. Danao City Files. August 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2023
- Lee dela Cerna. Danao City celebrates town’s joy in Karansa Festival. Provincial Government of Cebu. September 29, 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2023
- Bersales, Jobers R. (February 8, 2017). A Danao with no lake. Cebu Daily News. Retrieved June 30, 2022