Panuhug Festival

Panuhug Festival is a cultural and religious festival in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines held every January 15. As one of the festivals in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, it celebrates the shell craft industry that the town is known for, and its schedule coincides with the religious fiesta of the devotion to Sto. Niño.

History of Panuhug Festival

In the past, the municipality of Santa Fe used to celebrate Kinhason Festival (Shells Festival) and the Puting Baybay Festival (White Beach Festival). It was a means to promote the abundance of shells, shell craft industry, and beautiful white sand beaches of the town.

In June 2023, the Sangguniang Bayan passed a local ordinance replacing Puting Baybay Festival and establishing Panuhug Festival as the official yearly celebration of the municipality.

Panuhug Festival comes from the root word tuhog, a Cebuano word that means to puncture or skewer. Tuhog, in the context of the festival, refers to the handicraft of threading a string through seashells. It is an important process and an integral skill in shell craft industry where decorative art pieces, jewelry, and other items using seashells are created.

Production of seashell items has become a source of livelihood of many townsfolk, and the town is known for exquisite shell-craft products.

Devotion to Sto. Niño

Panuhug Festival is also an expression of faith and devotion to Sto. Niño, a devotion that began in colonial era. The entire Bantayan Island was one of the earliest mission stations of the Augustinians at the beginning of the conquest. The missionaries established the Parish of Bantayan in 1580. Initially, it was dedicated to the advocation of La Asuncion de Nuestra Señora and afterwards, its titular was replaced with Sts. Peter and Paul.

The island was exposed to many Moro assaults that resulted to wanton destruction and loss of lives. The Augustinians gave up the mission and handed over its administration to the secular clergy in 1603.

Santa Fe was called Ogtong in the olden times inspired by a fish of the same name, and it was renamed after a town in Spain. Its church was a visita of Bantayan Parish with the titular of Sto. Niño. It became an independent parish on April 7, 1881.

How to reach Santa Fe, Cebu

From Mactan International Airport, take a cab or bus to the North Terminal Bus Station. Then take a bus bound to Hagnaya Port. Next, get a ferry ride to Santa Fe Port, Bantayan Island.


Panuhug Festival Summary

NamePanuhug Festival
CelebrationCulture, Religion
ChurchSto. Niño Parish Church
Contact(032) 438-9610 / 0995 904 5464
DateJanuary 15
EstablishedJune 2023
LocationSanta Fe, Cebu
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Santa Fe
PatronSto. Niño
Previous NameKinhason Festival, Puting Baybay Festival