It is the biggest gathering of cultural festivals of cities and towns in the province, and it is at times referred to as the “festival of festivals” and the “mother of all festivals in the Queen City of the South.”
The date is a special nonworking public holiday in Cebu province as set forth by Republic Act No. 7698 which became a law on April 29, 1994.
Organized by the provincial government, this yearly celebration marks the establishment of Cebu province with the appointment of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi as captain-general of Cebu and the new colony in 1569.
Pasigarbo sa Sugbo translates to Pride of Cebu.
Founding of Cebu
Cebu, called Sugbo in the language of its people, is the oldest settlement in the Philippines. It was a trading center ruled by a rajahnate before the coming of the Spaniards.
The ruling elite of its pre-colonial community is believed to have links with the lineage of southern India dynasty according to oral folklore.
Its port was a vital outpost in the exchange of goods between neighboring islands and with merchants from foreign lands as far away as Thailand, Japan, and China.
Antonio Pigafetta, the Venetian chronicler who accompanied Ferdinand Magellan in the Spanish-sponsored expedition to the Moluccas in 1521, wrote,
I asked where was the best port for obtaining victuals. They replied that there were three, that is to say, Ceylon, Zzubu, and Calaghan, but that Zzubu was the largest and of the most traffic.Antonio Pigafetta, translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley. The First Voyage Round the World/Pigafetta’s Account of Magellan’s Voyage
Magellan’s fleet arrived in Cebu harbor on April 7, 1521 and met with Rajah Humabon, the leader of Cebu at that time. The foreign colonizers performed baptism of the natives and gifted Humabon’s consort with an image of the Infant Child called Sto. Niño (see Sinulog Festival).
Later, Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan (see Kadaugan sa Mactan) by the indigenous opposition led by Mactan ruler named Lapulapu.
The Spanish crown succeeded in colonizing the archipelago with the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi beginning in 1565.
He established the Spanish colonial presence when he reached Cebu on April 27. Moreover, he renamed the island “Villa del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus” and declared it as the capital of the Spanish colony in the East Indies.
Legazpi was the first governor of Cebu from 1565 until his death in 1572. The confirmation of his appointment as “… governor and captain-general of Cebu and of the other settlements” was issued by King Philip II on August 6, 1569, and it also declared Cebu as the first Spanish province in the Philippines. This is the date that Pasigarbo sa Sugbo commemorates every year.
History of Pasigarbo sa Sugbo
Pasigarbo sa Sugbo was launched by Gwendolyn Garcia during her second term as governor in 2008 in time for the 439th founding anniversary.
Each of the constituent cities and towns of Cebu province sends a dance contingent that performs a representation of their respective cultural festivals.
It is thought that the yearly congregation of Cebu’s cultural festivals encourages Cebuano’s creativity and talent, as well as promotes tourism and local products.
The event was placed on hiatus twice in its history, firstly from 2013 to 2018 (when the Cebu provincial governor was Hilario Davide III) and secondly between 2020 and 2021 (due to coronavirus pandemic).
Hence, it was re-staged twice: in 2019 (when Garcia was re-elected governor) and in 2022 (when it was held again to aid the tourism industry negatively impacted by lock-downs and travel restrictions).
Beginning in 2008, its venue was the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City. In 2019, it was moved to Cebu City Sports Complex because CICC was considered to be no longer “feasible.”
In 2023, Cebu City Sports Complex underwent repairs and the fest was hosted in Carcar City.
In that same year, Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival was announced the winner in the immediate conclusion of the cultural dance competition.
In a subsequent recount that was conducted due to technical hiccups that occurred during the event, Minglanilla’s Sugat Kabanhawan Festival was declared that year’s winner.
|8/9/2008||CICC||Bantayan Island’s Palawod Festival||34|
|8/15/2009||CICC||Bantayan Island’s Palawod Festival||38|
|8/14/2010||CICC||Bantayan Island’s Palawod Festival||32|
|8/13/2011||CICC||Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival||40|
|8/11/2012||CICC||Liloan’s Rosquillos Festival||31|
|8/25/2019||Cebu City Sports Complex||Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival||44|
|8/28/2022||Cebu City Sports Complex||Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival||50|
|8/27/2023||Carcar City||Minglanilla’s Sugat Kabanhawan Festival (recount)||50|
Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Activities
Highlights of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo are the street dancing competition, ritual showdown, and beauty pageant called Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival Queen.
These activities are also the event’s culminating activities and their schedule has varied through the years, often occurring on any of the weekends of August. Meanwhile the schedule of the founding anniversary, which is a holiday, is fixed every 6th of August.
Special awards that are given away include Best in Costume, Best in Andas, and Best in Audio Van.
Other activities may include a float parade and a trade fair.
List of cultural festivals in Cebu for Pasigarbo sa Sugbo
Below is the list of cultural festivals for Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
|Festival||City / Town|
|La Torta Festival||Argao|
|Lingaw Sadya Festival||Balamban|
|Kuyayang Festival||Bogo City|
|Kabkaban Festival||Carcar City|
|Sinulog sa Carmen||Carmen|
|Budbod Kabog Festival||Catmon|
|Karansa Festival||Danao City|
|Panagtagbo Festival||Mandaue City|
|Sugat Kabanhawan Festival||Minglanilla|
|Dagitab Festival||Naga City|
|Panagbagat / Tagbo Festival||Poro|
|Sikoy-Sikoy Festival||San Fernando|
|Soli-soli Festival||San Francisco|
|Lapayahan Festival||San Remigio|
|Panuhog Festival||Santa Fe|
|Halad Inasal Festival||Talisay City|
|Hinulawan Festival||Toledo City|
How to reach Cebu
Cebu is accessible via Mactan International Airport and several seaports with regular daily or weekly trips from neighboring islands.
- Republic Act No. 7698. Official Gazette. April 29, 1994. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Ryan Macasero. Cebu province celebrates in-person return of ‘Pasigarbo sa Sugbo’. Rappler. August 28, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Antonio Pigafetta, translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley. The First Voyage Round the World/Pigafetta’s Account of Magellan’s Voyage. Wikisource. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Philip II’s confirmation of Legazpi as Governor and Captain-general of Cebu, 1569. Blair & Robertson, The Philippine Islands, volume 3, pp. 62-66. Translation from the Spanish by Alfonso de Salvio. PhilippineHistory.net. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Kathleen de Villa. This Week’s Milestones: Aug. 5-11, 2018. Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 5, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Gary B. Lao. Palawod, Haladaya, Siloy festivals dominate Pasigarbo. The Philippine Star. August 11, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Earl Kim Padronia. Minglanilla emerges victorious in Pasigarbo 2023 recount. SunStar. September 6, 2023. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Gregg M. Rubio. The grandest performances of proud Cebuanos. The Freeman through PressReader. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Mellanie Joy C. Rosales. Bantayan grabs first prize in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo. The Philippine Star. August 16, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2023
- Alven Marie A., Timtim, Enrique Bejar, Gerard Vincent Francisco, Michelle Joy Padayhag, Rosalie O. Abatayo. Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival is Pasigarbo sa Sugbo 2019’s big winner. Cebu Daily News. August 26, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2023