Sarok Festival is the cultural festival and founding anniversary in the municipality of Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines every February 14. The founding date of the town falls on February 6, and it was declared a special non-working holiday among its residents in 2019 through Proclamation 658.
Sarok Festival is one of the participating cultural festivals in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
The word sarok is used to refer to a kind of brown, all-natural, and eco-friendly hat that is made of strips of bamboo woven together and sheets of dried banana leaves. It has a wide, flat circular brim on a banana-leaf cover-base and whose middle portion rises to a conical, pointy top.
It is made of two to three bamboo layers laid one on top of another to give shape and lend durability to its structure. Stiff, dried banana leaves are moistened by dipping them briefly in water so they can become malleable. They are then laid on the backside of the hat and the resulting surface functions as a protective sheet.
Afterwards, another layer of woven bamboo is placed beneath to lock the banana leaves in place. Everything is gathered together by a long bamboo piece (or several pieces that are joined together) tied around that serves as its circumference. Finally, decorative shapes and forms are added by the creative use of colored twines and leaves.
Sarok Festival is an ode to the agricultural way of life and the work of the farmers of the pioneering settlers of the town by giving the spotlight on sarok, which is worn by farmers out in the fields and paddies as a durable, weather-proof shield. A typical sarok can cover the face, neck, and part of the shoulders of the wearer, allowing them to work outdoors for hours on end by protecting them either from the rain or the sun.
The annual festival is also a celebration of the creativity, livelihood, and revival of this traditional handicraft. Women are often the ones creating the hats and earning an income by selling them. Sarok-weaving is thought to have emerged in the post-war years and the hats began to be sold in other towns. Eventually, it has given way to a cottage industry particularly in the village of Tulotulo and sarok becoming an export-quality product.
History of Sarok Festival
Sarok Festival was launched in 1996. It was conceptualized in 1995 by then councilor Avelino Gungob who came up with an initiative to mount a festival. A municipal resolution was passed that mandated the celebration of the foundation of the town every February through the Sarok Festival.
Interestingly, in 2008, the schedule of this yearly event was moved from February to October. Such action was meant to hold the fest in conjuction with the town’s patronal feast day in honor of San Narciso.
The schedule has been moved back to February at least beginning in 2011.
History of Consolacion
Consolacion was an area called Kampi-ig. During colonial times, it previously belonged to Mandaue until it ceded and was established as a separate municipality in 1871. It was annexed to Mandaue again in 1902 and 1903.
A movement to become independent gained grounds during the American occupation and a petition was filed for the town to separate from Mandaue. It was granted on February 6, 1920 through an executive order issued by American Governor General Francis Burton Harrison.
Sarok Festival Activities
For years, the town celebrates Sarok Festival and the founding anniversary every 14th of February. In 2018, a discovery by a historian confirmed that Consolacion was founded earlier in February 6.
In 2019, the founding anniversary activities were observed in February 6 while Sarok Festival pushed through in February 14.
In addition, the fest is also noted for the ethnic dance called Miligoy de Cebu. Danced as a duet and accompanied by bamboo castanets, its performance is held in public get-together and occasions such as weddings and christening.
Other activities include competitions (especially involving decorating sarok), trade fair, parade, and street dance.
How to reach Consolacion, Cebu
Consolacion is about twenty kilometers from Cebu City and from the Mactan International Airport. It can be reached through buses plying from North Bus Terminal located at SM City Cebu.
- History. City Government of Consolacion. Retrieved January 24, 2023
- Sarok Festival. City Government of Consolacion. Retrieved January 25, 2023
- Jucell Marie P. Cuyos. ‘Lacion women weave sarok. Cebu Daily News. August 11, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2023
- Jessica Ann Pareja. Consolacion celebrates Sarok Festival. The Philippine Star. October 27, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2023
- CEBU NEWS
- Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrand. Palace declares Feb. 6 a holiday for Consolacion. The Freeman. January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2023
- Proclamation 658. Official Gazette. Retrieved January 25, 2023