Tostado Festival

Tostado Festival is a cultural, food, and religious festival held annually in the municipality of Santander, Cebu, Philippines every third Sunday of April. Its festival symbol is the tostado, a native cookie and delicacy of the town. It is also conducted in time with the fiesta of St. Gabriel the Archangel, the patron of Santander.

Tostado Festival is one of the participating festivals in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo every August.

The town also celebrates its founding anniversary every January 11.


Tostado Festival comes from tostado. Tostado is a word in Spanish language that means toasted, and it also refers to a type of dish whose base is a toasted ingredient such as tortilla.

Yet in Santander, tostado is a cookie that is baked rather than toasted. It is made of flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda, and shortening. The mixture is kneaded and cut into various shapes such as stars, ringed, and flowers. Then it goes into the oven for baking.

It is a delectable and crumbly treat, with a sweet flavor profile. Thus, it can be consumed as is or paired with ice cream or a hot beverage like coffee.

Though its origin is unknown, it has become a staple during celebrations. It is served to guests, particularly in the yearly fiesta where the more guests welcomed into the home the more blessings may come for the rest of the year. And it may be given away as pasalubong, either to guests from the fiesta or what people from Santander bring to family and friends in other places. It is also a tasty snack that be handy during break time or long travel.

The making of tostado has also developed into a thriving cottage industry, becoming a means of livelihood where people can engage in business or earn an income through gainful employment of local bakeries. When sold, it comes in packets and it has a long shelf life.

History of Tostado Festival

The tostado has become central to the Tostado Festival, which was first held in 2006. It is a product that is proudly Santander-made and symbolizes the hospitality of its townsfolk, local culture, and tradition.

It is best featured in the street dancing, the foremost mainstay of the festival. Its festival dance is based on a choreography that commemorates the making of tostado: batil (the preparation of the mixture), ligis (kneading of the mixture), hulma (forming and cutting of the dough to various shapes), and horno (baking).

Devotion to St. Gabriel the Archangel

The devotion to St. Gabriel the Archangel was brought by the Spaniards during the conquista.

Santander was called TaƱon in the olden times after the sea between Negros and Cebu. When the colonial era began, it was annexed to the nearby town of Oslob. Catholic missionaries established its church as a visita of Oslob Parish. In 1898, Santander Church was made independent by separating from Oslob and becoming a parish.

Tostado Festival Activities

St. Gabriel Parish Church holds religious services associated with the fiesta such as novena, mass, and procession. The local government, meanwhile, organizes the town-wide activities such as street dancing, baking contest, motorcade, pageant (Tostado Festival Queen), sports, entertainment, concerts, variety shows, cultural shows, talent competitions, fireworks display, and disco.

How to reach Santander, Cebu

From Mactan International Airport or from the sea ports, take a ride to South Bus Terminal. Then take a bus going to Santander.


Tostado Festival Summary

NameTostado Festival
CelebrationCulture, Food, Religion
ChurchSt. Gabriel the Archangel Parish
DateThird Sunday of April
LocationSantander, Cebu
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Santander
PatronSt. Gabriel the Archangel
ReligionRoman Catholic