Utanon Festival

Utanon Festival celebrates the culture, food, and agriculture in Dalaguete, a southern town of Cebu, Philippines every February 10. Founded by Mayor Andrade H. Alcantara, considered the father of Utanon Festival, it is an annual thanksgiving for abundant harvest of agricultural produce that the town is known for.

It is also organized in conjunction with the the feast of the patron saint of the town, San Guillermo de Aquitania (St. William of Aquitane).

Utanon Festival also participates in Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.

Dalaguete, the Vegetable Basket of Cebu

Utanon means vegetables in the Cebuano language, and Utanon Festival is a yearly celebration of the municipality of Dalaguete for its production and as a major supplier of a variety of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and crops to the entire island of Cebu.

Dalaguete, especially its upland village of Mantalongon, is known for its proud moniker as the Vegetable Basket of Cebu. A bagsakan or auction site was erected where traders bid various agricultural produce. Located about 90 kilometers from the capital, the town had 8,000 farmers and supplied about 20,000 tons of produce daily according to a 2020 report. Majority of their harvest is sent to Cebu City specifically in Carbon, the biggest pubslic market in the city.

Furthermore, Mantalongon is touted as the Little Baguio of Cebu and the Summer Capital of Cebu because of its year-round cool climate that is conducive to the farming of various plants, fruit-bearing trees, flowers, and vegetables. It is also a popular summer destination for people who would like to have an escapade into its mountainous terrains, and people can visit strawberry and sunflower farms and explore mountain peaks.

Religious fiesta of San Guillermo

Utanon Festival is also a religious fiesta for the devotion of San Guillermo, the patron of Dalaguete, which began during the Spanish period.

Christianity came to the town as early as the 17th century. A church was founded in 1690 and it was a visita of the church in Carcar. (A visita is a chapel or hermitage that did not have any convent so a priest traveled to the place to perform religious services and moved back to the parish where he stayed.) The church was under the advocation of St. William of Aquitane. Later, it separated from Carcar when it became a parish in 1711.

The stone church was constructed from 1802 to 1825 and in the following decades the convent was also built (1832) and the bell tower (1860). It is one of the finest examples of colonial-era architecture and church complex that also functioned as defense against Moro pirates, and it has been declared a National Historical Landmark.

Utanon Festival Activities

Just like religious fiesta, the novena and masses are said for nine days and then the 10th day is the feast day. Religious activities are held at the San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church.

Utanon Festival has a two-day calendar from February 9 to February 10 but there are activities that occur prior to this schedule, extending the its festival calendar. Major activities include Search for Utanon Festival Queen, Street Dancing, and Ritual Dance Showdown.

How to reach Dalaguete, Cebu

Dalaguete is a southern town of Cebu. It is accessible through buses that regularly ply the trip to the southern tip of the island. These buses are at the South Bus Terminal, Cebu City. From the capital, the town is about 90 kilometers and the travel takes about two to three hours depending on traffic.


Utanon Festival Summary

NameUtanon Festival
CelebrationAgriculture, Culture, Food, Harvest, Religion, Thanksgiving
ChurchSan Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church
Contact(032) 407 9055
DateFebruary 10
Duration2 days
FounderAndrade H. Alcantara
LocationDalaguete, Cebu
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Dalaguete
PatronSan Guillermo de Aquitania
ReligionRoman Catholic
Simultaneous eventFeast day of San Guillermo de Aquitania