Saludan Festival

Saludan Festival, also called Pagdaug Saludan Festival, is an annual cultural, historical, and harvest festival in the town of Tigbauan in the province of Iloilo, Philippines every March 18 or third Friday of October. It is a celebration of the town’s way of life, agriculture, culture, and history. Generally a week-long affair, its activities are participated by the constituent barangay units.

History of Saludan Festival

Pagdaug Saludan Festival comes from the Hiligaynon words pagdaug which means victory and salud which means harvest. It celebras many aspects of culture and tradition among the people of Tigbauan. It is organized every year by its municipal government.

Its roots began in 1998 when then Mayor Myrna M. Torres issued an executive order declaring the third Friday of October as Adlaw Sang Tigbauan (Tigbauan Day). The date was chosen because the month of October was traditionally the time of rice harvest from the fields.

Saludan Festival was launched by Torres in 2005. Its schedule was moved to March by Mayor Suzette Tenefrancia-Alquisada starting in 2014 and it was rebranded Pagdaug Saludan Festival. However, it was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 threats. It was revived in 2022 under the leadership of Mayor Virgilio Teruel and its schedule was once again moved to October and its previous name, Saludan Festival, restored.

Bountiful harvest in Tigbauan

Saludan Festival gave the limelight to the bountiful harvest of farmers, and this is due to the town’s topography that is 75% flat plains, of which over 90% is dedicated to agriculture.

The word salud is used in variety of settings. It refers to the traditional means of fishing. Since the olden times, people use nets and woven bamboo traps. They are used at sea or in the rivers to catch fishes and shrimps.

Moreover, the town is a producer of rice. The word also refers to the means of winnowing rice grains after stalks are threshed (which is achieved by spreading rice grains on a mat and being trampled by feet). The winnowing process utilizes a basket, and farmers separate the chaff and other materials from the grains.

Lastly, Tigbauan is known for the production of coconut wine called sweet variant of tuba. The act of collecting the sap from a coconut flower to a bamboo container is called pagpanalud. The saps are consumed immediately or allowed to ferment for stronger spirit.

These traditional harvesting methods are reflected in the tribal dance-drama competition which is one of the highlights of the festival.

Liberation of Panay and Romblon

Saludan Festival commemorates the fight waged against Japanese occupation in the Second World War. After Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, Filipino forces chose to continue the fight for freedom against the invasion. The Free Panay Guerilla Forest was founded by Colonel Macario Peralta Jr. from the 61st military division of the Philippine Army. The unit allied with volunteers from the civilian population and they conducted attacks against Japanese soldiers.

On March 18, 1945, the Free Panay Guerilla Forest organized the last attack against the imperial army of Japan. The date also coincided with the landing of the American Liberation Forces, the 40th Infantry Division, led by Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger, the commanding general of the 8th United States Army. His forces reached and disembarked in what is presently called Barangay Parara. This historic event is also dramatized during the tribal dance competition.

The victory became the basis of Proclamation 430 that was signed on July 21, 1989. It declared March 18th of every year as Victory Day in Panay and Romblon, and the day is also declared as a special non-working day.

Saludan Festival Activities

Opening activity of the Saludan Festival is dubbed Pamukaw sang Saludan. Other events include float contest, parade, sports, art fest and exhibit, culinary show, food fest, musical show, cultural and entertainment presentation, talent contest (dancing, singing), tourism promotional video contests, job fair, book fair, etc. There is also the prestigious Search for Pagdaug Festival King and Queen or in 2022 Reyna kang Saludan (Saludan Queen).

How to reach Tigbauan, Iloilo

You can take a flight to Iloilo International Airport, then take a cab or public transport to Tigbauan which is about 22 kilometers away and the trip may last about half an hour.


Saludan Festival Summary

NameSaludan Festival
CelebrationAgriculture, Coconut, Culture, Food, Harvest, History, Rice, Wine
Contact+63 33 321 2474
FounderMyrna M. Torres
Historical eventLiberation of Panay and Romblon during Second World War
LocationTigbauan, Iloilo
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Tigbauan
Other NamesPagdaug Saludan Festival
Simultaneous eventAdlaw sang Tigbanaua