Baggak Festival celebrates the founding of the town of Bauang in La Union, Philippines every January 5. Activities are scheduled for three weeks which start as early as the 16th of December all the way to the first week in the succeeding year. January 5 (or the day after) is at times declared as a special non-working holiday.
Baggak is a word in the mother tongue which means morning star. It refers to “a new day”, in other words a celebration of hope for a better future for the people of Bauang.
History of Baggak Festival
Baggak Festival was first mounted in 1998. Its schedule was observed in April, and then it was moved to January as is observed presently.
Founding of Bauang
Baggak Festival remembers the historic beginning of the town of Bauang. In the past, it was called Atuley. Already a settled area before the coming of the Spaniards, it was known as an outpost for trading of gold and other products between the natives and merchants from foreign lands like China and Japan.
When the Spanish colonial period began, the first Spanish colonizer who set foot in the area was Juan de Salcedo in June of 1572. However, it was the Augustinian friars that proceeded to establish the Spanish presence by erecting a church in 1580.
On January 5, 1587, the church was dedicated to the patrons Sts. Peter and Paul. This is the date that Baggak Festival commemorates as the founding of Bauang. By April 26 of the same year, its canonical erection as a parish took place. Fr. Miguel Sano was installed as the first parish priest.
Baggak Festival Activities
Activities of Baggak Festival is a combination of Christmas season and founding anniversary celebrations. Its 2020 calendar, for instance, revealed that the first part of the fest was the Bauang Christmas Village that ended in the last day of December. Its kick-off activities coincided with several religious and secular events such as the start of the Misa de Gallo, the turning on of the yuletide lights of the Christmas Village, and the opening of the trade fair area and food kiosks. Afterwards, the founding anniversary events commenced with the New Year’s Day.
Activities included concerts, fireworks display, cook fest, competitions, beauty pageant called Mutya ti Bauang, parade, street dance, cultural shows, etc. A program to recall the founding of the town is part of the culminating activities in the fifth of January.
How to reach Bauang, La Union
Buses such as Partas and Viron Transit have trips from Cubao to San Fernando City, the capital of La Union, a trip that would take roughly four hours. From there, one can take another trip to the town of Bauang which is about 15 kilometers away.
- Festivities. Municipality of Bauang. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Bauang History. Municipality of Bauang. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Kathleen de Villa. This Week’s Festivals: Jan. 5 – 11, 2020. Philippine Daily Inquirer. January 5, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Caren Grace Cabanayan. La Union town marks 436th founding anniversary. January 5, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Baggak Festival. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Sts. Peter and Paul Church & the San Pedro Bell. Municipality of Bauang. Retrieved January 14, 2023
- Proclamation 870. Official Gazette. Retrieved January 14, 2023