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Laguna

Buhayani Festival

Buhayani Festival, also called Calambagong Buhayani Festival, is a festival that honors the Filipino national hero Jose Rizal and held yearly in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines every June 19. The town of Calamba, Laugna was the birthplace of Rizal in 1861.

The 9th of June is a special nonworking holiday in the entire province of Laguna pursuant to Republic Act No. 11144, otherwise known as “Araw ng Kapanganakan ni Dr. Jose P. Rizal”, that was approved by Rodrigo Duterte on November 9, 2018. The city also observes the holiday through presidential proclamations such as Proclamation No. 202 issued in 2023.

The city also celebrates Calamba Cityhood Anniversary every April 21st.

Etymology

Buhayani Festival is a portmanteau of buhay, meaning life, and bayani, which means hero. It can mean Buhay na Bayani (Living Heroes) and Buhay ng Bayani (A Hero’s Life).

Calambago is likewise a combination of Calamba and bago that translates to new, which taken together refers to ‘New Calamba.’

History of Buhayani Festival

Buhayani Festival was launched by Mayor Justin Mark Chipeco in 2014 in time for Jose Rizal’s 153rd birth anniversary. The festival’s official hymn was composed by Vehnee Saturno in that same year. It has since been an institutional annual event in accordance to City Ordinance No. 575.

The yearly celebration remembers the life, works, and heroism of Jose Rizal who was born in Calamba on June 19, 1861. Additionally, it aims to keep alive the history and culture of the city, encourage the pursuit of heroism in daily lives, promote the development of talents and skills of Calambeño, and recognize individuals with excellent achievements in different fields.

The festival is also a gathering of its 54 component barangays. Its activities are also participated by the private sector, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-government organizations.

The festival is multi-awarded. It earned first place in 2016 and third place in 2017 and 2018 for the Pearl Award Best Tourism Event-Festival City Category in the Department of Tourism-Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines.

In 2023, it was rebranded Calambagong Buhayani Festival.

Dr. Jose P. Rizal

National hero Jose P. Rizal was born to a wealthy family in Calamba, Laguna. He was the seventh of eleven children of Francisco Rizal Mercado and Teodora Alonso Realonda, who were of Chinese descent and managed farmlands that belonged to church authorities.

Rizal was a precocious child. He was educated at Ateneo de Manila and University of Santo Tomas, and he went abroad for further studies. His notable works include the novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. His nationalist thoughts and writings brought ire to the Spanish authorities trying to quell the Philippine revolutionary movement, and he was executed on December 30, 1896.

The family house where Rizal was born is located near St. John the Baptist’s Parish Church where he was baptized. It was destroyed during World War II and the property was purchased by the Philippine government after the war.

A reconstruction of the house was carried out within the term of President Elpidio Quirino. Quirino issued Executive Order No. 145 in 1948 that mandated contribution from students to finance the undertaking. Today, it is called Rizal Shrine in Calamba or Museo ni Jose Rizal Calamba.

Buhayani Festival Activities

In the early years, the schedule of Buyahani Festival begins on June 12 in time for the Philippines’ Independence Day and culminates on June 19.

In 2023, the calendar was from June 2 to June 25. It was also the same year that Calambagong Bayani Awards was launched which seeks to recognize individuals with great contribution and excellent achievements in different fields.

There various competitions like CalamBangka (boat race), Saranggolahan ni Pepe (kite contest), street dance competitions, talent contests, and sports. Other events include seminars, workshops, museum visits, food festival, job fair, cultural dance and presentations, exhibits, projects that are geared towards developing skills of constituents, etc.

How to reach Calamba, Laguna

References

Buhayani Festival Summary

NameBuhayani Festival
CelebrationBirth anniversary of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal
Contact+63 49 545 6789
CountryPhilippines
DateJune 19
Duration1 week
Emailcalambatourismcalamba@gmail.com
Established2014
Facebookwww.facebook.com
FounderJustin Mark Chipeco
Historical eventThe birth of Jose Rizal in Calamba, Laguna
LocationCalamba City, Laguna
OrganizerCity Government of Calamba
Other NamesCalambagong Buhayani Festival
Websitewww.calambacity.gov.ph