Sikhayan Festival is the cultural festival and annual founding celebration of Santa Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines every January 18. The date is declared a special non-working holiday in the city through proclamations issued from the Office of the President.
History of Sikhayan Festival
Sikhayan Festival comes from sikap (hardwork) and kabuhayan (livelihood). It was launched in 2000 by Mayor Leon Arcillas to celebrate the historic beginning of Santa Rosa City every year and a way to give recognition to it people, their resilience, and their entrepreneurial spirit that drive its continuous economic prosperity and growth. The city has earned the monikers Lion City of South Luzon and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub of Southern Luzon.
The fest was featured in a series of commemorative stamps issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation in 2017.
In 2020, it was postponed to the month of February due to the volcanic activities of Taal Volcano.
History of Santa Rosa City
The grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Spanish colonizer Juan de Salcedo explored Laguna and came upon the town of Tabuco, the present-day Cabuyao. In those times, Santa Rosa was called Bukol and a village belonging to Biñan, itself part of Cabuyao. In 1688, Biñan (and thus Bukol) separated from Cabuyao.
On January 18, 1792, it became a town separate from Biñan and by then it was renamed Pueblo de Santa Rosa after the patron saint, St. Rose of Lima. This is the date that Sikhayan Festival commemorates.
It emerged from the Philippine Revolution and the Second World War as a predominantly agrarian town. Its population relied on small enterprises and agriculture for livelihood. The drive for growth began in the 1980s when the city began to emerge as an investment destination that attracted domestic and foreign investors.
The town became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9264, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Santa Rosa in the Province of Laguna into a Component City to be known as the City of Santa Rosa. The law was signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on March 10, 2004, and it was enacted through a plebiscite on July 10, 2004.
Sikhayan Festival Activities
Sikhayan Festival has a one-week schedule. Its calendar of activities includes talent competitions, variety and comedy shows, entertainment, music events, concerts, cultural presentations, fireworks display, grand parade, mascot presentation, street dance competition, etc. There are also beauty pageants such as Ginoong Santa Rosa.
How to reach Santa Rosa City, Laguna
Buses from Manila (such as SM MOA, Ayala, Parañaque) ply the route regularly to Santa Rosa, Laguna. The distance is about forty kilometers away and trips can last about an hour or so depending on traffic.
- Aya Jallorina. Triumph over Adversity: Lessons from Santa Rosa’s Sikhayan Festival. The Manila Times through PressReader. January 18, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Proclamation 112, s. 2023. Official Gazette. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- James Veloso. Sta. Rosa resets popular Sikhayan Festival. Opinyon.net. January 19, 2022. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Historical Timeline. City Government of Santa Rosa. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Sikhayan Festival 2013. The Philippine Star through PressReader. January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Commemorative stamps for Santa Rosa’s 225th anniversary. Philippine News Agency. January 19, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Santa Rosa continues to grow as it celebrates its 226th year. The Philippine Star. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Republic Act No. 9264. Official Gazette. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Executive Summary. Commission on Audit. 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2023
- Roy Tomandao. Sikhayan celebrates Pinoy resilience. Manila Standard. February 9, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2023