Sagingan Festival is the annual agricultural festival and founding anniversary of the town of Tubod in the province of Lanao del Norte every October 17. It is regarded as the “mother of festivals” in the province.
History of Sagingan Festival
Sagingan Festival was held for the first time by Mayor Romana Dela Cruz-Neri in time for the Charter Day of Tubod in 1987. The town had been organizing the annual fiesta since 1957. It comes from the word sagingan, which means banana plantation. It is a proud showcase of the varieties of banana that the town produces which has totaled to 52 according to a report in 2012.
The people in Tubod relies on farming for livelihood. Swathes of its agricultural lands, which account for 80% of its total land area, are allocated to the cultivation of banana, making banana its major agricultural product and at the same time making its local economy subject to the trends of the market of this crop. Its top varieties include cardava, lakatan, and tundan. The fest was established to promote the town, enhance the economic prospect of the crop as a means of generating an income among its townsfolk, and improve productivity in terms of crop yield.
Sagingan Festival was officially accredited in 1992 by the Department of Tourism and was included in the calendar of festivals in the entire Philippines. Moreover, it won Best Tourism Event in the Philippines in the municipal level from 2010 to 2012 in cultural and festival categories as feted by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP). It is also a pioneer in terms of institutionalizing salient features of the celebration. With assistance from National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Department of Tourism Region 10, it formalized the music and dance steps introduced by Steven Fernandez.
History of Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Sagingan Festival coincides with Araw ng Tubod (Tubod Day), which is a celebration of the Charter Day of the municipality. Its name comes from the tubod, which means water spring. Its people were mostly from Luzon and Mindanao practicing Christian faith; Christians make up the largest segment in its local population. Meanwhile, the Chinese began to trickle into the province of Lanao del Norte in the 1800s and they established numerous businesses, becoming an economic force starting in the 1850s.
The municipality of Tubod was founded through Republic Act No. 58 that was approved on October 17, 1946. This is the date that Sagingan Festival commemorates as well as that the municipality declared as Araw ng Tubod. The new town was created from the villages formerly belonging to the town of Kolambugan and which comprised of Baroy, Bolod, Daromawang, Lala, Princesa, Sagadan, Taguiquiron, and Tubod.
Sagingan Festival Activities
Activities of Sagingan Festival are consistent with the theme of banana. This is reflected in Search for Mutya ng Tubod, also called Search for Miss Sagingan Festival, where candidates are challenged to come up with beautiful costumes that utilize raw materials sourced from banana plants. Moreover, a trade fair is one of the mainstays of the fest where the best booths decorated creatively with banana motifs are awarded with prizes. The fair is also an opportunity for barangay units to display their local products.
Another highlight is the cooking fest, a competition that seeks to expand the culinary possibilities of banana by coming up with new dishes made out of the crop. Other events include parade, street dancing, dance showdown, competitions in sports and drum and lyre corps, Laro ng Lahi Olympics (native games), best decorated caromata (wooden carriage for hauling farm tools and produce), best painted carabao (water buffalo), Farm Family Day, foam party, etc.
How to reach Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Lanao del Norte is accessible through airports in Cagayan de Oro (90 minutes via land travel) and Ozamiz City (30 minutes via barge).
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