Banana Festival is an agricultural and religious festival in the town of La Castallena, Negros Occidental, Philippines every first week of April 1 to 5. It is the biggest celebration in the town and participated by constituent barangays. With a five-day calendar, it showcases varieties of banana, local products, and creativity of its people.
Simultaneously, it is also the patronal fiesta of St. Vincent Ferrer.
History of Banana Festival
Banana Festival in La Castellana, a municipality situated in the foothills of Mt. Kanlaon, was first held in 1998. It gives the limelight to the farming of banana, specifically around twenty varieties of the crop including latundan, balangon, and cardaba or sab-a in the local language.
Banana is mainly produced by the villages of Cabagnaan, Lalagsan, Mansalanao, Masulog, and Sag-ang; it is likewise ubiquitous as it is found planted everywhere. Around 500 hectares of land are used for the cultivation of this crop and the farms produced 40 tons of the crop a month according to a 2019 article. A private farm in Lalagsan produced 27 tons that were exported to China.
In addition, townsfolk created a local product called sab-a sticks. It is made from strips of banana that are fried and mixed with different flavors like cheese, chocolate, sour cream, and garlic.
Patronal Fiesta of St. Vincent Ferrer
Banana Festival also coincides with the patronal feast of St. Vincent Ferrer. The saint is the patron of the Shrine of St. Vincent located at Rizal Street.
Banana Festival Activities
Activities of Banana Festival primarily promotes the competitive spirit of the people of La Castellana, merriment, agriculture, and religious faith. Banana and various parts of its plant can be found as products, merchandise, and decors in booths that are opened in the Agro Trade Fair, floats, and costumes in the street parade. Another mainstay is Search for Banana Festival Queen, picking the best candidate who embodies the spirit of the festival. Besides, there are competitions, parties, and entertainment.
How to reach La Castellana, Negros Occidental
Get a plane ticket bound for Bacolod Airport and then ride a bus trip for the municipality of La Castella (about 75 kilometers, the trip taking about 2 hours).
- Erwin P. Nicavera. Banana takes center stage in La Castallena Festival. Sunstar Bacolod. April 2, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2022
- Erwin Nicavera. Banana production thrives in central Negros town. Philippine News Agency. April 3, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2022
- La Castellana to boost banana sticks delicacy. Daily Guardian. April 2, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2022
- Hindi na banana cue! La Castellana to boast banana stick as major delicacy. Politiko. April 14, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2022
- This Week’s Festivals: Apr. 1-7, 2018. Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 1, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2022
- La Castallena celebrates Banana Festival, Fiesta. Negros Now Daily. March 31, 2022.