Negros Occidental

Pasalamat Festival in La Carlota City

Pasalamat Festival is a cultural and thanksgiving festival in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental, Philippines every Sunday closest to the first of May. It celebrates the “end of harvest and milling season.


Pasalamat Festival comes from pasalamat, a Hiligaynon word that means thanksgiving or an expression of gratitude.

History of Pasalamat Festival

Pasalamat Festival was conceptualized by of Luis Jalandoni of the local government of the city of La Carlota and launched in 1979. It was organized as an outlet for thanksgiving for bountiful harvest. Additionally, it is an outward mark of the resilience and unity of the townsfolk in persevering against all odds.

Through the years, it has become a must-awaited and grand cultural event. It draws over two hundred thousand visitors to witness the spectacle.

As a recognition of its significance as a cultural event, it was accredited as one of the festival destinations in the country by the Department of Tourism in 1981. In 2005, the Pasalamat drumbeaters were invited to the prestigious World Expo in Japan.

Pasalamat Festival Activities

The schedule of the week-long Pasalamat Festival begins in the last week of April and concludes on the Sunday that is closest to May 1.

One of its famed mainstays is the street dance. Its rhythmic choreography is inspired the Latin American samba dance and the dance movements are in tune to the Pasalamat beat. The Pasalamat beat was composed by Luis Jalandoni Jr., and its lively drum-beating has become a distinct hallmark of the festival. The local government has actively encouraged young people in making their own percussive instruments.

Visitors are also treated to spectacular public performance by dancers in colorful costumes made from indigenous materials.

Another event is the derby. The production of competitive game cocks has become a strong industry in the province and the fighting roosters from La Carlota City are one of the prized game fowls.

One other event is the Pawasak, an Ilongo word that means “going for broke” as well as being carefree. It originates from Mardi Gras when visitors, who may be inebriated and out for a good fun, join the public revelry. When it began, people engaged in various merrymaking involving jostling with people in the crowd and throwing of objects such as vegetable and eggs. Over time, it has evolved into a safe activity of the fest.

Other events are Pasalamat Festival Queen Search, street dance competition, arena dance competition, and float parade, agro-trade fair, food fest, fun run, job fair, medical mission, Thanksgiving mass, talent shows, competitions, variety shows, tournaments, etc.


Pasalamat Festival in La Carlota City Summary

NamePasalamat Festival in La Carlota City
CelebrationCulture, Harvest, Thanksgiving
Contact0994 599 6242
DateSunday closest to the first of May
Duration1 week
FounderLuis Jalandoni
LocationLa Carlota City, Negros Occidental
OrganizerCity Government of La Carlota