Sipalay City Charter Anniversary is celebrated every March 31 in the City of Sipalay, Negros Occidental, Philippines. It is a yearly celebration of the conversion of then town of Sipalay to a component city of Negros Occidental in 2001. The date can be a holiday (for example, Proclamation No. 16 in 2023).
Sipalay City also celebrates the Pasaway-Handurawan Festival every December.
History of Sipalay City
The old name of Sipalay was Naga, named so after a tree. Its area was settled by people believed to be descendants of Bornean migrants from Panay, and they established their dwellings along the banks of Canman-og River (later known as Naga River and finally Sipalay River).
In the 18th century, the settlement was renamed to Sipalay after paray or palay, the local word for rice, for the soil was fecund and rice harvest was bountiful. Its first chieftain was Basilio Debuyan who, among many of his famous feats, enjoined the people to relocate to a new area to avoid the floods brought about by the seasonal swollen river. The original land was henceforth known as Sipalay Diotay.
In the past, it was a territory that belonged to the municipality of Cauayan. Multiple attempts were made to separate from Cauayan beginning in the 1920s through an association called La Lega del Sur during the American period. It briefly was made into an emergency town at the height of World War II, but after the war it reverted to its previous status.
In 1946, municipal councilor Benjamin Ramos who represented Sipalay urged the council to reconsider the separation of Sipalay from the municipality. Then Representative Eliseo Limsiaco filed a bill in Congress while Agripino Alvarez worked to secure an issuance from the President. Sipalay became an independent town on December 20, 1948 through Executive Order 185 that was issued by President Elpidio Quirino.
On March 5, 2001, Sipalay became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9027, otherwise known as “An Act Converting the Municipality off Sipalay, Province of Negros Occidental into a Component City to be Known as the City of Sipalay.” It was approved by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and ratified on March 31 of the same year. This is the date that the charter anniversary recalls every year.
Sipalay City Charter Anniversary Activities
In 2023, the charter anniversary began in March 23 and culminated in March 31. It also included the Burangoy Tourism Kite Festival and Barongoy Fishtival. Other activities include art exhibit, sports, race, jobs fair, various competitions, talent contests, entertainment, live band, barangay festivals showdown, etc.
Burangoy Kite Tourism Festival
Burnangoy Kite Tourism Festival is said to be the biggest kite festivals in Western Visayas (of which Negros Occidental is part of along with the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo). Due to the city’s commitment in promoting kite-flying, a Filipino tradition and a wholesome, family-friendly, environmentally sound recreation, Silay City is adjudged the Kite Capital of the Philippines.
Its name comes from the fusion of the words burador kite and barongoy, a flying fish. There are many categories participants could join in 2023: guryon (flat kites), barongoy, figure kites (PH animals), and 3D geometric kites.
Barongoy Fishtival, which began in 2012, is the culminating event. It puts barongoy, flying fish, front and center of the revelry. Activities include fluvial parade, cook fest, and cooking of barongoy in open grills in the street. In 2022, the grilling of barongoy was organized to benefit a social cause and those who joined paid their meal in exchange for a few hundred pesos.
- 1981 History of the Municipality of Sipalay. Retrieved March 27, 2023
- Executive Order 185. Official Gazette. Retrieved March 27, 2023
- Republic Act No. 9027. Official Gazette. Retrieved March 27, 2023
- Nanette Guadalquiver. Koreans join Sipalay City kite festival. Philippine News Agency. March 24, 2023. Retrieved March 27, 2023
- Nanette Guadalquiver. Sipalay City showcases unique, colorful kites in ‘Burangoy’ fest. Philippine News Agency. March 21, 2023. Retrieved March 27, 2023