Saginyogan Festival, previously called Coco-Banana Festival, is a yearly agricultural festival as well as a founding anniversary celebration in the town of Alcantara in Romblon, Philippines every March 21st.
History of Saginyogan Festival
The beginning of Saginyogan Festival of Alcantara was the Coco-Banana Festival, the town fiesta that was first conducted in 2010. In the following year, the organizing committee rebranded the event and called it Saginyogan Festival starting .
Its name is a portmanteau of two words: saging (banana) and niyog (coconut). Renaming the fest made it distinct from other similar celebrations held in the different places in the province and in the country.
This week-long event puts the highlight on agricultural products that have become indispensable in the lives of its people, providing sustenance and livelihood.
A little less than a third of the town’s total land area is dedicated to farming coconuts and it produced about 5 million fruits annually. Additionally, banana plants are ubiquitous in the town.
By hosting such a celebration, it hopes to spread awareness on and promote these crops and their manifold uses. It also encourages its people to develop various products from them that could be sold in the market and become a source of income. Moreover, it gives a toast to agriculture and the contribution of farmers towards nation-building.
History of Alcantara, Romblon
Saginyogan Festival is also a founding anniversary of Alcantara. Migrants from the island of Panay settled in the island in 1807 under the leadership of Gaspar Guevarra.
They made their home in what was known as Bista de Lawan and Pueblo de Guintigui-an. However, they transferred their homestead when it became vulnerable to Moro raids, and their former settlement became known as Daan Banwa which means old town. The new center of the town, about a kilometer further south, prospered.
Located in the southeastern part of the island of Tablas, Alcantara was named after Ciriaco Alcantara. He initiated the creation of the town by petitioning the Spanish colonial government to consolidate various communities in the southeastern portion of the island. After his plans pushed through, he was appointed its chieftain and the town was named in his honor.
Alcantara was founded on March 21, 1961 by virtue of Executive Order No. 427 signed by Carlos P. Garcia. It was made possible through the efforts of Representative Jose Moreno and Governor Manuel L. Solidum. Its lands were made up of villages that formerly belonged to the municipality of Looc: Alcantara, Bonlao, Calagonsao, Camili, Comoed-om, Madalag, San Isidro, and Tugdan.
More barangays were added in 1990, bringing the total number to twelve. It is a largely agricultural municipality, and its people primarily engaged in farming and fishing. The town also produces other staple food like root crops, corn, and rice.
Saginyogan Festival Activities
Activities of the Saginyogan Festival includes the grand street dancing and dance showdown. These events are participated by the different dance contingents of barangay units, and they are characterized with performers in colorful attire dancing to the beat of the drums. Another is the Gabi ng mga Kawani, a program and awards ceremony of local government employees and workers. One other exciting mainstay of the fest is the Miss Alcantara, the prestigious beauty pageant of the municipality.
How to reach Alcantara, Romblon
Book a flight to Tugdan Airport from Manila and then take a land-based trip to the town. Another option is to take a bus ride from Metro Manila bound from Batangas and get a ferry ticket for Odiongan, Romblon. From there, take the public transport to the town of Alcantara, a trip of about 30 kilometers.
- 8th Saginyogan Festival, ginunita sa Alcantara. Romblon News. March 24, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2022
- A Brief History. Municipal Government of Alcantara. Retrieved November 27, 2022
- The Saginyogan Festival. Municipal Government of Alcantara. Retrieved November 27, 2022
- The colorful Saginyogan Festival of Alcantara. Romblon News. March 24, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2022
- Executive Order No. 427, s. 1961. Official Gazette. Retrieved November 27, 2022
- Saging + Niyog? Join the Saginyogan Festival of Alcantara, Romblon. Wow Romblon. December 14, 2012. Retrieved from original post November 27, 2022
- Festivals. Mimaropa 3C. Retrieved November 27, 2022