Sarakiki Hadang Festival

Sarakiki Hadang Festival, also known by its shortened name Sarakiki Festival, is a cultural and religious festival held in Calbayog City, Samar, Philippines every September 8.

Its eight-day calendar begins from the first of September and closing activities occurring on the eighth, which in Roman Catholic calendar coincides with the feast of the Nativity of Virgin Mary.

The city also celebrates Calbayog City Charter Day every October 16.


Sarakiki is a local word that refers to a series of gestures that a rooster performs in trying to woo a hen or when challenging another rooster.

Its movements include the spreading of one wing while it circles around a hen in frenzied pace.

The word hadang is an old Waray custom of offering gifts to the gods. It was performed to implore for good harvest, ask for favors, or request to be granted a fast recovery from an illness.

Devotion to the Nativity of Our Lady

Christianity arrived in Calbayog by the efforts of Jesuit missionaries, who came to its shores in 1599. They transferred the center of the settlement several times.

The first location was by the Tiayban River, then it was moved to by the banks of Hibatang River. At that time, the place took the name of the river and therefore was known as Hibatang.

The Jesuits built a church in Calbayog which was a visita of Capul. Their mission ended abruptly upon their expulsion in 1768, at which point the Franciscans took over.

In 1785, the church separated from Capul and became an independent parish. It was placed under the advocation of the Nativity of Our Lady.

The stone-brick church was constructed by Fr. Jose Gomez de Huerce in 1840. It exhibits a Baroque-Romanesque style laid out in cruciform shape. More construction works followed in the succeeding decades, including the expansion of its size, the installation of buttresses, improvements in the interiors, and the erection of a nearby convent.

In 1900, the diocesan clergy took over the church. Fr. Jose Diasnes returned to take charge of the parish two years later. The church was given back to the secular clergy in 1914.

On April 10, 1910, it became the ecclesiastical seat when the Diocese of Calbayog was established through of an edict issued by Pope Pius X.

Presently, it is called the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul and Parish of the Nativity of Our Lady.

Sarakiki Hadang Festival Activities

Activities for Sarakiki Hadang FestFival include Search for Miss Hadang, exhibits, competition, concerts, variety shows, city parade, and fireworks display.

The cultural street dance competition features dancers in chicken costumes and dancing to the beat of traditional musical instruments. Each of the dance contingent present interpretation of unique Waray customs, highlighting the city’s rich culture and tradition.

How to reach Calbayog City, Samar

Calbayog City can be reached via Calbayog Airport.


Sarakiki Hadang Festival Summary

NameSarakiki Hadang Festival
CelebrationCulture, Religion
ChurchCathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul and Parish of the Nativity of Our Lady.
DateSeptember 8
Duration8 days
LocationCalbayog City
OrganizerCity Government of Calbayog
PatronNativity of Our Lady
ReligionRoman Catholic