South Cotabato

Hinugyaw Festival

Hinugyaw Festival is the annual founding celebration and cultural festival in the city of Koronadal, South Cotabato, Philippines every January 10. The date, which is also referred to as Araw ng Koronadal (Koronadal Day), is at times declared a special non-working holiday through presidential proclamations.

History of Hinugyaw Festival

The word hinugyaw comes from hugyaw, which means merry-making. Hinugyaw Festival of Koronadal City was launched in 2001 to celebrate the history, culture, and the expression of eight core values: commitment, competitiveness, discipline, integrity, love of country, love of God, respectfulness, and stewardship.

In 1948, then municipal council passed Resolution No. 32 that declared the tenth of January as a day to remember the historic beginning of Koronadal.

History of Koronadal City

Additionally, Hinugyaw Festival remembers the historical origin of the city and pays tribute to the beginnings of its first settlers.

In pre-Hispanic times, Koronadal was inhabited by the natives (collectively known as lumad) called B’laan and Maguindanaoans. It is from the language of the B’laan people that the name of the city comes from, a combination of the words koron for cogon grass and dalal for plains.

Previously, it was called Marbel which means murky waters and refers to the Marbel River whose spring begins at the famous Mt. Apo then coursing through the city.

During colonial era, Mindanao was one of the frontiers in the archipelago that put up armed opposition against the Spaniards and resisted the spread of their influence.

By the end of the Spanish rule, the Muslims brokered an agreement with the American colonizers that secured their autonomy. However, the Americans started organizing areas in Mindanao for settlements through the Public Land Act passed in 1903 that sparked years-long conflict.

Migration of people from Luzon and Visayas to Mindanao rose before the outbreak of the Second World War, motivated by the invitations of the Philippine government.

Previous movements were led mostly by individuals in the past, and it was in 1913 the government instituted a program that enticed people to move to Mindanao.

President Manuel Quezon issued Proclamation No. 383 in February 1939 that ordered the reservation of Koronadal plains for settlement. Then Commonwealth Act No. 441, the law that created the National Land Settlement Administration, was passed that paved the way to the creation of Marbel Settlement District (overseen by Jesus Larrabaster) in Koronadal on January 10, 1940. It is considered the first settlement district organized by the government. Also, this is the date that Hinugyaw Festival commemorates.

Koronadal became a municipality through Executive Order No. 82 issued on August 18, 1947. It later became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 8803 signed into law by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 2000.

Hinugyaw Festival Activities

In 2023, the activities of the Hinugyaw Festival began as early as December 8 when the Hinugyaw Food Strip at the City Hall Grounds was opened to the public. Its official schedule was set from January 5 to 15.

Activities included competitions, health and wellness, sports events, entertainment, fireworks display, religious services, parade, fitness activities, a day dedicated to indigenous people, street dancing, float parade, concerts, variety show, beauty pageants Lakambini ng Koronadal and Reina ng Marbeleña, and job fair.

On the foundation date (Araw ng Koronadal), activities were slated to pay homage to the pioneer settlers.

Moreover, there is also a memorial service as tribute to the 17 martyrs. On November 24, 1942, USAFFFE soldiers led by Lieutenant Alfredo Garingo attacked the Japanese unit who were staying at the National Land Settlement Administration. One Japanese soldier died, but in retaliation the Japanese forces executed 17 Filipinos in 1942. Their graveyard is a national historic site as declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2012.

How to reach Koronadal City, South Cotabato

One can book a flight to General Santos City airport, which is about an hour away from Koronadal City. Another route to take is through Cotabato Airport, and then travel by land for about three hours to Koronadal.


Hinugyaw Festival Summary

NameHinugyaw Festival
CelebrationCulture, Founding Anniversary, History
Contact(083) 228 6095
DateJanuary 10
Duration10 days
Historical eventFounding of Marbel Settlement District
LocationKoronadal City, South Cotabato
OrganizerCity Government of Koronadal
Simultaneous eventAraw ng Koronadal