Zamboanga del Norte

Hudyaka ZaNorte

Hudyaka ZaNorte, also known as Hudyaka Festival, is a cultural festival and founding anniversary celebration in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines every June 6.

A week-long celebration, it is the festival of all cultural festivals in the province, a gathering of its cities and towns that comprise it.

In 2022, it bore the name Hudyaka sa Kadaugan sa Katawhan sa ZaNorte (translates to Celebration of Victory of the People in ZaNorte) and shortened as KaSa KaZa 2022 Festival or simply KaSa KaZa.

History of Hudyaka ZaNorte

Hudyaka ZaNorte began in 2005 in time for the 53rd founding anniversary of Zamboanga del Norte. Its name comes from the words hudyaka, a word in Bisaya language that means merriment or celebration, and ZaNorte, an abbreviated form of the name of the province.

ZaNorte was embraced to to project an image of a land that has stable peace and order situation and to stimulate tourism particularly in the city of Dapitan. The festival however was replaced with Saulog Festival and revived in 2022 under the leadership of Rosalina Garcia Jalosjos.

Saulog Festival

Saulog Festival was launched in 2014. It replaced Hudyaka ZaNorte within the term of governor Roberto Y. Uy. Its name comes from the word saulog, a Bisaya word that means to celebrate.

While a rebranding occurred, the purpose of the celebration remained as it remembers the historic establishment of the province as well as to give attention to the economic progress it attained and to promote tourism. It was stopped in 2022 when Hudyaka ZaNorte was re-staged.

History of Zamboanga del Norte

Zamboanga del Norte is the largest province that belongs to Region 9, otherwise known as the Zamboanga Peninsula that is also composed of Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur. Aside from these provinces, Zamboanga del Norte is bordered by Misamis Oriental (east) and Sulu Sea (west).

The peninsula was home to aboriginal nomadic people called Subanen, and they had inhabited the lands long before the Spanish conquest.

In the olden days, they resided along river systems, called suba in the local language and from which the name of the group comes from, and the coastlines. They retreated much further inland as time passed. Their culture and way of live are celebrated in Pas’ungko Festival of Misamis Occidental every year.

It is thought that Spanish colonizer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi anchored in what is presently called the city of Dapitan in 1565. By that time, settlements were thriving and trading relations with other foreign merchants flourished.

The goal of expanding the Spanish colony and spreading Catholicism in the archipelago meant friction with the predominantly Islamic island of Mindanao, particularly with the sultanates in Maguindanao and Sulu. In the 1630s, Christian missions were erected in the island of Basilan.

However, conflicts occurred sporadically between the Spaniards and Muslim population, and it came to a head in 1636 when the sultanate of Maguindanao was defeated by the Spanish forces.

Strongholds were established to defend the Christian areas in Zamboanga, including the construction of Fort Pilar. Yet this was abandoned when Spanish soldiers were recalled to Manila to address the threat posed by Zheng Chenggon. Only in the next century was the fort strengthened again.

Zamboanga was organized as early 1636, and it became a gobierno militar in 1836. It was one of the districts in Mindanao towards the end of the Spanish rule. During the American colonial era, it was part of the Moro Province in 1903. In 1914, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu was established and Zamboanga was one of its districts.

After the second world war, there were plans to split the province. Thus on on June 6, 1952, then president Diosdado Macapagal approved Republic Act No. 711 that gave birth to Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and this is the date that Hudyaka ZaNorte commemorates annually.

It is at times declared as special non-working holiday; in 2011, it was so by virtue of Proclamation No. 160 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on May 4.

Hudyaka ZaNorte Activities

Hudyaka ZaNorte activities include sporting events, entertainment and cultural shows, talent competitions, fireworks display, and the agro trade fair. In 2012, the calendar started as early as the last few days of May and extended to a day after the foundation day in June 7. In 2022 when the festival was revived, the schedule was slated much later towards the end of June until July 2.

How to reach Zamboanga del Norte

Book a flight from Manila to Dipolog City. Ferries are also scheduled from various points of the country. Within the island of Mindanao, one can also take a land trip through buses.


Hudyaka ZaNorte Summary

NameHudyaka ZaNorte
CelebrationCulture, Founding
DateJune 6
Duration1 week
LocationZamboanga del Norte
OrganizerProvincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte
Other NamesHudyaka sa Kadaugan sa Katawhan sa ZaNorte, Kasa Kaza 2022 Festival, Hudyaka Festival, Kasa Kaza
Previous NameSaulog Festival