Kamgbegu Festival is a harvest festival in Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines every October 16. It is an expression of thanksgiving for bountiful harvest as observed by the indigenous people called Subanen. It is also simultaneous to the foundation day of the town, an event called Araw ng Lapuyan or Gendaw DLepuyan
The event is marked with dancers in colorful, ethnic costumes.
History of Kamgbegu Festival
Kamgbegu Festival was launched in time for the 58th Araw ng Lapuyan during the administration of Mayor Daylinda P. Sulong in 2015. The name of the event comes from kamgbegu, which means feast of the harvest.
The Subanen culture continues to be celebrated and preserved through the programs set forth by the government, particularly through School of Living Tradition of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
History of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur
Lapuyan was called Pengolis, which in the mother tongue of Subanen refers to cleared lands. It was renamed Lapuyan, a word that refers “to cook”, and it is also the name of the river that flows through the land.
It was inhabited by Subanen who live along riverbanks. As more and more people encroached into their lands, they retreated into remote areas and dwelt in upstream areas. The most well-known leader of the ethnic group was Thimuay Imbing.
They were however subjected to conflict with the folks of Maguindanao, who demanded tribute, and of Maranao, who enslaved them. They were also forced to convert to Islam, and much later to Christianity.
The region was part of Margosatubig when the latter was created a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 17 signed by President Manuel L. Quezon on December 23, 1936.
Lapuyan separated from Margosatubig and became an independent town pursuant to Executive Order No. 273, otherwise known as “Creating the Municipality of Lapuyan in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur”, signed by President Elpidio Quirino on October 16, 1957. The order defined its jurisdiction as including the barrios of Lapuyan, Maruing, Kumalarang, Karpok, and Timbang.
Quirino issued the order upon the recommendation of Senator Roseller T. Lim, the governor of Zamboanga del Sur (Bienvenido Ebarle), and the provincial board. It commenced its municipal functions on January 11 the next year, although the appointed officials were inaugurated in April 21, 1958.
Afterwards, Kumalarang seceded and became a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 356, otherwise known as “Creating the Municipality of Kumalarang in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur,” signed by Carlos P. Garcia on August 28, 1959.
Kamgbegu Festival Activities
Kamgbegu Festival Activities include beauty pageant (Search for Miss Lapuyan), time dedicated for the celebration of indigenous people, parade, dance contest, talent competitions, street dancing and showdown competition.
How to reach Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur
Lapuyan is accessible through Zamboanga International Airport, land-based trips through regular passenger buses, and sea ports.
- 58th Araw ng Lapuyan highlights 1st Kamgbegu Festival. Philippine Information Agency. November 9, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2023
- Kamgbegu Festival. Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines. Retrieved October 9, 2023
- About Lapuyan. Municipal Government of Lapuyan. Retrieved October 9, 2023
- Political History. Municipal Government of Lapuyan. Retrieved October 9, 2023
- Executive Order No. 273. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved October 9, 2023
- Executive Order No. 356. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved October 10, 2023