Megayon Festival is a cultural festival and the founding anniversary celebration of the province of Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines every September 17. The date is also called Araw ng Zamboanga del Sur (Zamboanga del Sur Day).
History of Megayon Festival
Megayon Festival began in 2001. Its name comes from the word megayon, which in the language of Subanon people means unity. The festival was created as a way to give a toast to its people comprising of the Subanons, Muslims, and local settlers.
History of Zamboanga del Sur
Zamboanga del Sur is part of Region 9, also called Zamboanga peninsula that is composed of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City. It is bounded by Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental.
Its history is tied with the rest of the members of the peninsula. In the past, it was considered one historical province known as Zamboanga. It had a vibrant settlement by the time that the Spaniards came.
One of the early settlers were the aboriginal group called Subanon, and they were thus called as they lived along coastlines and riverbanks (suba means river). When their settlements were subjected to attacks from the sea and other migrants came, they fled and retreated towards interior lands.
It is believed that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi briefly landed in Dapitan in 1565. A bloody struggle arose when the Spaniards attempted to put up their presence in Mindanao and to spread Christianity. They met fierce resistance from the Islamic population.
While they were successful in battles, the Spaniards could not maintain their influence for long. Fort Pilar was abandoned for instance, and it was only refortified in the 18th century.
Zamboanga was established in the 17th century, and it underwent several reorganizations towards the end of the Spanish colonial period.
Finally, Zamboanga del Sur was founded by virtue of Republic Act No. 711 that was approved on June 6, 1952 when the law divided the historical Zamboanga province into two, the other being Zamboanga del Norte.
However, it does not observe this date as its founding and instead its foundation day is every September 17, the date that Megayon Festival commemorates and referred to as Araw ng Zamboanga del Sur. On the other hand, Zamboanga del Norte celebrates the Hudyaka ZaNorte every June 6.
Since 1953, September 17 was declared a special non-working holiday in the province through Proclamation No. 408 signed by Elpidio Quirino and often similar proclamations have been issued.
Megayon Festival Activities
Activities in Megayon Festival include wellness such as zumba party, sports, arts, lectures on agriculture and entrepreneurship, cookfest, beauty pageant such as Miss Zamboanga del Sur, tree planting, talent contests, street dance, parade, etc.
How to reach Zamboanga del Sur
Book a flight to the airport in Zamboanga City, take a ferry coming from local destinations, or take a land trip through bus within Mindanao.
- Megayon Festival. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved October 11, 2022
- Proclamation No. 408. Lawphil. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Republic Act No. 711, June 6, 1952. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved October 11, 2022
- Agonoy, Leah. Pagadian City wins Zambo Sur’s Megayon Festival. Philippine News Agency. September 18, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- NNC Region IX Profile. National Nutrition Council. August 17, 2020 Retrieved October 12, 2022
- PGMA to inaugurate several projects during Zamboanga del Sur visit Monday. Office the Press Secretary. September 16, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Mga Bag-ong Rayna sa Bb. Zamboanga del Sur 2021, gikoronahan na. Zambosur.com. September 19, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918. Archive.org. Retrieved October 11, 2022