Zamboanga del Sur

Megayon Festival

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 Summary

NameMegayon Festival
CelebrationCulture, Founding, Indigenous People
DateSeptember 17
Indigenous peopleSubanon
LocationZamboanga del Sur
OrganizerProvincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur
Simultaneous eventAraw ng Zamboanga del Sur