Zamboanga del Sur

Pasalamat Festival

Pasalamat Festival is a cultural and religious festival in the city of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines every third Sunday of January. It is held in honor of Sto. Niño and as a city-wide cultural affair that celebrates tradition and identity. In some years, the third Sunday of January is declared a special non-working holiday.

History of Pasalamat Festival

Pasalamat Festival comes from the word salamat which means thanks. This annual celebration began in 2000 and it is thanksgiving for the favors granted and blessings received from the Sto. Niño.

The image of the Holy Child arrived in 1521 when it was gifted by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of chieftain of Cebu. It was rediscovered by a Spanish sailor of the expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in an abandoned hut that was spared from fire in 1565. Its devotion spread from Cebu to other parts of the country.

In Pagadian, Sto. Niño is in enshrined at the Sto. Niño Cathedral, the seat of the religious leadership of the Diocese of Pagadian. The church was founded in 1938.

The festival is also a toast of its population dubbed as tri-peoples: Christians, Muslims, and the indigenous people called Subanens. Its activities reflect their customs and tradition.

Pasalamat Festival Activities

Pasalamat Festival is an affair jointly mounted by the city government and the local Roman Catholic authority. Religious activities of Pasalamat Festival include the novena prayers for nine days and celebration of Holy Eucharist at the cathedral. A fluvial procession is set on the eve of the fiesta as well as a dawn mass.

The city-government sponsored events include entertainment, cultural presentations, sporting events, job fair, Miss Regatta, concerts, parade, Pasalamat Ritual Dance competition, and Pasalamat Street Dancing Competition.

How to reach Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur?

The city is accessible through Pagadian Airport. Buses and ferries also are available for land- and sea-based trips connecting different parts of the country.


Pasalamat Festival Summary

NamePasalamat Festival
CelebrationCulture, Religion
ChurchSto. Niño Cathedral
Contact0938 301 7423
DateThird Sunday of January
Duration10 days
Indigenous peopleSubanen
LocationPagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
OrganizerCity Government of Pagadian, Sto. Niño Cathedral
PatronSto. Niño