Sibug-Sibug Festival is a cultural festival and founding anniversary in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines. It also coincides with the Festival of Lights. A week-long fest, activities take place in Ipil, the capital of the province.
History of Sibug-Sibug Festival
Sibug-Sibug Festival comes from the name of the river Sibuguey, from which the name of the province is also derived. During February 2004 celebration, organizers attempted to break the Guinness World Record of the longest oyster grill. Participants built a kilometer-long grill station. In 2007, the feat was attempted once again involving 11,000 kilos of oysters, 300 sacks of charcoal, and 4, 278 grillers. Oysters produced by the province could grow up to a foot long, and the town of Kabasalan was famed for the “delicious, juiciest, meatiest and biggest” variety. Zamboanga Sibugay is touted as the oyster capital of the Philippines.
In 2012, the festival was moved from February to June 25 to July 1 and renamed Sibugsay sa Sibugay Festival. Its name was a portmanteau of sibug, which means to move forward, and bugsay, which translates to paddle; taken together its meaning is to move forward as one. In 2013, it was moved back to February and rebranded Sibugsay Festival, a week-long celebration. In that year, it included the Sibug-Sibug Festival on February 26 that was marked with ethnic rituals and performance that portrayed harvest, wedding, and healing. By 2014, the original festival name was restored.
History of Festival of Lights
Sibug-Sibug Festival also coincides with Festival of Lights which was first launched in 2017. Its schedule starts in November all the way to founding anniversary celebration in February next year. Organized to usher the Christmas season and encourage tourism, it is a competition participated by the constituent local government units that put up theme parks with specific theme.
History of Zamboanga Sibugay
Zamboanga Sibugay is part of Zamboanga peninsula, which is also designated as Region 9. It shares borders with Zamboanga City in the south, Zamboanga del Norte in the north, Zamboanga del Sur in the East, and Busan Bay in the south. It first entered into historical account in 1667 when a village was mentioned that was located along the river Sibuguey.
In the past it used to belong to the historical province of Zamboanga. On June 6, 1952, Republic Act No. 711 was signed by Diosdado Mapacapagal that divided Zamboanga into Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. A clamor to further divide the latter province existed in the years that followed such as the one led by representative Vicenzo Sagun to the time of Belma Cabilao. In 1993, Zamboanga Occidental Movement was formed by Jose Cabaral Tiu, and the push for political reorganization of then third district of Zamboanga gained urgency.
In May 1997, the result of a people’s initiative that coincided with the barangay election was in favor of a separate province. Later, representative George T. Hofer authored House Bill No. 1311 that sought to create a new province carved from Zamboanga del Sur. Then, Republic Act No. 8973 was approved by Joseph Estrada on November 7, 2000 that created Zamboanga Sibugay. On February the next year, a plebiscite was held and the law was ratified on February 24, 2001. This is the date that Sibug-Sibug Festival commemorates, and it is often declared as a special non-working holiday.
Sibug-Sibug Festival Activities
One of the main highlights of Sibug-Sibug Festival is the trade fair. Other events include sports (darts, motocross, bike, basketball, volleyball, table tennis), zumba, fireworks display, competitions (cheer dance, drum and lyre, talent), parade, cultural shows, mardi gras showdown, street dance, music festival, talent contests, job fair, beauty pageant such as the prestigious Binibining Sibugay, Tourism Queen, Festival Queen, etc. The foundation day on February 24th is marked with Araw ng Zamboanga Sibugay ceremonies.
How to reach Zamboanga Sibugay
Book a flight to Zamboanga International Airport and take a bus to Zamboanga Sibugay, which is about 100 kilometers away and would take three hours more or less.
Sibug-Sibug Festival Summary
|Celebration||Christmas, Culture, Founding, Light|
|Previous Name||Sibugsay sa Sibugay Festival|
|Simultaneous event||Festival of Lights|
- Sibug-Sibug Festival and Founding Anniversary of Zamboanga Sibugay Province. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Zamboanga Sibugay holiday on Feb. 24. Sunstar. February 18, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Sibugay lawmaker to fund IP ecozone project. MindaNews. February 25, 2008. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Jaymalin, Mayen. Pinoys gearing for new Guiness record. The Philippine Star. February 24, 2004. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Garcia, Teofilo Jr. Zamboanga Sibugay marks 18th founding anniversary. Philippine News Agency. February 19, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Corporal, Lynette Lee. The world is Sibugay’s oyster. The Philippine Star. March 21, 2004. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Republic Act No. 8973, November 07, 2000. Lawphil. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Combés, Francisco. Historia de las islas de Mindanao, Jolo y sus adyacentes: Progressos de la religion, y armas catolicas (in Spanish). Madrid: Herederos de Pablo de Val. 1667. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- REPUBLIC ACT NO. 711, June 6, 1952. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Message of President Aquino to the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay on the occasion of their “Sibugay sa Sibugay Festival”, June 25, 2012. Official Gazette. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Lanipa, Claro A. Street dancing, float competition highlight Sibugsay culmination festivities. One Mindanao Vol 1. No. 295 pp 19-21. Philippine Information Agency. July 6, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Lanipa, Claro A. Sibugay celebrates Sibugsay sa Sibugay Festival. One Mindanao Vol 1. No. 289 pp 4-7. Philippine Information Agency. June 28, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Profile of Region 9. Department of Trade and Industry. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Festivals in the Philippines February to December 2013 – schedule of Activities, celebration and highlights. The Summit Express. February 17, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2022
- Baguio, Dennis. Zamboanga Sibugay Festival of Lights opens Nov. 16. Philipine News Agency. November 14, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2022