Friday, January 21, 2011

The Buglasan Festival, the Festival of Festivals, is a provincial activity participated by all cities and municipalities in Negros Oriental. This weeklong celebration showcase different activities such as Festival King and Queen pageant, street dancing featuring all the festivals of the province, singing, dancing, tourism and agri-fair, balak and balitaw competitions, fireworks competition, art and booth competition, a series of concerts, and many more. This  activities are also participated by different corporate and educational institutions in the province.

In olden times the island of Negros was referred to as Buglas, after the tall reeds that predominated. A map said to have been drawn by Diego Lope Povedano dated 1572 shows an island named BUGLAS INSULIS.

The crewmen of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, while anchored in Bohol in 1572, reconnoitered Buglas and encountered dark-skinned natives. They renamed the island NEGROS.

In 1981 Foundation University and the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran of Negros Oriental, upon consultations with Bayanihan founder-choreographer Lucresia Reyes-Urtula, organized an activity that would choose the performing group to represent the province in the National Folk Arts Festival of Mrs. Imelda Marcos. The activity was called “Buglasan” in memory of the island’s beginnings, its early cultural character.

Buglasan was dormant for many years until 1990, when it was revived as part of Negros Oriental’s centennial as a province. Buglasan was applied to the entire celebration. It has since evolved into a “Festival of Festivals,” bringing together the finest street dancing contingents of Negros Oriental’s twenty established festivals for a day of competitions.

These festivals are highlights of fiestas everywhere in the province. Two of these are school-based: the relatively new HUGYAWAN DALANSAYAW of Central Visayas Polytechnic College*, and the KASADYA-AN December Festival of Foundation University, at over 50 years the longest-running Mardi gras of Negros Oriental. Along with the SANDUROT Festival of Dumaguete City, TAWO-TAWO (scarecrow) of Bayawan, YAG-YAG (egg-scattering on the shoreline by certain sea creatures) of Cangmating, HUDYAKA of Bais City, and BACON of Bacong these festivals are secular (non-religious) in nature. The rest are based on legends surrounding local patron saints and religious practices: GAPNOD of Sibulan, SINULOG DE TANJAY, SINULOG DE JIMALALUD**, LIBOD- SAYAW of Bindoy, KANGLAMBAT of Vallehermoso, NABINTUAN of Mabinay, PASAYAW of Canlaon City, AYUQUITAN of San Jose, BUDYAS of Amlan, KASUBHAN of Santa Catalina, KASAULOGAN of Valencia.

The Buglasan Festival of Festivals brings all these together for a “one-stop shop” of Negros Oriental’s festivals, experienced in all their pageantry and color in one day of fellowship and merrymaking.

Almost every month, colorful special events unreel somewhere in the province. These festivals are highlights of fiestas everywhere in the province that could be secular (non-religious) in nature. The rest are based on legends surrounding local patron saints and religious practices (Source: Negros Oriental Provincial Government Website)

Negros Oriental State University System
** Hambabalud Festival

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