TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol- After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city government of Tagbilaran in Bohol province will again stage this year its annual Saulog Festival.
The festival that is scheduled every April 30 is the “centerpiece” of the annual feast of Señor San Jose, the city’s patron saint, that is held every May 1.
“Saulog Tagbilaran has become a tradition and it is an occasion that we all look forward to with great anticipation and excitement,” Mayor Jane Yap said.
“But more than the festivities, Saulog Tagbilaran is also a celebration of faith because ultimately, it is our offer of thanksgiving to our patron, St. Joseph the worker. It is our way of showing our thankfulness for the gift of life and the blessing for the year that was, with our fervent hope that the coming year will be more auspicious and safe for everyone,” she added.
It was still in April 2019 when the city government last hosted the Saulog Festival.
In the last three years, all of the Saulog festival activities were held online due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This year, Yap said, face-to-face activities will again be held.
Yap said that they are preparing a “bigger and better” celebration for the people of Tagbilaran City and their guests.
Saulog Festival, that was started by her husband and former mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap, is on its 10th year this April.
“This month long event is an opportunity for us to showcase our tradition, our music, our food, our art, and to share them with the world,” Mayor Yap said.
Yap said the a total of 15 contingents will be joining the festival on April 30, with one each coming from the city’s 15 barangays.
The city government is giving out cash assistance of P400, 000 per contingent to help defray the cost of their preparations.
Yap would not yet say, how much the city government is allocating for the prizes, but she said that they will be allocating more this year.
Several very important persons (VIPs) will also be gracing the festival. But Yap would not yet say who are coming since she continues to wait for their confirmation.
In a statement, the city government said that Saulog sa Tagbilaran “seeks to strengthen the tourism niche in Tagbilaran City by featuring our local talents, artistry and crafts.”
“Through a celebration of music, visual arts and dance under one cultural umbrella, Saulog sa Tagbilaran is expected to draw-in crowds of spectators,” it added.
The month-long celebration was formally opened on Thursday, March 16, 2023, with the 458th commemoration of the Blood Compact in Barangay Bool.
Other activities that the city government has prepared include the following:
- Tagbo sa Tagbi / Kumbira sa Tagbilaran (food fair) – April 15 to May 7
- Mutya sa Tagbilaran Grand Coronation Night – April 22
- Himug Huni Interschool Songwriting Competition – April 23
- Saulog Festival King and Queen – April 26
- Saulog Fluvial Parade – April 29
- Saulog Street Dancing Competition – April 30
- Maoy sa Mayor Saulog Concert – May 1