Kasanggayahan Festival History in Sorsogon City


October is a special month in the province of Sorsogon. This is the month that Sorsogon City celebrates fiesta and Kasanggayahan Festival. This 2018, Sorsogon is celebrating the 124th year as a separate city. The local government office of Sorsogon usually dedicates the entire month of October to hold various activities promoting and showcasing what makes this province unique and how it can help to promote our country better. 

Kasanggayahan is an old Bikol word, the meaning of which can be gleaned from the short verse composed by Rev. Fr. Jose O. Ofrasio: “when the fields are green and the grains are golden; when the machines works well and all business prosper; when the birds in the sky chirp freely, and men on earth are peacefully happy; in Bikol, it is KASANGGAYAHAN, meaning, a life of prosperity. History of Sorsogon’s Kasanggayahan Festival. 

It was during the administration of the late Governor Juan G. Frivaldo that the very first Kasanggayahan Festival was celebrated in October 1974. That time it was Sorsogon’s 80th foundation anniversary as a separate province from Albay which it was used to be part of. 

The very first Kasanggayahan Festival was held in October 1974, during the administration of Gov. Juan G. Frivaldo, which was Sorsogon’s 80th foundation anniversary as a province separate from the Province of Albay. The year 1974 was also very historic for Sorsogon province because this is the year when the Sorsogon Amphitheater was built in preparation for the grand night of Kasanggayahan Festival. This very first amphitheater in Sorsogon is located between the campuses of the Sorsogon National High School and what is now the Sorsogon State College. Official trade fair, exhibits and cultural performances of the Kasanggayahan Festival are all done here in Sorsogon Amphitheater. For some reasons, Kasanggayahan Festival in Sorsogon was never done in 1975. 

Historical records suggest that Sorsogon was separated from the Province of Albay to become an independent province on October 17, 1894. In 1993, in preparation for the Centennial Foundation Anniversary of the Province of Sorsogon, the Philippines Congress passed a law of local application declaring October 17 of each year as a special public holiday for the entire province. Thus, after two decades of non-celebration of the province’s foundation anniversary, the Kasanggayahan Festival was revived and ever since then, became an annual province-wide activity. 

The Kasanggayahan Festival of Sorsogon is recognized by the Department of Tourism legitimately as one of the annual Philippine Festivals, featuring a series of cultural historical, religious, agro-industrial and economic activities showcasing Sorsogon’s abundant agricultural products and native arts and crafts, especially those made from the versatile Pili Tree which is indigenous to the province. 

It is also during this Festival when a pilgrimage to Gibalong, in Magallanes, to commemorate the first mass in Luzon Island in 1569 celebrated by the Spanish Augustinian friar Alonso Jimenez. A historical shrine has already been set-up on the site. The Festival is highlighted by the Pantomina sa Tinampo, or dancing the Pantomina in the streets. Tinampo is Bikol for street. In Sorsogon, atleast during the Kasanggayahan Festival, the Pantomina, a traditional Bikol Ballroom Dance, has evolved into a street dance. 

The Pantomina is actually the “dance of the doves”, as it was then known throughout the Bikol Region as “Sinalampati” (Salampatai is Bikol for dove) before the coming of the Spanish colonizers. It imitates, in dance, the courtship and lovemaking of the doves.  It is expected that a huge crowd will be seen in the streets of Sorsogon. For your safety, we recommend you bring very little valuables with you and wear light clothing for convenience.


Note: The information above was taken from TRACING: from Solsogon to Sorsogon book at Sorsogon Provincial Museum. We give full credits to the owner(s) of this publication/book.


To read more of my Kasanggayahan themed blog posts, please see below:
2018 KASANGGAYAHAN FESTIVAL LIST OF EVENTS AND SCHEDULES IN SORSOGON CITY
2017 KASANGGAYAHAN FESTIVAL LIST OF EVENTS AND SCHEDULES IN SORSOGON CITY
http://www.mariaronabeltran.com/2017/10/2017-kasanggayahan-festival-list-of.html
SORSOGON CITY DIY WALKING TOUR: WHAT TO DO, PLACES TO VISIT, TOURIST SPOTS, ITINERARY AND WHERE TO STAY

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