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Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2023 marks 400 years of Christianity in Palawan

The Baragatan sa Palawan Festival, the grandest cultural event in the province, concluded its second successful celebration since the pandemic hit, with an array of vibrant activities showcasing the rich heritage as well as the competitive spirit of the Palaweños. The festival, which took place from June 16 to June 25, 2023, attracted locals and visitors alike, highlighting unity in the midst of cultural diversity.

This year's celebration embraced the theme, "Baragatan sa Palawan 2023 sa ika-400 taon ng Kristiyanismo sa Palawan! Makiisa at Makisaya... Ipagbunyi at Ipagdiwang... Kultura at Kaugalian...Kasaysayan ay Kabihasnan," the theme honored the significant milestone of 400 years of Christianity in Palawan and provided a focal point for the festival's celebrations while at the same time commemorating the 121st founding anniversary of the civil government of the province.

The festival kicked off with a remarkable Pantigoan sa Dalan Street Dance Competition, where local officials and employees from different municipalities skillfully showcased traditional dances and music. The competition not only entertained the crowd but also served as a platform for preserving and promoting the province's cultural heritage. The term Pantigoan is from the Cuyunon word 'antigo' which captures the essence of being excellent and having a lot of abilities.

Another major highlight of the festival was the Float Competition, which witnessed fierce but friendly rivalry among different local government units (LGUs). Each float depicted the unique identity, natural wonders, and cultural treasures of their respective municipalities.

The parade of floats through Rizal Avenue in Puerto Princesa transformed the city into a mesmerizing spectacle of vibrant colors and awe-inspiring craftsmanship. There was also a grandiose display of untamed talent and energy during the much-anticipated Saraotan sa Dalan Street Dance Competition. Participants from various municipalities of Palawan captivated the audience with their dazzling choreography, colorful costumes, and infectious rhythms, reflecting the artistic prowess and creativity deeply embedded in the Palaweño culture.

Baragatan Festival was also intentionally made more inclusive through the years. It was not only a celebration of culture and an avenue for competitions that further hone the talents and skills of the people of Palawan but also an enriching and empowering event for the senior citizens, less fortunate children, Persons with Disabilities(PWDs), people behind prison walls and Indigenous Peoples (IPs). An outstanding part of this year's celebration was the very first IP Tribal Village showcasing the cultural communities of the Tagbanua Sentral, Molbog, Batak, and Pala'wan.

The festival not only celebrates the local culture but also showcases the hospitality and warmth of the Palaweños, inviting people from all over the world to experience the wonders of Palawan which is the very essence of Baragatan as it is derived from the Cuyunon term 'bagat' which means to meet.

With each passing year, Baragatan sa Palawan Festival aspires to reach a global audience, attracting tourists from all corners of the world who seek to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Palawan. By blending tradition with modernity, the festival aims to become a beacon of cultural exchange, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation among people from different backgrounds.

As the curtains close on the successful celebration of Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2023, marking 400 years of Christianity in Palawan, the organizers express their heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, sponsors, local government units, and the Palawan community for their unwavering support. Together, they have made the festival a resounding success, affirming Palawan's position as a cultural destination. The festival did not only strengthen the bond of the Palaweños but also foster a sense of pride in their unique heritage. (PIO PALAWAN)

About the Author

Gene Ace Sapit

Regional Editor

Region 4B

Ace is the Regional Editor and Social Media Manager of PIA MIMAROPA.

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