Here I am again for another edition of my festival series in the Philippines! However, this blog is one of my favorites because I will introduce to you my hometown, Guiguinto!
Guiguinto is in the province of Bulacan, which is more than an hour away from Manila (without traffic). Bulacan is in the central part of Luzon, Philippines, where you can find farms (mostly rice), poultry and piggery farms. I grew up on a farm where I experienced to have the rice field as our playground (especially during summer!), dug the soil to get sweet potatoes for an afternoon snack, climbed mango, guava or star fruit trees (then smacked by our grandmother after) and played with cows, chickens, ducks, pigs and carabaos (water buffalo) in the shed. Oh well, memories of a childhood with a simple life in a farm! Sadly, most of the rice fields in our area have now turned into home estates, buildings, and malls. However, looking at the bright side, it is a sign of growth and development for my beloved Bulacan.
Landscape and gardening are also another way of livelihood in the town of Guiguinto. In fact, as you enter the municipality, lovely plants, potteries and landscapes will welcome you. And since this place is known for their beautiful gardens, the local government of Guiguinto launched a garden festival nineteen years ago.
The Halamanan (Garden) Festival is a week-long celebration of the townspeople of Guiguinto with full of different activities showcasing the landscape and garden industry that this town offers. The festival is also a commemoration of the feast day of their patron saint San Ildefonso de Toledo ( Saint Ildefonsus or Ildephonsus of Toledo) every 23rd of January.
There are a lot of activities for the whole week, but my favorite is always the street dance parade. Just like in the other festivals that I’ve been to, every Barangay (village)take part of this event. Wearing their very colorful costumes, with their splendid props and of course showing off their exceptional dance routines on the street. By the end of their majestic spectacle, everybody’s waiting for the great dance showdown of the participants. At the end of it, needless to say, the announcement of the winners.
As expected, I went to see the street dance competition and took photos of these kids in their varicolored costumes while showing off their dance moves!
Please click here for more photos.
There was a tale that a golden bull used to appear from the church by moonlight and drink water down to the river and eventually returns to the church. The elders believed it was a sign that there were jars of gold buried in the town, hence it was called Guiguinto, from the root word “ginto” which means gold.