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Buglasan Festival awakes after a decade of slumber
Source: Inquirer
Author: Romy G. Amarado
Date: 1999-10-14
WHILE Cebu has its Sinulog, Bacolod

its MassKara and Kalibo its

Ati-atihan, Negros Oriental takes

pride of its newly revived Buglasan

that gives festivals elsewhere a run for their money.

The Buglasan showcased

the best festivals of the

towns and cities during a

week-long celebration on

Sept. 6-12 to coincide

with the holding of

Tourism Week. It

presented the province's

cultural and traditional

heritage through dances

and rituals.

Highlights of the festivities were the street dancing and

''showdown'' competition.

Buglasan is derived from Buglas, the original name of Negros

Oriental, which means reed or marsh grasses that used to

abound in the province during the pre-Spanish era.

The festival was successfully revived after 10 years of


Frances Garovillo, chair of the Cuernos de Negros Foundation

Inc. which was instrumental in the revival, said Buglasan went

into a hiatus because of lack of funding and interest of

government officials.

This year, the provincial government allotted P250,000 to defray

the cost of the participating 13 contingents.

But it was the cooperation and enthusiasm of local government

units and institutions that made the revival a rousing success.

Joining the fun were Bayawan's Tawo-tawo Festival. Sta.

Catalina's Sakoban, Valencia's Kasaulogan, Sibulan' Gapnod,

San Jose' Ayuquitan, Tanjay' Sinulog de Tanjay, Pamplona's

Kasulad sa Pasalamat, Bindoy's Libud Sayaw; Jimalalud's Tribu

Kalanggaman, Vallahermoso's Kanglambat, Dumaguete City's

Sandurot, Bais City's La Fiesta de Bais, and the Foundation

University in Dumaguete's Kasadyaan.


The Dumaguete contingents won the top prize of P25,000 in the

street dancing and showdown competition. San Jose placed

second and Valencia, third.

Dumaguete also won for best costume and choreography, while

Sta. Catalina took the prize for the best arc.

Inspired by the success of the festival, Gov. George Arnaiz gave

assurance that Buglasan would become a yearly activity,

hoping to make it a major tourist attraction in Negros Oriental.

''The Sinulog in Cebu is practically a dancing thing, just like the

MassKara in Bacolod and Ati-atihan in Kalibo. If they draw in

the tourists, then the Buglasan can also do it,'' Arnaiz beamed.

He, however, said the festival should be held at a date of

historical significance for the province.

In the past, Buglasan was held in January, the anniversary of

the creation of the province.

Provincial officials are looking forward to holding next year's

Buglasan, with Arnaiz promising more government funds.

Vice Gov. Edgar Teves, who chairs the regional tourism council

in Central Visayas, expressed optimism that Buglasan will put

Dumaguete in the tourism list of must-see festivals.

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