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
Highlights of the festivities were the street dancing and
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
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.