The provincial government of Palawan is gearing up for the ‘reactivation’ of the month-long ‘Baragatan Festival’ this year as part of celebrations for the 115th founding anniversary of the province’s civil government on June 23.
Based on the latest draft of schedule released by the local government’s information arm, the celebrations will kick off on June 9 with a soft opening in the form of an agro-trade fair, private trade fair, Caraenan, and garden show, among others.
It can be noted that many have expressed disappointment on social media when the provincial government decided to hold a ‘much simpler’ Baragatan celebration last year, wherein most traditional activities were not conducted.
Caesar Sammy Magbanua, supposed Baragatan in-charge, said in a media statement that Baragatan will come again even “bigger” this year. Based on these reports, this year’s event promises to be as colorful and fun as the past celebrations, with cultural presentations, trade shows and exhibitions, garden show, talent shows, float parade, skills competition, and street dancing.
Based on the latest information, activities are schedule to be conducted as follows:
• Grand parade and float competition – June 16
• Mutya ng Palawan Coronation Night – June 22
• Other highlight activities (‘Saraotan sa Dalan’ or streetdancing competition, live band concernt, grand fireworks display) – June 23
‘Baragatan’ is a Cuyuno word for convergence. The festival is an annual celebration of the province’s foundation day and aims to gather locals from the different parts of the province, along with their music, dances, and arts and craft.
Traditionally, booths for each municipality are set up at the Provincial Capitol to showcase the salient features of each municipality, such as in terms of popular product, activities or tourist destinations. The Baragatan is considered as one of the most-anticipated annual events organized by the provincial government.
On June 23, 1902, the Americans established the civil government of Paragua with Major John Brown as the appointed governor. In 1905, pursuant to Act No. 1363 of the Philippine Commission, the name Paragua was changed to Palawan and the capital was transferred from Cuyo to Puerto Princesa.