The “Sinanggiyaw Festival” has its meaning derived from the traditional Cebuano words. The “Sinanggi” which means fruitfulness of harvest and “Sayaw” means dance and also giving honor for Saint Francis of Assisi. This festival is being celebrated on every 4th day in the month of October and this year shall be the 158th year of the “Sinanggiyaw Festival since it was established in the town of Dumanjug in the year 1855. The town has managed to maintain their church as their landmark of the event. This church was completed in the year 1864 and was considered as one of the oldest church in the Philippines.
On celebration, the people in town are always preparing a colorful costume, a wonderful parade and an entertaining dance. They are displaying their agricultural products and some of the harvests, like rice, corn, coconut, camote and banana. The street dance is focusing on three aspects, the planting, the harvesting and lastly, the thanksgiving to their patron for such a bountiful harvest. During the event they have an exhibit of wood crafts, handy crafts, garments and other agricultural products. You will never miss in every event the singing contest that is being audience by many tourist, balikbayan and local officials of the town and its constituents. There are also group dance contest which has a theme about the natural resources of the municipality of Dumanjug. The contestant’s are most likely young people, by which makes the youth aware of the importance of agricultural resources, and becoming more involved in helping to take good care of our nature.
The festival also is a family affair which every individual or member of the family are participating for the upcoming event. Many tourist around the world spend their vacation every year just to witness the beautiful place and the wonderful festival. The people who live in Dumanjug are very hospitable. There are many more activities are which being held during the event with some fun games with prizes for every participant, group or individual.
I may say the main purpose of the festival is not only for entertainment but rather thanks giving. Thanking for the abundance of natural resources and also to remind us not to abuse it, but instead take it with care. I believe this kind of tradition must continue and I hope this small town in Cebu may serve an inspiration of how we may be thankful. Have fun as you visit the place.