My second official festival in the Philippines came as a surprise. I was invited just a few days before the official festival will start (1 day to be exact), good thing, the LGU (Local Government Unit) who invited us decided to split the blogger groups into 2. One group will cover the first half while the rest will cover the later events until the finale (closing).
WE ARE GOING TO THE BARAGATAN FESTIVAL IN PUERTO PRINCESA PALAWAN! YEY
The main festival in the most beautiful island in the world!? How will I say no?
Baragatan Festival is a 2-week long festival leading to the celebration of the anniversary of Palawan’s civil government foundation. During this time, all municipalities of Palawan gather together in Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital. Appropriately, Baragatan is a Cuyunon word that means, gather, or meet.
We had our flight early in the morning. YEY. I love first flight out, cause I will not catch the crazy Manila traffic. Instead of roughly 2 hours travel from Marikina to NAIA 4, I will only get it at 30 min (of course, I have to deprive myself of sleep, a small sacrifice than stressing out with the rush hour jam). I met bloggers (@ChristianAligo and @Aci_girl) whom I will be traveling with for this trip at the check in counter. Funny how we get to meet each other for the first time in the airport then became good friends after the trip; story of my life.
Our flight was perfectly on time. We arrived at the new Puerto Princesa airport around 10 am and waited for our pick up. Don’t judge us, but we were expecting some garlands as a welcome gesture from the local government, but we didn’t get any hahaha (served us right for expecting haha).
First things first, after dropping our bags, we immediately went to the Capitol to meet with the LGU officer who invited us for the trip. Also to know what are the things we need to cover for the festival and also what to expect!
They handed us a print out of the Barangatan Festival sa Palawan events. It was overwhelming. Everyday, there were loads of activities happening around town. For this blog, I will mention the activities that I enjoyed the most and the ones I will be suggesting for you to watch/visit on the next Baragatan sa Palawan Festival (in the hopes that you will also join next year).
At first, we were clueless on what to expect here. We were walking inside the Legislative Building looking for something colorful/festive just to know that we are in the correct location. We didn’t see any, there were only 2 long tables with packed food. Hmmmmm. To be honest, it was a little underwhelming for our first event feature. Then suddenly, they started serving us the food. OH MY!
The food spread highlighted the rich Cuyunon dishes in the province.
They served us “danggit” ( crispy dried fish) with okra salad, fresh seaweeds called locally as “lato” and the highlight, a dish called “lauya”. This was the first time I tasted this. It is a mix of red beans, jackfruit, beef/pork and lemon grass. They said that you can find “lauya” being served in almost every special occasion in Palawan. All I can say is YUM!
KARAENAN SA BARAGATAN
A foodcourt-style area located inside the provincial capitol. They are open for lunch and dinner; serving patrons of the Baragatan Festival. During our stay in Puerto Princesa, these food stalls became our go-to place for almost every meal (lunch and dinner). I think we have tried every stall here hahaha.
These stalls serve a variety of local dishes; from a simple adobo to a very savory grilled chicken barbecue.
BARAKALAN SA BARAGATAN TRADE & EXPO
I am an advocate of anything local products. As an artisan myself (@suratjournals) I appreciate the craftsmanship being poured out in every product. The Barakalan sa Baragatan Trade & Expo displays a lot of these local goodies. These products came from different municipalities around Palawan. From food to handicrafts.
This is the best place to buy gifts for your loved ones (pasalubongs) or even for yourself.
TUNOG PALAWAN AND KARAOKE CHALLENGE
Of course, being Filipinos, a festival will never be complete without a singing competition. The Baragatan Festival, showcased local talents through these events. First was the Tunog Palawan where each contestant showed their talents in singing as well as song writing.
Next talent program was the Karaoke Challenge. I was very surprised and amazed at the same time that there was a VIDEOKE competition ( on stage). It was entertaining though.
First night at the Baragatan sa Palawan Festival was full packed with food and entertainment (I guess this will be the pattern for the rest of the festival). 1. Dinner at the Caraenan stall in the Capitol (FOODBUCKS) 2. Tunog Palawan (Song writing competition 3. Governor's Award (Gabi ng Parangal) #BaragatanSaPalawanFest2017 #BaragatanMoments2017 #TeamByaherosMNL
MUTYA NG PALAWAN
One of the highlights of the Baragatan Festival was the Mutya ng Palawan. It ran for almost the whole duration of the festival. From the parade, national costume, talent portion and the coronation night. We were fortunate to watch both the talent portion and the coronation night.
Filipinos are suckers for beauty pageants; and it was very evident how the whole Cory Park was full packed with people (carrying big banners).
It was a night full of beauty and glam where each district sent their representative to get the most coveted crown as Mutya ng Palawan 2017. In the end, the delegate from Brooke’s Point bested everyone and became the queen of the night.
SARAOTAN SA DALAN (STREET DANCE COMPETION)
For some people, their highlight was the Mutya ng Palawan, for me, it’s the “Saraotan sa Dalan” (street dance competition). I got high expectations with festive street dance ever since I watched the performances last Manggahan Festival.
There were 3 districts that participated. Quezon, San Vincente and Narra. To be honest, any of these groups can actually be the winner. The colors, the beat and their game faces were on point.
My expectation was met (with flying colors)! It was the best! I am still amazed how these kids danced as if their lives depend on it. JAW DROPPED!!
You can't call it a PHILIPPINE FESTIVAL without the colorful and upbeat street dances. Saraotan sa Dalan. Our last day in Puerto Princesa ended with the energetic dances from San Vincente, Narra and Quezon. Saraotan sa Dalan: JAW DROPPED! #BaragatanSaPalawanFestival2017. #BaragatanMoments2017 #TeamByaherosMNL
For my second Philippine Festival, Baragatan didn’t disappoint. It showed that it really is MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES.
Although we weren’t able to go to the beach on this visit, I can say that it was all worth it. Being known as the best island in the world, Palawan definitely proved that it has more to offer than its pristine and beautiful beaches.
This post is in collaboration with the local tourism government unit of Palawan during the Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2017.1