BURIHAN Festival: A Period of Plenty, Peace and Happiness

Barangay Bitas, Tigbauan, Iloilo celebrates Burihan Festival, Feb. 5-11, 2017.

Now on its eight year, the weeklong revelry is Bitas’ recognition of the role of buri palm tree in its cultural and historical development. The festival also honors the barangay’s patroness, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Buri is a major product of Tigbauan. It is one of major sources of livelihood in the barangay, aside from banana and coconut. Production of buri items is a thriving cottage industry in Iloilo.

This year’s theme, “Maghili-usa…Magsinadya…Burihan Festival, Tatak Sang Bitasnon, Itib-ong Ta!” has series of special events that opened February 5 with a Pamukaw/Caravan. On February 10, the barangay will party in Street Dancing at 2pm, and Lin-Ay Kang Burihan at 8pm.

On February 11, the festival highlights with the Tribe Competition at 3pm. The centrepiece of the celebration, the tribe competition highlights the creatively-woven buri products. Even the names of the competing groups carry the processes how the fiber is obtained: Likyad, Luknit, Sasa, Karatek and Hilo.

The annual Burihan Festival is a proud concept of its founders, Nora Rose T. Tubiano, Dinalyn G. Ticot and Francis Marl L. Flores, supported by its members, Leonardo T. Tupino, Francis Lee V. Tejero, Teresita L. Flores, Ma. Leah Mae T. Tabang and Richard Nicken.

The buri palm is a genus of palms native to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea and northeastern Australia. It is a fan palm with leaves having a long petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets. The buri palm reaches the height of 20-40 meters and with a trunk diameter measuring up to 1-2.5 meters. All the species are monocarpic and die after flowering. The genus is relatively slow growing and can take many years to form a trunk.

The tree produces three kinds of fibres, namely buri, raffia, and buntal.

Just like the coconut tree, buri has a variety of products and by-products made from the palm tree. The fiber of Buri is popular material for making ropes.  From the leaf is a fiber, similar to that of raffia, which is used in making cloth, strings, and other fancy items. The fiber from the ribs of its unopened leaves is used in making hats. Strips of unopened leaves are popularly used in making fans, mats and baskets.

Tigbauan is 22.5 kilometers away from the city or a 30-minuter drive south of Iloilo City. It is comprised of 52 barangays distributed in its 6,062 hectare land area. It is bordered in the northwest by Leon; the northeast by San Miguel; east by Oton; west by Guimbal and the Iloilo Strait in the south. For more information, please contact Mrs. Linda Fe Camina – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09173283997.

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