Carabao-Carroza Festival at 45

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

Pavia, Iloilo welcomes the warm temperature and the gratifying heat with the celebration of the 45th Carabao-Carroza Fest on May 3, 2017.

The Carabao-Carroza Festival, the provinces’ oldest festival, is one of the favorite cultural celebrations of the Ilonggos. It has evolved into a ritualistic occasion that combines the colorful and enjoyable atmosphere of deeply-rooted events of Carabao-Carroza parade and race annually observed as part of the towns’ Municipal Fiesta celebration.

The local officials are more committed to the core values contained in their shared heritage that makes Carabao-Carroza the longest-running festival celebration in Iloilo.

As early as 6:30 am, residents and spectators partake in the tradition as they fill the parade route to witness and cheer for their favorites. The parade is made up of 18 well-embellished carrozas along with 18 lovely muses, supported by their respective barangays officials and supporters wearing color-coded shirts. The parade starts in Barangay Ungka-I passing the poblacion area and finishes at the grandstand of Pavia National High School.

The second part of the celebration begins as Carabaos compete in a friendly 100-meter race at the football grounds of Pavia National High School in categories with and without their carrozas.

Through the festival, the Pavianhons connect to their past and celebrate their indigenous roots and ancestries. The festival is also a thanksgiving for the bounties of the year and for the coming year. It celebrates and honors the carabaos, an important and faithful partner of Pavia farmers.

Situated 9.6 kilometers or a 20-minute drive north of Iloilo City is the Agro-Industrial Center of the province, Pavia. Measuring only 2,703 hectares, this Second Class municipality is politically subdivided into 18 barangays and is bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. To get to Pavia, one can take jeepney in Jaro, Iloilo City.

Come along to the event. It will surely be a great day out.

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