Tigkaralag Festival

Pavia, Iloilo, Philippines - October 28, 29, and 30, 2010
“A festival like no other. The only one of its kind.” Catchphrases coined by the writer in describing this unique festival started in 1991 by then Pavia municipal councilor and later 2nd District Board Member Cecilia H. Capadosa.

The term TIGKARALAG is a “karay-a” or local dialect word that loosely translates to season/time (TIG) of soul/s (KALAG) and refers to the observance of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days that fall on the 1st and 2nd days of November respectively.

This festival started as a local version of the western celebration of Halloween 19 years ago. It originally started on the evening of the 31st of October but was later moved to the evening of the 30th of the month to give the participants and audiences alike the time to give due respect and observance of the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that immediately follow the original date.

Its humble beginnings consisted of group of children dressed and made up as otherworldly characters and creatures performing in the Pavia municipal plaza to the delight of the hometown audience. The group who has the most impressive presentation then wins packs of candies and corn snacks.

Today, the participating groups represent a specific barangay of the town and are mostly composed of teenagers. They compete in a dance-drama with a storyline reflective of the TIGKARALAG. The choreography, music, costumes and makeup now are not only designed to scare and impress but are purposely done to help convey the message – that death is inevitable and good always triumph over evil. The most creative performers win a big cash prize and the honor of being proclaimed the year’s champion.

With TIGKARALAG Festival, the human mind is the only limit when it comes to imagination.

*(photos & article were officially sent to Experience Iloilo for posting).

Contributed by DEXTER G. DIZON, RN, MPG

He is a former three-termer Pavia councilor, a Registered Nurse, has a post-grad degree of Master in Public Governance, events organizer, a layout artist and while contemplating between a doctoral or a law degree he dabbles in amateur photography. Presently he holds the position of Local Legislative Staff Officer III at the LGU-Pavia and is the Alternate-Tourism-Officer-Designate.



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