by Rachelle Dangin (ABS-CBN Central Visayas) Thousands flocked to Barangay San Nicolas, Cebu City last April 30 to celebrate the Kaplag-Buwad Festival.
Eleven dancing contingents and floats joined in the revelry. The participants paraded around the barangay with their colorful costumes and props. The contingents danced to the famous Sinulog Beat - two steps forward and one step forward. The floats were beautifully decorated and adorned with the image of SeÃ±or Santo NiÃ±o.
The contingent from Sitio JM Basa was declared champion and Best in Street Dancing. Contingent from B. Aranas and Little Dalaguete came in second and third, respectively.
San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Parochial Vicar Msgr. Raul Go stressed that the celebration highlighted the second expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in the Philippines in 1565. SeÃ±or Santo NiÃ±o is the patron saint of Cebu. Just recently, he was also declared El Kapitan General of the Philippine Navy. "While it is true that the Spaniards first brought Christianity last 1521, sustainability wasn't present. When they left, the Filipinos forgot what the religion was about. When Legazpi came back, it was when they actually sat down with the Filipinos and taught them basic Christian values," Go said.
Buwad Free Taste Buwad or Dried Fish is the most popular livelihood of the natives even back during the Spanish times. Particularly in Taboan Street, Barangay San Nicolas, baskets of buwad are still being sold. Foreign and Local tourist usually visit the area to buy pasalubong (token gifts). Dried fish, dried squid and dried mangoes are the usual favorite choices.
In celebration of the Kaplag-Buwad Festival, the vendors sell their products at a lower price. The dried fish which usually costs Php650 were sold at Php600. The dried pusit sold at Php600 were marked down to Php550. Plus, the customers were treated to taste buwad for free the entire day.
"This is our way of thanking SeÃ±or Santo Nino for the blessings He bestowed upon us always," vendor Mailee Desamparada said.
Next year, the organizers are looking forward to a grander Buwad-Kaplag Festival!