Viva Señor San Pedro!
Pandan plants thrive abundantly and widely just anywhere on the rocky terrain of Calatrava.
The pandan plant is beneficial to the livelihood of the community. Its elongated succulent leaves with thorns on the sides are cut, made into strands, hang dried and are made into a durable material for mat weaving.
The mat weaving skills of the town folks using pandan strands were handed down from generation to generation.
Early inhabitants of barangays Buenavista, Bagcay, San Isidro, Tigbao, Pinocutan, Dolis and Mahilum learned the skills on their own. These barangays where blessed with caves where pandan weaving can be ideally done because of the cool atmosphere that keeps the pandan strands from becoming brittle.
Today, the pandan weaving industry of Calatrava provides livelihood, employment and income to the people of the town. The local products can now compete nationally and internationally as it already got orders from exporters and marketers that bring the products to Hawaii and Europe.
The town's pandan products has put Calatrava in the map, hence the festival every month of June. The festival called "Lilas Pandan" is a celebration of the people of Calatrava It is a time for them to thank and praise God for the natural beauty and bounty it brings. The Lilas Pandan is the center of the Hudyaw Celebration town fiesta.
TRIVIA: Calatrava was named after the city of La Mancha in Central Spain. It is an ancient fortress in the middle ages.
The town today is a known source of limestone and coal as well as of woven products. It is also a sanctuary for a tribe of wild monkeys who have become friendly to people especially those with food to share.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or hail a cab and asked to be taken to the Bacolod North Bus Terminal.
Calatrava is a 3-hour drive from Bacolod City by public utility vehicles and approximately 2.5 hours through private car. Aircon and non-aircon buses plying the northern Negros route pass by this area.