Siloy Festival is celebrated in Alcoy, Cebu every month of August.
The festival promotes the Mag-abo forest with its famous Black or Siloy, the town's scenic white beaches and dive spots and in honor of the town's patroness Saint Rose of Lima.
The municipality of Alcoy is located in the southeastern part of Cebu province. It is bounded by the town of Dalaguete in the north, Boljoon in the south, Bohol Strait in the east, and the towns of Malabuyoc and Alegria in the west.
In the western borders of barangay Poblacion and barangay San Agustin, and about the upland barangay of Nug-as lies a forest. The Mag-abo Forest is a natural forest with an area of 600 hectares and is considered the largest in Cebu province. The forest is the treasure trove of endemic plants and animals. Home to 91 bird species, 12 fruit bats species and a host of potentially still unknown species, the globally threatened Cebu Flowerpecker which the scientific community considered extinct is still found as well as the most threatened tree in the world, Cebu Cinnamon Tree, is still found in the forest.
Most of all, the Mag-abo forest is the home of the Black Shama (Copsychus Cebeunsis) population known as Siloy. Siloy is a threatened Cebu endemic that makes a very melodious song that is very soothing to those who hear it.
The Mag-abo Forest and Black Shama has existed since time immemorial that it was already taken for granted. It was only in the year 1999 that it was officially "discovered" and the Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, an NGO concerned with biodiversity started operating in the area that its significance was recognized. It is zealously protected by the local government together with the officials and people's organization of the barangays: Poblacion, Nug-as and San Agustin.
The town of Alcoy has been globally known for its dolomite mines but its town leaders need a symbol of civic celebration of the annual town fiesta as the religious celebration venerates Saint Rose of Lima every last Friday and Saturday of August. Thus, the birth of the annual Siloy Festival which was first celebrated on 27 August 2005.
It was envisioned that Alcoy be identified with the black shama or siloy as a major tourist attraction. The Mag-abo forest habitat is a birth watcher's destination and paradise.
The Siloy Festival promotes the Mag-abo Forest, the scenic white sand beaches and dive spots as the main components of the LGU's Eco-Tourism Program. The people of Alcoy are thankful to the Lord God through the intercession of Beloved Patroness Saint Rose of Lima for being keepers of these rare gifts.
For Alcoyanons, the "siloy" is not only a bird but a symbol and a cause.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Cebu (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Mactan Airport, you will need to hire a cab to go to the city proper and to your destination where the Cebu South Bus Terminal is found. Alcoy is 92 kilometers away from Cebu City. Taking a bus should take you just over 2 hours.
photos/source/reference: alcoy.gov.ph | byahilo.com | istorya.net | beyondcebu.com