Bonga Festival/Pastores de Sibonga

April 22, 2009

Sibonga is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 40,765 people.

The socio-economic and political programs of the Southern Municipality of Sibonga focuses on the environment, health, culture and security of the people. It lies 50.7 kilometers south of Cebu City; bounded on the North by the Municipality of Carcar, on the South by the Municipality of Argao, on the West by the Minicipalities of Dumanjug and Ronda and on the East by Bohol Strait.

History of Sibonga

When the Spaniards came, the town was thickly covered with Arica palms (betel nut). They asked the natives the name of the place and what they were trading. The natives answered 'bonga', the local name of betel nuts. The Spaniards nodded and said,"Si,'bonga'." And that is how the town got its name.

Bonga Festival

Bonga festival is a form of thanksgiving for all the blessings and graces Sibonganhons have received from Sta. Filomena and Our Lady of Pilar especially for the abundant fruits found in the town.
Bunga is a Cebuano word which means fruit in English.

Pastores de Sibonga

Pastores de Sibonga is a short Christmas play which narrates the story of Christ's nativity as performed in Brgy. Magcagong, Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines. The play depicts the shepherd's adoration of the child Jesus.
Pastores de Sibonga dates back to the 1920s (Ocampo, 2004).

Pastores de Sibonga is performed by at least four dancers. The female dancer makes use of a red blouse or red shirt paired with a long white skirt. The male dancer wears a red shirt paired with black pants.

Accessories include a round hat decorated with cut-outs of the sun, moon and stars in yellow, red, green, and other brightly colored papers together with a yellow sash placed across the body.

It is performed used red fans and white handkerchiefs. An oval-shaped native fan is used and held by the right hand during the performance. The white square handkerchief is held by the left hand folded into a triangular shape.

The accompaniment music is a rondalla of stringed ensembles (guitar, banduria, and bajo). The lyrics tell of the pre-, nativity, and post-nativity settings. It expresses happiness, joy, and worship, and offers praises and gifts for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.


SIBONGA June 30, 2009 at 6:18 PM  


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