CATANDUANES Feasts & festivals

Each town in Catanduanes celebrates the so-called “fiesta” every year. Highlights in this occasion include town parade, vesper night and official ball, concelebrated mass for the public to honor the town’s patron saint and agro fair. The parade, which is usually participated in by the municipal employees and officials, local government units, barangay officials and different schools with their respective drum and bugle corps takes place in the town proper. Other events such as “perya” (game of chance using a coin in exchange for a prize) and “sitsiriya” (temporary stores that are built only during fiesta) are also popular.

Town Fiesta Patron Saint
Bagamanoc June 12 St. Anthony of Padua
Baras August 10 St. Lawrence the Martyr
Bato June 24 St. John the Baptist
Caramoran June 24 St. John the Baptist
Gigmoto May 15 St. Isidore the Farmer
Pandan July 31 St. Ignatius of Loyola
Panganiban July 25 St. James the Greater
San Andres November 30 St. Andrew the Apostle
San Miguel May 8 St. Michael Archangel
Viga August 15 Our Lady of the Assumption
Virac December 8 Lady of Immaculate Conception



3rd week of October, provincial festival

This is celebrated every October commemorating the foundation anniversary of Catanduanes as an independent province from Albay. Among the featured special events are: surfing competition, pantomina street dance, beauty pageant, agricultural and trade fair, sportsfest, guided tours, and photo exhibits.

The focal event of the provincial celebration centers on the international and national Governor’s Surfing Cup which continually attracts surfers around the globe to test their water skills in the powerful waves of Puraran, known in the surfing world as the “Majestics”.

Adding color and pageantry to the festivities is the “PantominaCatanduanes” streetdance competition. Pantomina is a dance widely popular in every town of the island. The dance imitates the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen, to the music played for the dance or the song usually sang during the dance performance. Catanduanes version of pantomina shows the ardent pursuit by a lover of his beloved who demurely refuses at first but surrenders in the end.  Bringing the dance to the streets envisions to popularize the dance especially to the youth and insure its continuity as a cultural tradition and to develop a sense of identity and belonging among Catandunganons through dance forms.

 [su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


24th of December, province wide

This is a folk-religious activity depicting a Christmas tradition. The activity centers on the reenactment of the plight of Joseph and Mary in their search for a place to stay overnight in the town of Bethlehem. Reenactment is done through singing. When they are refused, they transfer to another house. The owner or Kagharong shakes the hands of the leader and hands over some donations.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Holy Week, province wide.

This is staged in all parishes during the Season of Lent or Holy Week reenacting the passion of Christ, more particularly Agony in the Garden, Last Supper and Crucifixion during Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday, respectively.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


This is an annual yuletide festivity in Virac which was started in 1985 to cheer-up a then typhoon-ravaged populace. The festival has now become a cultural tradition that provides a venue for the showcase of local artistic talents and wholesome entertainment for all age groups. As a nightly show from December 16 to December 30, except on the 24th and 25th, families flocked to Plaza Rizal to watch and enjoy the shows staged by their children, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and fellow residents.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]





Town Fiesta: June 12-13
Patron Saint: St. Anthony of Padua


June 12-13

Manok-manok festival held every town fiesta is a celebration of the Bagamanocnon character, culture and way of life centered on the peculiarities of “manok” (chicken), the very word from where the name of the municipality was taken. Street dancing depicting the salient characteristics and movements of the chicken highlights the festival. In the beginning Bagamanoc proper was yet nameless, unmarked by the footprints of the men. On its sandy soil roamed numerous ferocious quadrupeds of all sizes and wild fowls. There yet stood a variety of big, tall century old trees interlaced with long, tapering some thorny vines brownish with age. Multicolored birds played, song mated laid their eggs on the branches and fed on theis luscious fruits.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: August 10-11
Patron Saint: St. Lawrence the Martyr


August 10

The festival captures the heroic character of the people of Baras. “Badas”, local term for wild rattan, was made into spears in olden times to ward of Moro raiders thus, emerging as an apt description of the indomitable spirit of the Barasnons. During the war they were the first in Catanduanes to resist the invading Japanese forces.

Today, the Barasnons remain courageous in the storm of life symbolized by the “Majestic” but oftentimes treacherous waves of puraran. They are sturdy but flexible, an adornment of beauty yet a weapon of bravery. “Badas” epitomizes the unfolding in history of Bicolandia’s surfing capital.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: June 23-24
Patron Saint: St. John the Baptist


Bato, one of the eleven municipalities of the province of Catanduanes is blessed with the nature’s beauty and agricultural abundance. But as time passes by, it wasn’t able to resist the natural calamities that came its way. There was devastation and suffering but for the townsfolk, there was always hope.

Though its patron saint, St. John the Baptist, Bato was once again gifted with the abundance and blessings. The townsfolk worked so hard in order for them to rise up once again. They planted agricultural crops to avoid hunger.

Abaca became a prime industry. The cacao gave sweetness to a family’s dining table. The coconut, which is the tree life, became part of their everyday life gave strength to the copra industry.

Bato is the image of the province’s history, a symbol of a strong church. With the town’s agricultural abundance and richness, it bountiful harvest was blessed by the rains of St. John.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: June 23-24
Patron Saint: St. John the Baptist


May 15

Aware of the potentials of the “sugbo” commonly known as “lasa” (tiger grass) industry and its problems, a group of civic spirited conceptualized to celebrate the fiesta of our Lady of Salvation in barangay Hitoma through a festival highlighting their main source of income. The idea of holding the Sugbo Festival was hatched after the 2004 barangay fiesta was stuck by typhoon Dindo. The festival officially started in May 2005.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: May 14-15
Patron Saint: St. Isidore the Farmers



In the eastern seaboard of Catanduanes, lies a paradise town of Gigmoto, wherein finest abaca and vast harvest of thrive. The glistening rivers and seas provide bountiful supplies of a numerous species of aquatic resources.

There lived the hardworking and God-fearing constituents. Pag-UMA (farming), Pag-SILA (fishing) and pag-HAG-OT (abaca stripping) are the three major sources of living. The pouring grace of harvest and endless blessings inspired the people of the people of Gigmoto to celebrate an annual feast called UMASILHAG. A festival born in honor of their patron St. Isidore the farmer.

UMASILHAG, a festival of merrymaking and thanksgiving!

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: July 30-31
Patron Saint: St. Ignatius of Loyola


After Easter Sunday

An annual official summer festival of the Pandanganons started I 1993 through its founder UP Prof. Efren B. Isorena. The festival traces back the history of the town when it was reached by Austronesia people using the “Dinahit” as their sailing vessel. “Dinahit” regatta, fashion show, agro-industrial fair, beauty contests and indigenous games.

Dinahit festival represented the province in the parade of festivals during the opening of Palarong Pambansa at Pili Camarines Sur last March 2000. Also, it participated in Bicol Arts Festival held at Legazpi City last 1997.

“Dinahit” a perfect name, a wind driven sailing vessel which sailed through the willing waters and howling winds defies the strong undercurrent of technological changes and cultural influences.

Their ancestral home has a great deal of suffering, tossed in surging tides by endless storms. Yet, Pandan like the “Dinahit” , sails a new and continuous to forge ahead.

Pandananons are masters of survival, endured the disasters and worked from dusk ‘til dawn catch food for their families as they sail through deep waters, never knowing what await them beyond that infinite horzon.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: July 24-25
Patron Saint: St. James the Great



July 25

“AN-IT” the most delectable crab in the entire province of Catanduanes.

Panganiban, a relatively peaceful town and bountiful place in the northwest of Bagamanoc and southeast of Viga has been known as the “Kinis” Capital of Catanduanes for its 218.47 hectares of fishpond and its vast mangrove areas producing abundant supply of delicious and palatable mud crab well-liked for its taste, texture and nutritive value and even branded as the tastiest crab in Bicol. With the abundance of this ambrosial marine species, crab farming becomes profitable for Panganibanons.

“Kinis” Festival brings to the fore the main product of the municipality of Panganiban and promotes the town as the crab capital of the province. Highlighted with float parade with their princess of crab, exotic street-dance in their crab costumes and eat-all-you-can promo of their seafood menu especially steamed or cooked crab.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: November 29-30
Patron Saint: St. Andrew the Apostle, the Fisher of the Men


April 15

“Burunyog” is an old Bikolano word for being united. Combining this to “Niyog” or coconut a unique name for our celebration was created. “Buruniyogan” gives importance to the benefits of coconut.

Aside from the fruit, almost all of coconut parts are usable. What makes buruNIYOgan unique is its four beneficial impacts which are:

  1. Environmental presentation & Tourism Promotion
  2. Agricultural Development
  3. Economic Exponentiation
  4. Culture and Heritage Preservation and Enrichment.

BuruNIYOGan also takes inspiration from an event when Our Lady of Sorrows of Batong Paloway unites with St. Andrew, the Apostles during the transaction.

“Niyog”, the three of life, calls on us together in one place, the town of San Andres in the island province of Catanduanes.. and to see how much more it can offer.

“Calolbon ang hinarian! San Andres na ngonian! Mara na sa BuruNIYOGan”



November 30

It was “Calolbong”, in the older days, later Calolbon and now San Andres. As told, when the Spanish explorers first set foot in this place. They met terrified natives. They asked for the name of this place to a native who was left digging his buried hat in the sand. Unsure of what to answer, the native said, “calo-lobong”. Thinking it was the name of the place, they noted on the sketch map the name “Calolbong”. In the course of time, the letter “G” was dropped out, thus the name “Calolbon”.

Ruins and cave reveal interesting episode in San Andres town history. Luyang cave witnessed the bloodless massacre of the natives who fled from the Moro pirates to the cave but the marauders traced suffocating and killing the helpless natives. Since then, the natives had always been aloof and afraid of strangers coming to this place.



May 21 at Codon

This is being organized by the Codon fishermen and Fish Vendors Association to give thanks to the Patroness of Fishermen. Nuestra Senora del Salvacion (Our Lady of Salvation). Our Lady of Salvation describes as the Virgin carrying Jesus in Her left arm, the serpent’s head is crushed under the feet and Herright hand hold a man, an angel in kneeling position. The Child Jesus holds in his right hand a burning heart. The icon is brought by a procession from the Codon Chapel to Codon port, a fluvial procession follows where a solemn procession of motorboats is heralded by the cries of devotees from the shores of barangay Codon to the shores of Barangay Maygnaway and back. Finally the processional boats are docked at Codon port and the image is carried back to Codon Chapel.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: May 7-8
Patron Saint: St. Michael Archangel

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: August 14-15
Patron Saint: St. Roche & Our Lady of the Assumption


Soaring high with warm and religious people, bearing a rich and interesting culture, a town blessed with vast farmlands and industrious farmers, a distinctive feature of Viga, the rice granary of the province.

Depicting the joys and hardships of the common traditional way of planting, harvesting, threshing, drying, airing and the like, himuloan festival gives the clear picture of how Viganons face hardships and bear uncertainties, how they survived and go on, with life despite the weather disturbances aggravated by the visit of amihan and even floods.

Farmers learn to hold on with the fullest convictions that their patroness our lady of the assumption whom they believe and adore, watches over them and will bless them. Harvest season calls for a celebration for the Viganons. This is the time of thanksgiving and rejoicing, offering their products in a form of “HIMULOAN”. It’s a form of giving thanks to “MAHAL NA INA” for the bountiful harvest.

Friends, from the widest plains and rice growing part of the island, the granary of Catanduanes, proud to give you the Himuloan Festival of Viga.

[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″]


Town Fiesta: December 7-8
Patron Saint: Immaculate Conception


A flourishing municipality, Virac is believed to have its name originated from “BURAC”, a local term for a flower. Early native settlers sustained their living by tilling its fertile lands and fishing from the rich water resources that abound in this town.

Nature’s devastation especially typhoon have tested people’s resiliency, strength and determination, resourcefulness, and above all religiosity. Commemorating their devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Immaculada Conception, the patroness of Virac, and to give thanks and honor for her blessings and guidance, Burac Festival came out to be.

From capital town of Catanduanes, the Virac Burac Festival.



Town Date
Bagamanoc June 13, 1950
Baras May 11, 1897
Bato April 15, 1799
Caramoran September 1, 1948
Gigmoto May 15,
Panganiban July 18, 1921
San Andres June 18, 1964
San Miguel May 15, 1952
Viga August 13
Virac December 7