The Kasanggayahan Festival in Sorsogon is an annual celebration in commemoration of the founding of the province. Various cultural, historical, religious, and social activities are held over the course of the whole month of October to mark the festivities.
According to Sorsogon’s tourism website, Kasanggayahan is an old Bikolano word whose meaning can be derived from this verse:
“When the fields are green
and the grains are golden;
when the machines work well
and all business prosper;
when the birds in the sky chirp freely
and men on earth are peacefully happy;
in Bikol, it is KASANGGAYAHAN,
meaning, a life of prosperity.”
Last October 17, 2011 we had a feast laid out before our eyes- the Historico Cultural Parade of the Kasanggayahan Festival. In the streets of Sorsogon City, under the scorching heat of the sun, various representatives from each town marched after their colorful floats that showcase the town’s trademark offering. The groups also had the name of their town festivals highlighted in their floats. It certainly was a celebration of bounty with each town/municipality having much to offer. The Pili Festival of Sorsogon City, Butanding Festival of Donsol, Padaraw Festival of Bulan, Lakatan Festival of Barcelona, Matunog Festival of Matnog, and the Hin-ay Festival of Irosin were among the featured town festivals. The day ended with a parachute show by the Philippine Army.
Sorsogon is a province well-endowed with beautiful wonders – white sand beaches (in Matnog and Gubat), rare gentle creatures (butanding or the whale sharks of Donsol), heritage sites (century-old Barcelona Church and ruins, and the ancestral homes of Juban), and natural therapies (hot springs of Irosin). The Kasanggayahan Festival is the province’s way of giving thanks for these bounties with its people wistfully imploring mother nature to continuously bless the land in the generations to come.