Every year, Dumaguete City celebrates Buglasan Festival. Buglasan is the province’s annual Provincial Fiesta that is held every October. It is a provincial event where in all the municipalities, cities and towns of the Negros Oriental province becomes one. It is actually a unique celebration because it is a gathering of almost all the people in the province. The Buglasan of Negros Oriental is one way of promoting and conserving other types of heritage which go with it like dances, songs, foods, rituals, stories and so on. Named BUGLASAN FESTIVAL in memory of the island’s beginnings, when its cultural character and heritage began to take shape, the event comprised booth presentations, indigenous and growing culinary competitions, and street dances and field presentations of various local cultural productions that had evolved into modest festivals.
In remembrance of the unique and distinct nature of each one, the competition was called the FESTIVAL OF FESTIVALS. The Buglasan Festival of Festivals brings all these together for “one-stop shop” of Negros Oriental’s achievements in cultural advancement and creativity. The Province’s annual cultural calendar is packed with ceremonies and dramatic expressions of religious fervor and civic pride. Buglasan peaks with the Festival of Festivals Street dance and Field Presentations where the visual impact and exciting rhythms of champion contingents from over 20 festivals in various stages of development can be experienced in one venue. These festivals complete most of the fiestas of each place of the Province. They are basically celebrations of thanksgiving for abundant. harvests of land and sea. Most of these are secular (non-religious) in nature. The Buglasan Festival was showcased as a cultural tourism program of the Province. In that instance, the cultural, rather than the historical relevance of the Buglasan, became more apparent.
BUGLASAN is produced by the Negros Oriental Culture and Arts Council assisted by the Negros Oriental Tourism Council, the Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City Divisions of the Department of Education; the Negros Oriental Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association, the Sidlakang Negros Producers Association, the Sangguniang Kabataan, the Sidlakang Negros Association of Tourism Officers, and several sports and extreme games organizations. Strict guidelines ensure that the staple events promote research and unique cultural values while showcasing the creativity and talents of the Oriental Negrense. The competitions are designed to involve all sectors and age levels. Among these are the Buglasan Balak and Balitaw, Children’s Choir, Folk Dance, Modern Dance, Dancesport, Rondalla, Duet and Quartet, and Live Band. The Lutong Garbo sa Sidlakang Negros competition presents the culinary treasures of Negros Oriental. In line with this activity are several band performances, shows and programs with local artists as guests. The search for Festival King and Queen is also part of the activities.
HISTORY OF THE NAME BUGLASAN
The historical meaning of Buglasan is seen in the origin of the name which is coined from buglas—a word for cogon-like grass or reed that was abundant in the past. The Province was called by this name by the earliest people on this island called Ati or Ata whom the Spaniards called Negritos, which means small dark-skinned people.
Subsequently, the Province was officially called Negros, after the Negritos or small Negroes. Thus, the celebration of the Buglasan Festival may be considered a way of remembering the first name of Negros Island.
The fun starts in Negros Oriental Naturally. So what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to include Buglasan Festivals in your plans.