Iloilo celebrates Carabao-Carroza festival

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ILOILO CITY — Despite new and emerging farm technologies, Pavia town in Iloilo province keeps its farmland’s tradition alive as it celebrated the annual Carabao-Carroza Festival on Friday.

The celebration, which began in 1973 and is considered to be the longest-running festival in Iloilo province, is held annually to honor the farmers and their hardworking water buffaloes, Iloilo tourism officer Gilbert Marin said.

“This is a way to pay tribute to our local farmers and their best friend, which is the carabao – they are the original tandem, the traditional,” Marin said in an interview on Friday.

The Provincial Tourism Office assures that the festival will continue despite the availability of new farming technologies.

“Pavia will continue celebrating this festival to remind locals that nothing beats the original,” he said.

The highlight of the Carabao-Carroza Festival is the grand Carabao-Carroza parade that kicked off at 6:30 a.m.

Annual participants in the parade are 18 “beautified” carabaos and carrozas or bamboo carriages showcasing the unique crafts and products of Pavia villages.

The entries are representatives of 18 Pavia villages — Aganan, Amparo, Anilao, Balabag, Purok I, Purok II, Purok III, Purok IV, Cabuagao Norte, Cabgao Sur, Jibao-an, Mali-ao, Pagsanga-an, Pandac, Tigum, Ungka I, Ungka II, and Pal-agon.

Decorated carabaos with their carrozas took off from Ungka-I village, passed through the bridge leading to the town center, until they reached the football ground of the Pavia National High School, Marin said.

“The carabaos also competed in a race on the 110-meter lane of the Pavia National High School where the parade concluded,” he said.

A cash prize of PHP10,000 was granted to the champion of the carabao race; PHP7, 000 for the second runner-up; PHP5, 000 for the third runner-up; and PHP2,500 in consolation prize.

Aside from its carabao representative, the villages also have their respective muses who will compete for the Carabao-Carroza Festival Queen crown on Friday evening.-PNA

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