Special Events of the Year

Buglasan: Negros Oriental Festival of Festivals

In olden times the island of Negros was referred to as Buglas, after the tall reeds that predominated. A map said to have been drawn by Diego Lope Povedano dated 1572 shows an island named BUGLAS INSULIS.  The crewmen of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, while anchored in Bohol in 1572, reconnoitered Buglas and encountered dark-skinned natives.  They renamed the island NEGROS.

In 1981 Foundation University and the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran of Negros Oriental, upon consultations with Bayanihan founder-choreographer Lucresia Reyes-Urtula, organized an activity that would choose the performing group to represent the province in the National Folk Arts Festival of Mrs. Imelda Marcos.  The activity was called “Buglasan” in memory of the island’s beginnings, its early cultural character.

Buglasan was dormant for many years until 1990, when it was revived as part of Negros Oriental’s centennial as a province.  Buglasan was applied to the entire celebration.  It has since evolved into a “Festival of Festivals,” bringing together the finest street dancing contingents of Negros Oriental’s twenty established festivals for a day of competitions.

These festivals are highlights of fiestas everywhere in the province.  Two of these are school-based: the relatively new HUGYAWAN DALANSAYAW of Central Visayas Polytechnic College, and the KASADYA-AN December Festival of Foundation University, at over 50 years the longest-running Mardi gras of Negros Oriental.  Along with the SANDUROT Festival of Dumaguete City, TAWO-TAWO (scarecrow) of Bayawan, YAG-YAG (egg-scattering on the shoreline by certain sea creatures) of Cangmating,  HUDYAKA of Bais City, and BACON of Bacong these festivals are secular (non-religious) in nature.  The rest are based on legends surrounding local patron saints and religious practices: GAPNOD of Sibulan, SINULOG DE TANJAY, SINULOG DE JIMALALUD, LIBOD- SAYAW of Bindoy, KANGLAMBAT of Vallehermoso, NABINTUAN of Mabinay, PASAYAW of Canlaon City, AYUQUITAN of San Jose, BUDYAS of Amlan, KASUBHAN of Santa Catalina, KASAULOGAN of Valencia.

The Buglasan Festival of Festivals brings all these together for a “one-stop shop” of Negros Oriental’s festivals, experienced in all their pageantry and color in one day of fellowship and merrymaking.

Almost every month, colorful special events unreel somewhere in the province.  These festivals are highlights of fiestas everywhere in the province that could be secular (non-religious) in nature.  The rest are based on legends surrounding local patron saints and religious practices.


Table of Festivals





On or about January 13

Sinulog de Jimalalud


Street dancing and pageants

February 17

Tawo-tawo Festival

Bayawan City

Street dancing with scarecrow higantes the day before fiesta to celebrate the guardians of the town’s crops

March 19

Pasayaw Festival

Canlaon City

Honors St. Joseph with street dancing giving thanks for the harvest that makes  the province rice and vegetable bowl

April 4

Libod Sayaw sa Bindoy


Street dancing based on Philippine folk dances

Throughout May

Santacruzan & Mayflower Festival


Dumaguete-last week of May, Ayungon- every 3rd week

May 7

Ayuquitan Festival

San Jose

Street dancing, retells the origins of the town’s former place named derived from inukitan, or bird pickings

June 12

Fluvial Procession


Decorated and lighted boats carry venerated images and devotees along the town’s coastal waters

June 29

Budyas Festival


Old ritual invokes good fortune on fishermen, image of patron St. Peter & St. Paul are ferried by decorated sea crafts between the two chapels of Tandayag

3rd week of July

Sinulog de Tanjay


Choreographed procession recounts ancient Moro-Christian conflict and the intercession of patron Señor Santiago

August 22- 28

Silliman University Founder’s Day


Weeklong activities commemorating the establishment in 1901 of the first Protestant University in the country

September 7

Hudyaka Festival

Bais City

Mardi gras and elaborate floats bring secular revelry to the city’s fiesta.

Sipong Festival

Bais City

Another festival of Bais City

October 21-29

St. Paul College Founder’s Day


Weeklong activities marking the founding in 1904 of the first St. Paul de Charters institution in the Philippines.

3rd week of November

Sandurot Fatival


Fiesta events welcoming the various cultural strains that enrich the city’s character

Daro Sinulog & Santacruzan

Daro, Dgte City

Another street dancing




Lighted displays and giant Christmas animations in the parks and nightly activities to celebrate the holiday season

1st Sunday of December

Hugyawan Dalansayaw

NORSU, Dgte City

Vigorous and elaborately choreographed street dancing

3rd week of December

Foundation UniversityKasadya-an Festival

FU, Dgte City

Features the province oldest and longest Mardi Gras Parade

Yag-yag Festival

Cangmating, Sibulan

Egg-scattering on the shoreline by certain sea creatures in Cangmating,  as well as GAPNOD of Sibulan

2nd & 3rd quarter of the year

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Bais City

Leisurely cruise of Bais bay for delightful surprises

13th of every month

Lighting of candles


Hordes of supplicants travel to shrines of St. Anthony of Padua and the Holy Child at the parish church

Bacon of Bacong


When the Moro pirates attacked the village, now called Bacong, the brave chief shouted “Bacon” meaning stand up! Rise up! The native warriors stood up and rushed at the Moros with their sharp bolos, spears, bows, and arrows, daggers and blow gun (supot).