Unique Festivals of Pampanga
Fiestang Tugak (Frog Festival)
Besides the food, the festival also has street dances, attractions, and frog-catching competitions. Townsfolk prepare green and yellow costumes to mimic the frogs that are well part of their rich culture. Colorful cartoon frog mascots also join the parade.
When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the year 1991, Bacolor was deep in Lahar for four years. People believed that Apu Malyari, a god of the Aetas, got angry because of the townsfolk’s misconduct towards Mother Nature.
Makatapak means “going barefoot.” People had to remove their slippers and step firmly on the soft, hot mud. Walking over lahar is similar to walking through quicksand. The experience was humbling as people from different social classes walked hand in hand to reach safety.
The first day of Makatapak Festival includes street dances from nine municipalities of Pampanga affected by the lahar. The performances show the people’s various experiences of lahar incidents. There is also Imung Baculud – washing the body in neck-deep water of Gugu River. The second day is the feast for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Virgen La Naval) which was also buried by the Pinatubo eruption.
The people of Sta. Rita prepare the best duman. The preparation is a rigorous process. First, the magdurumans – the families who produce duman – have to beat the young green rice kernels to separate the husk. The rice pellets are then soaked in water and cooked for thirty minutes. The rice receives another round of pounding to help release the oils and nutty flavor. Families pass this method of preparing duman from generation to generation. The method became a celebrated tradition.
The seasonal delicacy can be eaten plain. Some people like to add sugar or place it on fresh carabao’s milk, tsokolate batirol or as toppings on ice cream. Others make duman kalamay.
The spirit of celebration begins with a grand street performance in San Fernando City. Towns compete for the best costume and performance award while dancing to the beat of the local folk song “Atin Cu Pung Singsing.”
Various schools prepare dance numbers to showcase their talent and creativity.
The festival also includes a cultural pageant called Lakan, Lakambini and Prinsensita ning Sinukwan. Awards are given for the use of Kapampangan language, the uniqueness of cultural and festival costumes, and the promotion of the local music and arts through a showcase of talent. The pageant also seeks to retain the context of indigenous traditions and make the people understand their culture’s history and authenticity.
The festival showcases the woodcarving industry that contributes to the town’s economy. It also encourages more people to enter the craft and maybe one day be a woodcarver themselves. The Dukit Festival hopes to inspire more people through the beauty of the art.
Ligligan Parul (Giant Lantern Festival)
Ligligan Parul means “lantern showdown.” It is a parol-making competition held annually at San Fernando. Each town or municipality of the province must work together to build a giant lantern. The lanterns presented for this festival are usually almost 20ft. in diameter and made of lights turned on and off by an operator. Besides the lamps, the lanterns use colorful plastics that reflect light. The row of lights forms a magnificent sight when seen from a distance.
Bad’s Light Palette
Our Awesome Planet
Region III – Central Luzon
Flickr: Rob Pinzon