Pulilan, Bulacan Kicks Off Kneeling Carabao Festival 2019
Carabaos kneel in Pulilan, Bulacan every May of each year in celebrating thanksgiving for San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint for bountiful harvests.
This year, the municipality kicks off Kneeling Carabao Festival participated by hundreds of local farmers from 19 barangays. A series of daily and nightly shows are up for everyone from May 5 to May 14 and made even more spectacular with the local chief executive Hon. Maria Rosario Ochoa-Montejo as the Hermana Mayor.
This event staged the implementation of Pulilan’s New Market Positioning strategy which aims to put the town in the list of the newest and most popular tourist destinations in Central Luzon. Nearby municipalities and provinces as far as Nueva Ecija participate in a parade of beautifully decorated “karitons” and colorfully adorned carabaos trained by their owners to kneel in front of the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church as a sign of respect.
Pulilan Fireworks Spectacle marked the start of the celebration on the night of May 5. Entertaining competitions and activities such as Palaro ng Lahi, Chorale, and Cheerdance Competition, Color Fun Run, Lakan at Lakambini Coronation, Kneeling Carabao Grand Parade, and Gabi ng Kabataan filled up the calendar from May 6 to May 12. Novenario Mass, on the other hand, commenced every 6 PM. Kneeling Carabao Festival 2019
The celebration wrapped up with a Street Dance Competition and Feedmix Variety Show on the night of May 14.
Pulileños are known for being gaudy when it comes to important occasions. That may be one of the reasons why this festival is much anticipated by people from various places and has gained recognition from the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) in recent years.
Pulilan Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan
Honoring a saint is one of the principal reasons why Filipinos celebrate numerous fiestas. This is the reason why the people in Pulilan, Bulacan never fail to commemorate and pay tribute to San Isidro Labrador, who is the patron saint of farmers. Although the festival officially begins on May 15 every year, there are traditions which the locals need to observe prior to this day. For 24 days, they must perform the Paseo or the procession of the image of San Isidro to the different barangays/chapels within the municipality. Also, they ought to complete the Novena for nine consecutive days. Kneeling Carabao Festival 2019
Based on historical records, many years ago, individuals are identified not by their given surnames but by the work they perform. Such is the case of San Isidro, whose occupation was that of a Labrador or a laborer. He was a hired hand on a farm and had no personal land to till. His landlord was amazed that San Isidro was capable of completing his assigned task despite his coming late to work most of the time. Prompted by his curiosity, the landlord investigated and saw that the person plowing the field was an angel. In awe, he knelt before San Isidro. From then on, the image of a kneeling man will be associated with this patron saint.
Carabaos play a vital role during this occasion. They are the creatures responsible for assisting the farmers in doing their jobs. One of the most astonishing sights to see during the celebration of this festival happens on the morning of May 14. The carabaos are thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the parade. During the march, the carabaos are trained by their owners to kneel in front of the church as they pass it one by one. A priest is there to bless each one of the creatures as they pay homage to their patron saint. On the 15th, a street dance competition is held as part of the festivity.
Kneeling Carabao Festival 2019