Exploring the Sweet Town of San Enrique with Kalamay Festival

San Enrique, Iloilo will celebrate its Kalamay Festival starting July 8-14, 2018. Photo by Bombette Marin
San Enrique, Iloilo will celebrate its Kalamay Festival starting July 8-14, 2018. Photo by Bombette Marin

San Enrique, Iloilo will celebrate its Kalamay Festival starting July 8-14, 2018. Celebrating the town’s sugar cane farming and the production of raw sugar as well as the impact of the sugar industry to the town for almost 40 years, series of special events daily were prepared to attract people of all ages to the town’s fairgrounds. Moreover, appealing to tourists as well as local residents, the festival will generate significant tourism-related income.

With this year’s theme, “One Beat…One Dance…One Festival,” special events are highlighted daily starting on July 8, 2018 (Sunday) at 8:00 am with Lin-ay Sang Kalamay Community Immersion with the Indigenous people of Barangay Lip-Ac and Dacal;July 10, 2018 (Tuesday) at 4:00 pm is the Lin- ay Sang Kalamay Talent and Rural Attire Competition at the City Mall in Passi City;  July 11, 2018 (Wednesday) at 6:30 pm will have PASIDUNGOG (A Tribute to Former Elective and Appointive Municipal Officials)

Kalamay Festival (“One Beat…One Dance…One Festival”). Photo by Bombette Marin
Kalamay Festival (“One Beat…One Dance…One Festival”). Photo by Bombette Marin

July 12, 2017 (Thursday) at 6:30 am is the PASALAMAT (Thanksgiving Mass), 7:30 am with PAGHILIUSA  (Civic Parade), 9:00 am for HANDUMANAN (A Commemorative Program) and PANGUMA (An Agro-Trade Fair); 10:30 am with PAG- ULIKID (Quiz Bee on Local History) and at 1:00 pm for the PAINDIS- INDIS SANG KINAADMAN (Literary-Musical Contest) of Binalaybay, Pamulong- pulong, Vocal Solo (Ilonggo Folk Song) and Composo, at 8:00 pm is the SEARCH FOR LIN-AY SANG KALAMAY

July 13, 2017   (Friday) at 7:00 am is a PROCESSION, 8:00 am with a THANKSGIVING MASS (Fiesta de San Enrique), 9:00 am for KULINARYA (Cooking Contest Using Sugar as Primary Ingredient) with Category A: Main Dish and Category B:     Fruit Jam, 7:00 pm is the BAND FOR A CAUSE Sponsored by the Mary, Help of Christians Parish, and the 1st KALAMAY FESTIVAL MOTORSHOW

Sponsored by the Responsible Motor Riders Club at the Town Plaza; and to cap the festival week is the PADAYAW (Dance-Drama Competition) on July 14, 2017 (Saturday), 7:00 pm for KINALIPAY (Awarding Ceremony), and 8:00 pm with a DISCO.

San Enriquenhons celebrates Kalamay Festival 2018. Photo by Bombette Marin
San Enriquenhons celebrates Kalamay Festival 2018. Photo by Bombette Marin

The mingling elements of local religious, economic, and social elements in San Enrique through the Kalamay Festival presents a microcosmic view of the community-based values. The importance of cane farming and sugar production is the underlying focus of the festival for this agricultural town with a population of 33, 911 (2015 Census on Population)San Enriquenhons.

The agricultural town has a land area of 8,772 hectares; 7,572 hectares of which is devoted to Agriculture.Sugarcane is mainly its agricultural produce. It is an industrial crop of many towns especially found abundant in the Fourth Congressional District of the province. The canes are supplied to sugar industries, specifically those found in Passi City, Barotac Nuevo and in San Enrique.

The Passi Sugar Central Incorporated in San Enrique is one of the very few remaining in Panay with sugarcane being the town’s largest agricultural crop.The establishment of Passi Sugar Central Incorporated by a group of well-known Ilonggo sugar cane planters in San Enrique in April 1967 has enhanced the financial status of the town. The year after, a mill site covering 28 hectares in Barangay Ulang Juan was constructed and was later finished in 1970. It employed around 450 workers.It was said that in 1983-84, the Sugar Central has registered the highest volume of production among the six sugar centrals located in Panay area. The cost of the mill was $ 19.37 million.

San Enrique, a town in the 4th Congressional District of the province became independent from Passi City on July 12, 1957 via Executive Order No. 259 and signed by Excellency Carlos P. Garcia, President of the Philippines.

The scenic beauty of San Enrique is land-locked by the presence of Mounts Cañapasan, Bayoso, Gepiz, Cararapan, Cabas-an and Puti-an — a potential ecotourism site known with caves which is located at Barangay Rumagayray and runs contiguously to Bulabog-Putian National Park situated at the boundary of Dingle and San Enrique.

It is 54 kilometers or an hour and thirty-minute drive north central from Iloilo City via the Passi City route. Comprised of 28 barangays bounded in the north by Passi City; in the south by Dingle; the east by Banate and Barotac Viejo and; west by Duenas.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jose Patubo, PhD. – Head, Municipal Culture, History, Arts and Tourism Office T (033) 3232300 or email at patubojojo@gmail.com.