Text and Photos by Henrylito D. Tacio
If Cebu City has Sinulog Festival, the municipality of Bansalan in Davao del Sur has its Dorongan Festival.
“Dorongan Festival is a thanksgiving celebration honoring the Child Jesus known to the Filipinos as Santo Niño,” said Atty. Kirby A. Villaraiz, a municipal councilor, said in his opening remarks.
Atty. Villaraiz, who is the chairperson of the committee on tourism, gave credit to Sinulog as an inspiration for the annual festivity.
“A Sinulog-based celebration, Dorongan Festival is Bansalan’s way of relieving the tradition and culture of the Visayans whose devotion to the miraculous Santo Niño is widespread,” the boyish-looking lawyer explained. “The population of Bansalan is said to have roots in Cebu and other towns in the Visayas.”
Dorongan Festival started during the first term of Edwin Reyes as the town mayor. The festivity was stopped due to a pandemic which affected the whole country from 2020 to 2022. During the recent election, Reyes won again.
“Aside from the thanksgiving, (we are celebrating the festival this year) for all (that) we have received and surpassed in the previous years,” he said, adding it is also an opportunity for us to package our beautiful town, Bansalan.”
Just like Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, the Dorongan Festival is also known for its street dancing. This year, it’s not a competition but all high schools in the municipality participated and showcased their flair in honoring Sto. Niño through interpretative and choreographed dances.
The participating high schools were: Marber National High School, Pedro A. Arches High School, Nazareth High School, St. Mary’s School of Bansalan, Libertad National High School, St. Therese School of Bansalan, Mabuhay National High School, and New Clarin National High School.