SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) -- The face-to-face celebration of the Binirayan Festival is set to return this December 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With looser health restrictions, the festivities starting December 1 to 21 can now be enjoyed by Antiqueños and visitors alike from all age groups and regardless of vaccination status.
In a recent radio program, Antique Provincial Tourism Officer JC Cadiao Perlas said that during the entire festival health precautions are still encouraged, particularly among the children, senior citizens, and the immuno-compromised.
Dubbed the “Mother of All Antique Festivals,” Binirayan is a celebration that spans for 48 years and is a symbol of Antique’s people, tradition, and unique culture.
With the changing of times, Perlas emphasized that it is important to integrate cultural elements into every part
of the celebration to ensure the protection and preservation of the unique "Kinaray-a" culture amid continuous progress and development.
The official also noted that this annual festival is a time for Antiqueños to come together and celebrate the rich history of the province that began with the first settlement of the Bornean datus in Malandog - now a barangay in Hamtic town.
One of the highlights of the Binirayan Festival is the official unveiling of the ultra-size, bronze-coated statues of the 10 Bornean datus depicting their first arrival into the province, which will be followed by the enactment of the “Maragtas kang Pagpasad” or the “Story of the First Malay Settlement.”
Aside from the historical enactment, the festival will also feature Fiesta Binirayan Food and Trade Fair, Binirayan Turismo, Tanuman Festival, Opening of Lights with Fireworks Display, Lin-ay kang Antique, Parada kang mga Balangay (Float Parade), and the Malay-Ati Dance Competition among others.
Also included are the “Pasundayag kang Duna nga Kultura” by the Department of Education (DepEd) Antique and the “Pasundayag kang Duna nga Kinaadman” by the Office of Cong. Antonio Agapito B. Legarda, Jr.
Perlas noted that the Binirayan Festival was founded through the four pillars of peace (kalinungan), freedom (kahilwayan), justice (katarungan), and dignity (kadungganan).
He also enjoins both local and foreign visitors to experience Binirayan Festival as he urged Antiqueños outside of the province to return home and once again participate in this yearly celebration. (AAL/BPS/PIA Antique/Photo Courtesy: Province of Antique)