Festivals

Babaylan Festival of Bago City

Negros Occidental

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Belle Piccio | Jan 30, 2014

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Babaylan Festival 2013 file photo by Sir Billy Lopue | Camera Club of Negros

The Babaylan Festival is based on the rituals performed by the babaylans, like rituals on marriage, baptism, healing, harvest and others.

The babaylan is a doctor, herbalist, artist, medium, adviser, agriculturist and more, all rolled into one very colorful character. It is believed that babaylans get their healing powers from unseen spirits. The babaylan is the keeper of rituals and spirit agents in normal world. She inspires awe and fear.

The Babaylan Festival was conceived to highlight a unique brand of Filipino heritage, one that dates back to the pre-Spanish period. The festival aims to rediscover the Bagonhon indigenous music, literature, dances, rituals and other artistic endeavors.

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Babaylan Festival 2013 file photo by Sir Billy Lopue | Camera Club of Negros

How to Get There

Bago City is located 21.5 kilometers south of the provincial capital of Negros Occidental, Bacolod City. It is a 30-minute drive from the center of Bacolod, and an hour's drive from the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head) or a cab and ask to be dropped off at the nearest station for buses/vans that will pass through Bago City.

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