Festivals

Karatong Festival: How Bamboo Sticks Help Liberate a Town in Leyte

Leyte

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Aug 03, 2015
Karatong Festival: How Bamboo Sticks Help Liberate a Town in Leyte

Dulag is one of the old and historical municipalities in Leyte. It is situated on the eastern coast of Leyte facing the historical Leyte Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. In the western section of the municipality, the terrain is characterized mainly by its generally flat sloping land rolling terrain.

Dulag is popularly known as the "Liberation Town." It survived and rose from the ruins of World War II and is a thriving coastal town fronting Leyte Gulf at present time.

READ: 10 Reasons to Choose Tacloban: The Gateway of Eastern Visayas (Its Beauty After the Storm + More)

“Dulagnon” or the people of Dulag communicate using a bamboo or “karatong” in ancient times. It is used to warn of impending danger and to drive away any intruders to the town.

When Moro invaders ravaged the town of Dulag to get the Golden Bell, the local folks where moved by the miraculous Nuestra Señora del Refugio to the top of the karatong to save the town of Dulag.

Karatong Festival; photo from Dulag Leyte Philippines FB page

August 20th is called “Araw ng Dulag” (foundation day) in which different activities for the town fiesta lined-up, there are nightly activities, socio-cultural shows, agri-and-agro product fair and sport activities to name a few until the fiesta ends.

The town of Dulag celebrates its fiesta on 7th and 8th of September annually and one of the highlights of the celebration is the Karatong Festival. The festival dancers are well trained students, professionals and choreographers of the municipality.

Karatong Festival; photo from Dulag Leyte Philippines FB page

The Karatong Festival has joined the various festival competitions in both regional and national arena, such as: the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festivals of Festivals in the province of Leyte, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, and the Aliwan Festival in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

Karatong Festival; photo from Dulag Leyte Philippines FB page

How to Get There

From Manila, you can easily fly to "The Gateway to Eastern Visayas," Tacloban, as all major airlines service the city. (Estimated cost: Php 2,700++, round trip, 1 hour and 15 minutes).

By ferry, it will take approximately 36 hours. And it will take almost a day if by bus.

From Tacloban City, Dulag can be reached by land traversing the 36 kilometer route via the Maharlika Highway (travel time usually takes for one hour).

Buses, public utility vehicles, pedicab, (tricycles) is the mode of transportation of the municipality.
 

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