A Festival of Culture, Cuisine and Adventure: Get Ready For Cagsawa Festival


Bernard Supetran
Bernard Supetran | Feb 08, 2017

If you are looking for a festival with the perfect blend of cuisine, culture and adventure, then hie off to Cagsawa Festival in the Daraga, Albay which runs for the whole of February.

The fest was Crafted in 2012 by former Albay governor Joey Salceda to mark the 198th anniversary of the most destructive eruption of Mayon Volcano on Feb. 1, 1814, which killed over 1,200 persons in the Spanish-era town of Cagsawa.

The Cagsawa Ruins, where only the church belfry stands, is what remains of the Spanish-era town whose population relocated to higher and safer grounds in present-day Daraga.

Bicol region’s iconic image and top tourist attraction, it was declared by the National Museum in 2016 as a National Cultural Treasure (NCT), the country’s highest designation for a cultural property.

More than a memorial for the tragedy, the event puts to the fore Daraga’s history, heritage and everything in between in a month-long province-wide observance.

The festivity showcases a wide array of entertainment shows, musical tilts, sports tournaments, socio-civic activities, pageants, culinary activities, and special interest events.

Now on its 6th year, the celebration’s locus is the cultural presentation and street dance competition set on Feb. 21 from contingents depicting events surrounding the 1814 eruption.

The town is at the core of Albay’s culinary tourism program with the presence of home-grown restaurants such as Balay Cena Una, Alvi’s Café, Balay Bicol, Casa Lorenzo Food and Culture, and First Colonial Grill.

The latter is home of the trademark Bicol dessert sili ice cream, a recipient of a Choose Philippines award as Best Panghimagas last year, where Mayon Volcano was also named as Best Mountains and Volcanoes.

Two noteworthy extreme sports events in the Cagsawa Festival are the Endurocross and the Trail Run, a motorcycle race and half marathon, which cut through Mayon’s rugged and challenging lava trail where the old Cagsawa village used to stand.

Another exciting adventure around the area is driving the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on the beaten path near the foot of Mayon.

For details of the Festival, refer to the calendar of activities below.


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