There are many Tagbilaran festivals that are celebrated only here and no other region or province in the Philippines. These Tagbilaran festivals are unique to the locality because of its historical significance.
The Ubi Festival is held for five days during January and this event somewhat extends the festivities of the Christmas season. This Tagbilaran festival is celebrated mid January from the 15th to 19th and this is a farmer’s feast where they showcase their primarily grown product ubi or purple yam. During the Ubi Festival, the by products of the purple yam are showcased from wonderful desserts such as cakes, pastillas and pies to dishes where the purple yam is used. This Tagbilaran festival though is more than just about showcasing a homegrown product. The purple yam is considered as a holy crop because of how resilient it is to many natural disasters and farm pests. During the Ubi Festival, the children of farmers are taught that this God given crop is something that should be appreciated and they are even taught to kiss this if it falls to the ground. The Ubi Festival showcases the many products that can be produced out of this crop and the ingenious ways of doing it. Many visitors flock to the province to see this Tagbilaran festival because this is also an opportunity to purchase purple yam and its by products at an incredibly low price. The Ubi Festival is indeed unlike any other Tagbilaran festival.
The Sandugo Festival
Another really popular Tagbilaran festival is the Sandugo Festival and it has its roots deeply embedded in the history of this region. Translated in English, the Sandugo Festival means the Blood Compact Commemoration and this is a landmark event that symbolizes friendship between Datu Sikatuna and the Spaniard Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. This Tagbilaran festival used to just be celebrated for a whole month in July but over the past 2 or 3 years, the celebration has been extended well into August. There are many events and competitions that are held during the Sandugo Festival and it includes cock fighting, sports competitions as well as street parades. During the parades at the Sandugo Festival locals dressed in colorful costumes represent both the Spaniards and the tribe of Datu Sikatuna and there is re-enactment of the blood compact. Every night visitors and locals dance to Filipino bands performing and there are always firework displays at the Sandugo Festival.