Sorsogon, like most provinces in the Philippines, have its own customs and traditions that are influenced by the nearby provinces. Many of the Sorsogon festivals and events are offshoots of Christian religious traditions and are given a local distinct variation.
The Kasanggayahan Festival, perhaps, is the largest celebration for the whole province of Sorsogon. Celebrated during the month of October every year, this festival is the commemoration of the declaration of Sorsogon as a province. Before Sorsogon became a province in the Bicol region, it used to be part of Albay, which is another province in the region.
This festival is included in the Department of Tourism’s list of festivals and celebrations in the Philippines. With the term “kasanggayahan” meaning prosperity, the festival showcases the local products including products from the pili tree and other agricultural products.
The Pantomina sa Tinampo is one of the features of the Kasanggayahan Festival that makes it different from the other thanksgiving festivals in the country. Pantomina sa Tinampo is a native regional dance, which is the dance of the doves. This pantomime (pantomina) dance of love and courtship is done on the streets (tinampo), because of which it was termed “Pantomina sa Tinampo.”
Because pili products are bountiful in Sorsogon and in the rest of the Bicol region, it is easy to understand that the people of Sorsogon have devoted a festival that features this valuable nut. The Pili Festival is held every June 28-29, which are also the feast days of their patrons St. Peter and St. Paul.
Different dance groups composed of young men and women follows the beats of the percussion instruments as they show the different products that are made from the pili tree. These groups certainly prepares for this celebration as they have appropriate costumes and props to make their presentation more appealing, relevant and lively.
The most well known pili product is its nut, which is known to compete with macadamia nuts and almonds in terms of quality and distinct taste.
Holy Week Celebration
In addition to Christmas and the New Year, the commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ is also one of the most anticipated celebrations in the country. Although Christianity was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish colonizers, the Filipinos were able to make the Holy Week Celebration a local tradition through the incorporation of native practices and materials.
In Sorsogon, the locals come to the Cathedral of St. Peter and Saint Paul from which they start a barefoot procession as they take the statue of Jesus to the crucifixion.
Apart from these festivals, each municipality and town in Sorsogon celebrates their fiestas depending on the feast days of their patron saints. This is another way to showcase the culture and the products of the place and to thank God for their blessings.