Celebration of life and all the blessings received are the central themes of Samar festivals and for those who like watching Filipino merrymaking, nothing compares to how the inhabitants of this region celebrate. It is said that the best of all the Samar festivals are held mid year, in between the start of the summer in March until the rainy season August.
Some Samar festivals are confined to certain towns but the Embajada Festival is something that is celebrated by the entire province albeit at different dates. The very first towns that celebrate Embajada Festival right after New Year, in January, are Catubig and Laoang. Similar to a domino effect, the nearby towns follow and come mid June, this Samar festival would have reached Catarman. The Moro-Moros, an indigenous group in Samar is said to be the first Filipinos ever to celebrate the Embajada Festival and being a tradition, they have been celebrating it for centuries.
This Samar festival depicts a time in history when conflict prevailed between the Moro-Moros and the Spaniards although nowadays it is presented in a comical fashion. During the Embajada Festival, street dancing is common and there’s always the delicious array of food served in the town center as night sets in. The Moro-Moros themselves take part in the Embajada Festival and this Samar festival is also a good opportunity to learn so much about one of the oldest tribes in Samar.
Parayang Harvest Festival
The main source of livelihood of the inhabitants of Samar is farming and harvesting is something that is celebrated, being considered by the locals as a time of abundance and blessing. The Parayang Harvest Festival is just one of the few festivities that center on harvest but this Samar festival is primarily held in the town of San Roque. The Parayang Harvest Festival is a day filled with celebration with several contests being held throughout the day such as cooking competitions and beauty pageants.
There’s also street dancing during the Parayang Harvest Festival where both young and old practice both modern and traditional dances prior to the event. There are of course prizes given out to winners of these competitions and at the end of the Parayang Harvest Festival, families and friends gather to enjoy a sumptuous feast together. The Parayang Harvest Festival is so much a part of Filipino tradition having been celebrated for a little over a century now.