Similar to most festivals celebrated throughout the country, the Sta. Anang Banak Taguig River Festival is held in Sta. Anna as a form of thanksgiving. The feast is done to honour the town’s patron Saint Anne, who according to legend, gathered the citizens of “taga-giik” (origin of Taguig) along the riverbank. In 1587, the farmers lost all their harvest and the town was in crisis. Saint Anne, with his little girl Mary, led them to the river where they found it teeming with Banak fishes. Every July of the following years, the river was filled with fishermen. As a form of thanksgiving, they throw a portion of their catch to the people along the bank. As exchange, the latter throws back dried goods to them. This act, known as “pasubo” then became a merry festivity that is celebrated until now every July 26.
Recent traditions feature a parade of boats and floats, known as pagoda, along the river. Keeping up with modernization, they follow certain themes. Every barangay decorates the entry boat with garlands, flowers, and other colourful accessories. They also dress up children to portray angels and Mary. A special float is grandly decorated to carry the image of Saint Anne. Participants of the parade throw candies, biscuits, fruits and assorted goods to other floats and to the people merrily watching them along the bank. The procession continues up to the mouth of Laguna de Bay to signify the continuous blessing of the river.
Aside from the parade of floats, there are other activities to celebrate the day. The native boat race challenges the fishermen to catch the biggest Banak. There is also a parade where children gives fish cone streamers to the visitors. The event is culminated with “Pandangguhan”, another form of thanksgiving of the folks through street dances.
The sad thing is that the river is now polluted. It has to be taken care of. The festival is a pride of the town that has to be continuously celebrated to keep the tradition alive.
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