The Philippines is famous to tourists and even to locals in different aspects of tourism. Aside from the undeniably beautiful beaches, they are attracted by the colourful festivities of the Filipinos. These festivals feature different cultural aspects like local cuisines, crafts, saints, and traits. Being festive and happy is in the nature of every Filipinos – proven by hundreds of festivals celebrated throughout the nation.
Most of the festivals are forms of thanksgiving for a prosperous industry. In Sorsogon alone, there are six festivals celebrated annually. One of the most sought-after among all these events is the Pili Festival. The Pili Tree is indigenous to the province and it is one of their major products. It is also known as the majestic tree due to the invaluable use of its every part. But the cream of the crop is the nut. The Pili Nut is exported to different countries and is rated higher than macadamia nuts and almonds. It is used as a main ingredient to confectionaries in and out of the country. The nuts are the backbone of their “pasalubong” industry. In fact, pili products are the most requested pasalubong if you are to go to the Bicol region.
The Pili Festival is held every June 20-29. It also coincides with Sorsogon City’s patronal fiesta every June 28-29 that honours Saint Paul and Saint Peter. First of all, the festival is an appreciation for the bountiful harvest. It also aims to promote the city’s tourism that constitutes a large portion of their revenue.
Before the festival starts, the city is decorated with pili-shaped lanterns. The festival also features outreach activities, search for Lolo King and Lola Queen Festival, beauty pageant for the youth, art exhibits, sports festival, parades, church missions and a whole lot more. On June 28, the “Tiriladan sa Dalan” attracts a lot of visitors reaching up to 25,000. It is a contest of cracking pili nuts. The highlight of the Pili Festival is the Pili Street dance. It features native folks dancing to the rhythms produced by percussion instruments. It serves as contests for different barangays. Each of them allots time, money and effort to prepare dance steps and colourful costumes. But it is not just a dance; it has to show the different uses of the majestic tree – from its roots, trunk, branches, leaves, and of course the fruits.
Every festival consumes a fortune. But it is never a loss. It showcases the treasures of the hosting place and makes them proud of their products. It increases public awareness and promotes tourism which in turn brings more revenue to the town.
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