What is the Sublian Festival in Batangas? The Sublian Festival was founded on the 23rd of July, 1988, by city Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha as an annual celebration of Batangas Province city’s hood. The subli, a traditional dance from the province, is being revived during this festival. This dance ritual is performed to honor Batangas City’s Sto. Niño the Child Jesus, as well as the Holy Cross of Bauan and Agoncillo. Continue to find out more about Sublian Festival in Batangas!
What is the Sublian Festival’s place of origin?
Sublian is a combination of the word subsub, a Tagalog word that means falling on one’s head or being bent or crouching. And bali, a Tagalog word that means broken or bent.
Subli is a Catholic-inspired worship dance devoted solely to the Holy Cross. It celebrates the discovery of the Holy Cross in Alitagtag, a town in the Batangas province during the Spanish colonial period. In 1572, the first Spanish missionaries arrived in Batangas. The dance’s beginnings can be traced back to the Sto. Nino of Batangas City and the people’s devotion to the Holy Cross in Bauan and Agoncillo.
The traditional subli is made up of a set of verse prayers, songs, and dances performed in a set order to the accompaniment of drums. The dance has a lot of movement in it. The male dancers are leaping and beating the ground with their kalaste, bamboo, or wooden clappers (similar to Spanish castanets), while the females dance with a sophisticated wrist and finger movement.
Where is the Sublian Festival being celebrated?
The Sublian Festival is held in Batangas City every July and celebrated in Bauan and Agoncillo every May.
The parade usually begins in the morning on the 23rd of July, after the floral offering. Participants come in native attire with adorned subli hats to symbolize Batangueño attributes and customs. Employees of the city administration, non-governmental organizations, schools, and socio-civic organizations are all typical participants.
Sublian Festival Program and Events
The Foundation Day and the Sublian sa Kalye (in the street) are the celebration highlights, with participants marching and dancing the subli on the roads. Approximately a thousand students participate in the street dancing subli. The parade typically lasts at least an hour and a half. After the Sublian Parade, the City Hall Complex will host events throughout the day.
During the celebration, one interesting program is The Lupakan (making of a snack called nilupak) at Awitan (singing), which is held at the People’s Quadrangle. You can catch a glimpse of how the native snack nilupak is being made. And you can also have a taste of the delightful snack at the same time.
Among all, not only did the Sublian Festival bring life and color to the traditional cityhood celebration, but it also resurrected the cultural and religious practice of subli among Batagueños.