Have you ever worn a traditional “barong Tagalog” or “baro’t saya”? If so, chances are that it was designed and made in my hometown of Lumban, Laguna. In fact, the term “Burdang Lumban” is popular among couturiers, both inside and outside the Philippines.
And so, it comes as no surprise that every September, the municipality of Lumban celebrates the “Burda Festival.” Last week, I had the pleasure of joining this year’s festivities, which included plenty of exhibits, local products, shows, pageants, contests, and food galore!
The Burda Festival was held from September 19 to 23, 2018. The first day marked the opening of trade fair booths, which were designed by the town’s “barangays.” There was also a lively street dancing competition, followed by a spectacular fireworks display in the evening!
The following days featured a variety of shows and contests. Selected students from elementary and high school participated in an embroidery competition, while local artists tried to outdo each other in the barong-painting contest. A “burdoll” design competition was held, as well!
Meanwhile, vehicle enthusiasts were given the chance to display their impressive “rides” during the motor and car show. As for other competitions, youngsters battled it out on the dance floor with their modern dance moves, while local teachers gracefully swayed to traditional folk music.
Of course, a festival would not be complete without a beauty pageant. Representing different barangays, young men and women vied for the titles of Ginoo & Binibining Lumban 2018. The winners would go on to compete in the Ginoo & Binibining Laguna pageants, respectively.
Aside from all of these activities, the festival also held its first-ever “Carnival Queen” contest, a “bicycle ride” tour, and an art exhibit. I especially liked gazing at the “Annato” art drawings, which were hand-painted using the red-orange extract from annato or “atsuete” seeds.
What’s more, the week-long festival featured local products and delicacies. Embroidered barongs, gowns, scarves, and purses were on sale, along with “kakanin” (rice cakes), “kesong puti” (white cheese) and a Lumban specialty — “ginataang hipon” (shrimp in coconut milk)!
All fun and revelry aside, festivals such as these remind us of our history and tradition. By celebrating the “Burda Festival,” the people of Lumban take pride in their town’s legacy. Indeed, it is an event that is bound to keep the townspeople happy for more generations to come!
All photos used are from Tourism Lumban Facebook Account.