La Carlota celebrating 35th Pasalamat Festival

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


THE City of La Carlota is celebrating the 35th year of Pasalamat Festival this week, from April 28 to May 4.

“Pasalamat,” a Hiligaynon term for “thanksgiving,” brings together the La Carloteños in unity and thanksgiving to God for the bountiful harvests and the blessings of life. It also highlights the people’s perseverance despite life’s difficulties.

What makes the Pasalamat Festival unique is its original Sambita beat, played by its very own drumbeaters using percussion instruments.

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The danceable beat was composed by its former mayor, Luis Jalandoni Jr., himself a bongo drum player. He also made indigenous percussion instruments from bamboo, drums from cowhide, and agogo bells.

The festival attracts local and international tourists as merrymakers don colorful costumes fashioned out of indigenous materials, while dancing to the unique Pasalamat beat.

Pasalamat Festival is one of the most colorful and festive celebrations in the province. It won third place in the Best Festival Dances in the recent Panaad sa Negros Festival.

Started in 1979, Pasalamat has indeed grown into a popular festival. The Department of Tourism has accredited Pasalamat Festival as one of the Fiesta Destinations in the Philippines. In fact, it even included the Pasalamat drumbeaters in the Philippine delegation to the 2005 World Expo in Japan.

“The City of La Carlota invites everyone to witness and enjoy the festivity as we celebrate the 35th Pasalamat Festival. Join us in our yearly thanksgiving and merry-making,” says Mayor Juliet Marie Ferrer.

SMB Night Street Party happens at 7 p.m. today. Tomorrow is Rhythm Competition at 5 p.m. On Friday is Awit-Sayaw Onse grand finals at 7:30 p.m., while on Saturday is the Pasalamat Queen 2014 Coronation Night. On Sunday, the Festival Dance and Float Parade and Arena Dance Competition will be held at 3 p.m. This will be capped with a Party at the Park featuring live bands until 12 midnight, with fireworks display.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 30, 2014.

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