BALBAGAN FESTIVAL celebrates the origin of the Binalbagan. It is said that in ancient times cargo of shrimps, so abundant then, often got wet and partially spoiled while in transit . To remove the slimy odor and preserve the shrimp, traders would beat barks from a tree and place them over the baskets of the shrimps. The juice of the beaten bard was believed to contain preservatives. The action of beating the bark was termed in the native language as “balbag” which later evolved into BInalbagan.
Another folklore tells the story of a huge snake that blocked the mouth of Binalbagan River. People would refer to the place as “Binalabagan” which subsequently evolved to Binalbagan.
The BALBAGAN FESTIVAL celebrates both historical and folkloric origin of Binalbagan through music and dance. The rhythm of the pounding of the bass drums, bamboo tultugan and bamboo sticks provide the appropriate beat reminiscent of the balbag ritual. The shakers produce the sound similar to the hissing of the snakes.
The choreography follows seven (7) basic movements that replicate the movements of the snakes. Dancers are either clad in fabric or body painted in red, orange, yellow, green and blue the color of snakes. Innovative and colorful accessories and headdresses accented with gold are worn to further carry the theme of the snake.
The BALBAGAN FESTIVAL is celebrated on the 15th day of May as the highlight of the annual town fiesta celebration. it is celebrated with a street dance around the Poblacion streets. Dancers make a stopover at stations to perform their dance rituals. The highlights of the festival is the Golden Unity Serpent representing the Binalbageños’ aspiration for peace, harmony and prosperity.
The climax of the street dancing is the final presentation at the Mayor Pedro T . Yulo III Sports and Cultural Center.\
|Buling-Buling||Brgy. Sto. Rosario||Santolan|
The seal of the municipality symbolizes its major economic activity- AGRICULTURE.
BINALBAGAN NEGROS OCCIDENTAL together with 1572, the year Binalbagan was founded is written within the seal. The 1572 is presented as Binalbagan prides itself as the oldest town in Western Visayas, rivaled only by Oton that was also founded in 1572.
The official seal is circular signifying the solidarity and oneness of the people. On the left side sugar the chief crop. is reflected by the symbol of the sugars mill with three smoke stacks similar to that of Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company, Inc. (BISCOM) sugar mill one of the oldest in the country. The carabao our national animal is reflected on the right side of the seal. It represents the agri- based economy of the area and depicts the strength and tenacity of Binalbageños.