Thousands join Dapitan’s Kinabayo merrymaking

DAPITAN CITY (MindaNews / 25 July) – This city brimmed with colors and sounds Tuesday as it culminated its weeklong Kinabayo Festival 2017.

Street dancing participants entertain the crowd as Dapitan City’s Kinabayo Festival 2017 ends Tuesday (25 July 2017). MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Known as the “Shrine City of the Philippines,” Dapitan City capped the festival with a street dancing and parade of horses.

Thousands of people, including local and foreign tourists, flocked to the streets to join the merrymaking.

Apple Marie Agolong, city tourism officer, thanked the stakeholders for participating in the various activities lined up for the festival.

“We’re striving each year to make the festival better,” she said, citing the instruction from Dapitan Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos to enhance the locality’s tourism industry.

Dapitan, where national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was exiled for four years from 1892-1896, holds the annual Kinabayo Festival in honor of their patron saint, Saint James the Greater, who is also the patron saint of Spain.

On Monday, thousands of residents gathered at the St. James Church, the main Catholic cathedral at the town center, to show their devotion to their patron saint.

Locals started to converge at the cathedral at 8 a.m. for the mass that was followed by the kissing of the image of St. James that devotees believe to be miraculous.

At noontime, they brought the image of St. James outside the church to be paraded around the city’s plaza.

With leaves waved wildly in the air, they chanted “Viva Senyor Santiago” as the figurine left the church.

St. James is reverently called by locals as Senyor Santiago.

A briefer said that Kinabayo is an exotic and colorful pageant reenacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, particularly the Battle of Clavijo.

In that battle, the Spanish forces took their last stand against the Saracens. They were able to reverse the tide of war with the miraculous apparition of Saint James. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)