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Leganes’ Saad Festival 2012: A religious and cultural pilgrimage

Submitted by on April 22, 2012 – 8:29 pmNo Comment

Leganes, the Mecca of Western Visayas because of the town’s intense and popular devotion to San Vicente Ferrer, once again successfully staged the 8th edition of Saad Festival. A moment of joyous but solemn, religious yet exciting event for the people of Leganes and the devotees of San Vicente Ferrer. Saad Festival 2012 is a showcase for the Leganesnons’ unique place in Ilonggo society with regards to faith and devotion.

leganes church

Hopping on a jeepney at Jaro, I arrived late at the street dancing. Though I came an hour after the dancing started, I did not miss the last two groups. Dancing on the Saad music are school children in their beautiful and colorful dresses. The moves are identical as they are based on the Saad “dance moves”. Really loved the Saad music, it stuck on my head for days.

leganes saad


One of the “hubons” or groups who participated in the Saad Festival Street Dancing.

leganes plaza

Although spiritual in nature, the Saad Festival is also an opportunity for the people of Leganes to have fun and merry making. After all, it is also a thanksgiving to the blessings that were bestowed upon them by San Vicente Ferrer.

Processions – you’ll never miss them in this festival. Later in the afternoon of the festival’s highlights is a grand procession for the town’s patron saint, San Vincente Ferrer. This procession is unlike no other, it’s colorful, solemn and deeply devotional. The participants wear traditional Filipino dresses and formal barongs.



The parish priest blesses the image of the patron saint


A candle for Señor San Vicente Ferrer


A truly Ilonggo sign of devotion is the Palapak. This is done by gently pressing the base of a small image of San Vicente Ferrer on the head of the devotee. Palapak is usually performed for healing, for blessing, and also as an act of devotion. Many wonders and miracles were attributed through the intercession of the saint. Devotion to San Vicente Ferrer extends beyond the boundaries of Leganes and is popular all over the province of Iloilo.

One of the festival’s highlights is the cultural competition which was held in the evening. The performances are flying with colors and style. Very religious in theme, the presentations also mirror the rich culture of Leganes. Aiming to make the presentations truly world-class, the organizers invited prestigious judges who are experts in performing arts. These are the highlights of the Hubons’ performances:

Hubon Manalagna

Hubon Manug Iwag

Hubon Makugui

Getting There:

Leganes is a town north of Iloilo City. It is accessible through the Western Nautical Highway or locally known as McArthur Highway. From the airport, you may take shuttle buses going to SM City Iloilo and from there you can ride a jeepney straight to Leganes. Travel time is around 20 to 30 minutes.

About Saad Festival:

Saad Festival is a religious fiesta aimed at honoring San Vicente Ferrer and also as a venue to enrich the culture and spiritual heritage of Leganes. It came from the word, “saad”, a Hiligaynon term which means “a vow”. Definitely Saad Festival is a yearly vow among Leganesnons to express devotion and gratitude to their patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer. It is usually held on the first week of April or adjusted depending on the year’s schedule of the Holy Week. 

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