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Pavia’s Carabao-Carroza Festival 2012: Honoring the farmers’ best friend

Submitted by on May 5, 2012 – 9:41 pmNo Comment

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The carabao, because of its robust size, sheer strength, patience and perseverance under the unforgiving heat of the sun, really deserves its place as our nation’s eternal icon of our agriculture. Ever since we learned how to farm, the carabaos were there to help our hardworking farmers toil large tracts of land that produces the most abundant crops. These crops in turn nourish our growing nation – a nation that is agricultural based. With its most important contribution in our society, it is no doubt that carabaos are celebrated all over the Philippines. Here in Iloilo, we have many festivals honoring the farmer’s best friend and the oldest of these is the Carabao-Carroza Festival of Pavia.

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Now on its 40th edition, the Carabao-Carroza Festival takes pride in being the oldest and most consistent festival in the province. With its slogan, “Every May 3 since 1973”, the Carabao-Carroza Festival has brought Pavia national attention over the decades.

Last Thursday, I was honored to be able to witness the Carabao-Carroza Festival. It is now my turn to share my experience in the main event at Pavia.

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Prior to the much-awaited carabao race, the day is opened with a grand parade of colorful carrozas pulled by dressed or painted carabaos. The carrozas carry the beautiful Lin-ays of Pavia who represent every barangay in town.

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A garden on top of the carroza (it has falls on it too)

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If garden is not enough, see they were able to fit the town hall in a carroza pulled by the carabao!

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The eternal icon of Filipino Agriculture? I'd say the Pinoy farmer's best friend!

I really enjoyed looking at the beautiful carrozas which were decorated with indigenous materials and local produce.

Though Pavia is now becoming Iloilo agro-industrial center, celebrating the Carabao-Carroza Festival is more relevant than ever since it also celebrates the accomplishments of the hardworking Pavianhons. I even thought that Pavia is like the David of Iloilo – one of the smallest towns with one of the biggest potential in becoming an economic hub.

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Going back, the spectators take turns in posing and taking photos with the carrozas.

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Now, the highlight begins – the exciting carabao race.

Several carabaos with their owners joined the race. With its price bigger than ever (thanks to the help of the provincial government), more contenders participated. Some even jested that because of the prize, the carabaos themselves are very eager to win.

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And who would have thought that carabaos may run as fast as horses? The carabaos readily finished the 150 meter dash within seconds! And here we are saying that farming with carabaos is slow and obsolete.

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Definitely, carabao-racing is more fun in Pavia! A festival that is colorful as much as the town’s future, Carabao-Carroza promises to be a national tourism event in years to come.

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