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Festivals Masbate Philippines Travel

San Pascual | Colors and Faces of Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance 2015

With already so many festivals in the country, why check out the Isla Rancho Festival in San Pascual, Masbate? In a province known mainly for its vast fields for grazing cattle and cowboys overlooking the many ranches of its three islands, it is interesting to see how this cowboy culture is infused with their celebration in reverence to their patron saint San Pascual. The Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance competition was one of the highlights of their 8-day Isla Rancho Festival. This colorful spectacle from performormances from eight groups of the 22 villages in San Pascual creatively showcased the traditional festive atmosphere similar to many popular festivals in the country with a unique cowboy kick twist.

Brgy Bulod for Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance 2015
Brgy Bulod for Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance 2015

With already so many festivals in the country, why check out the Isla Rancho Festival in San Pascual, Masbate? In a province known mainly for its vast fields for grazing cattle and cowboys overlooking the many ranches of its three islands, it is interesting to see how this cowboy culture is infused with their celebration in reverence to their patron saint San Pascual. The Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance competition was one of the highlights of their 8-day Isla Rancho Festival. This colorful spectacle from performormances from eight groups of the 22 villages in San Pascual creatively showcased the traditional festive atmosphere similar to many popular festivals in the country with a unique cowboy kick twist.

Hello from the young cowboys and cowgirls of San Pascual
Hello from the young cowboys and cowgirls of San Pascual

San Pascual

An island of ranches is what Isla Rancho means. Burias Island, one of the three islands of Masbate is dominated by ranches hence the name. There are two main towns on the island, San Pascual on the northern end and Claveria in the middle. The Isla Rancho Festival is a festivity in San Pascual town. It is a young festival, only on its second year to entice more tourist to the region but San Pascual town itself was founded 184 years ago. The festival dates coincides with its founding anniversary, this year at May 10–17, 2015.

Colorful costumes made with native materials
Colorful costumes made with native materials

Cowboys and Cowgirls

The schedule for the Isla Rancho Festival Streetdance was on a Friday, May 15, 2015, the day the group was also set to leave the island. We thought we won’t be able to witness their parade but it was fortunate the program would start early in the morning. We had time to see them prepare as they assemble near the school grounds. One by one the participating groups came in and it was great to see their dazzling costumes. The festival queens were the more heavily adorned and we had a chance to see how it takes a number of people to properly attach all the items of her costume.

Make up preparation as early as 6am
Make up preparation as early as 6am
It takes a number of people to dress up this festival queen from Brgy Dancalan
It takes a number of people to dress up this festival queenfrom Brgy Dancalan
Elaborate costume with mirrors for this queen
Elaborate costume with mirrors for this queen
Like a ring of blue flames for Brgy Busing Festival Queen
Like a ring of blue flames for Brgy Busing Festival Queen
Sometimes a simple cowboy belt and lasso would do for this lovely Festival Queen from Brdy Bulod
Sometimes a simple cowboy belt and lasso would do for this lovely Festival Queen from Brdy Bulod

More story and photos on the next page…

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