Green Events – An Earth Friendly Bakhaw Festival In Siargao Island

Green Events – What Is It?

Green events are earth friendly, green initiatives to save the environment having focus on a practice, technology or cause such as fairs and festivals that are environment friendly like a green festival in Siargao Island promoting environmental awareness, which is an emerging attraction among island vacations buffs, dubbed as Bakhaw or Mangrove Festival in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, Philippines.

Green Events – Why Witness The Bakhaw Festival?

I have heared from a lot of friends that the present leadership of Mayor Alfredo Matugas Corro II in the town of Del Carmen, in Siargao Island, which adjacenht to Bucas Grande Island, has lined-up a number of activites, among them green events, for their 376th Annual Town Fiesta Celebration. Such news were validated when my good friend Engr. Rolando Ruaya, Del Carmen Municipal Engineer and colleague in the Board of Directors of Siargao Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SIARELCO) who invited me to come for their fiesta celebration and witness the Bakhaw or Mangrove Festival . Being a green events aficionado, I accepted his invitation without batting an eye lash.

From the Socorro Port in Bucas Grande Island, I took a passenger motorized boat and traveled for one hour cruising through a placid channel towards the town of Dapa- the gateway and commercial center of Siargao Island. From there, I hired a passenger motorcycyle locally termed habal-habal. After a 30-minute travel on a newly-completed Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP), we reached Barangay Sayak, Del Carmen and, upon chancing massive construction works going-on in Siargao Airport, I told the driver to head left and see for myself what’s up in the said spot. As we stopped at the airport grounds, this sight greeted my eyes . . .

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Greetings from Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Matugas Coro II; Surigao del Norte Governor Sol F. Matugas and Siargao Congressman Francisco T. Matugas prominently displayed at the Siargao Airport arrival area warmly welcoming guests and visitors to Siargao Island.

I then took shots of the existing terminal building as well as the new terminal building under construction .  . .

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The existing Siargao Airport Terminal Building . . .

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. . . and the modern Siargao Airport Terminal Building on its finishing touches.

I cannot help but admire the Php 25 Million-worth upgrading of Siargao Airport Project due for inauguration on September 20, 2011 with no less that His Excellency Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III being invited as the guest of honor . . .

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The state-of-the-art control tower, terminal building and other facilities of Siargao Airport eyeing to achieve the distinction as the most modern airport in Mindanao Island.

Afterwards, we traveled for another 15 minutes until we reached the Del Carmen town center and stopped at the foot of this imposing welcome arch displaying the theme of one of the fiesta celebrations’s green events, the Bakhaw Festival . . .

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An arch welcoming the guests and visitors to the 376th Annual Town Fiesta Celebration in Honor of Patron Saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

While strolling on various parts of the poblacion, I chanced upon folks gazing intently at the roster of green events and fiesta celebrations within the town  jurisdiction displayed prominently at the port area. . .

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A tarpauline announcing the various fiesta and green events in Del Carmen

The Bakhaw Festival kicked-off at the Del Carmen Port at exactly 2:00 in the afternoon. A spectacular street dancing among the 5 contestant-delegations plus the LGU-Del Carmen dancers ensued at the major town thoroughfare followed by stationary dance renditions in front of the Roman Catholic Church. The contingents then headed towards the Numancia Central Elementary School oval grounds for the grand finale presentation.

During his speech, Mayor Alfredo M. Coro explained in detail that Siargao Island has a total mangrove forest area of 8,620 hectares, in which,  a single mangrove forest block consisting of 4,200 hectares serving as home to a variety of flora and fauna including the engandered saltwater crocodile,  is found in the municipality of Del Carmen. He stressed the need for the populace to conserve the mangroves for the present and future generations. And, to drive  mangrove  conservation awareness into the townfolks psyche,  the Bakhaw or Mangrove Festival was undertaken 4 years ago and every year thereafter with this year’s activity bearing the theme Bakhaw Festival: A Celebration To Attain A Socially, Economically and Environmentally Stable Del Carmen. . .

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The young Mayor Alfredo M. Corro II exhorting the people to capture the messages to be delivered by the Bakhaw Festival performers.

After the declaration of the official start of the green events, story lines were read by the participating performers. Then, drums rolled. . . bugles barked . . .lyers sounded with performers in colorful dance costumes executing dance steps in various dance routines in accordance with the dance choreography. The concepts of all the six performing groups focused on the need to preserve the town’s mangrove forests and appealing for the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to help the local folks in their efforts to save the mangrove ecosystem.

The LGU-Del Carmen performers during their exhibition performance. . .

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The LGU-Del Carmen performers depicting the star dancer on a banca ride cruising the mangrove forest driving home the point to Save Mangroves, Save Water, Save Trees, Save Lives!

Then came the first contestant- performers from the Don Mariano Matugas Memorial High School together with the first 10 barangays of Del Carmen namely: Antipolo, Bitoon, Cabugao, esperanza, Katipunan, Lobogon, Mahayahay, Quezon, Sayak and Tuboran.

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The 1st Contestant-group on their best performance earning for them the 3rd Prize and Best in Street Dancing Award.

Contestant No. 2- performers from Del Carmen National High School (DCNHS) with another 10 barangays of Del Carmen (Pob.), San Jose (Pob.), Caub, Halian, Cancohoy, Domoyog, San Fernando, Bagacay, Mabuhay and Jamoyaon followed suit. . .

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The 2nd Contestant-performers in one of their best performances which catapulted them to the Championship Prize and Best in Choreography Award.

Contestant number 3- performers from Oguing Navarro Memorial National High School (ONMNHS) with the Allied Agencies also made sure that they would not be left behind . . .

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Performers belonging to Contestant No. 3 paying homage to the image of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel.

The 2nd to the last contestant- performers from the Numancia Central Elementary School representing the Department of Education East and West Districts also tried their very best not to be outdone by the other performers . . .

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Contestant No. 4 performers on their best rendition. . .

Finally, contestant No. 5 comprising performers from Siargao College of Science and Technology (SNCST) showed up determined to show their dancing prowess . . .

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The 2nd Prize, Most Disciplined and Best in Costumes Award-winning performance of Contestant No. 5 depicting the endangered saltwater crocodile attacking an abusive fishermen caught destroying the Del Carmen mangrove ecosystem.

Green Events – Final Thoughts

Fairs and festivals veterans have had expressed their valid concerns on the degradation of the once highly-esteemed festivals into a common phenomena nowadays. While there are lots of festivals whose significance had passed the test of time, others are just absurd events with some of them dying down on their natural death right after the maiden presentation. But the Bakhaw Festival in Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Philippines is one of a kind. Its uniqueness rests on being a festival celebrating nature and its bounties. It is an annual undertaking destined to be catapulted into one of the best festivals and green events in the country that is worthy of your visit in the very near future.


  1. very nice festival! kumpleto ang video, love it!

  2. Wow, Edelito. This looks lovely. I’d heard of Mindanao, wonder why I hadn’t heard of Siargao?
    Thanks for posting this. A very beautiful event!

  3. wow!!! into my bucket list! thanks for sharing your experience with us…

    • Thanks for dropping by. Had visited your great site and I wonder if you would like me to write a review of your resort. We need to go hand in hand in promoting Siargao, Bucas Grande- my island home, being a part of it.

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