Pakol Festival of Sta Catalina
The Pakol Festival of Sta. Catalina is one of the most famous festivals here in the province of Negros Oriental, celebrated annually on 24th of April. In fact, this festival became the Grand Slam Champion last 2014 with three consecutive wins during the Buglasan Festival of Negros Oriental, wherein they weren’t allowed to compete. The contingent still performed as guests and entertained the thousands of excited screaming spectators in the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex during the showdown.
Sta. Catalina is a religious community who celebrates the Pakol Festival in honor of Sta. Catalina de Alejandria, who is their patron saint. Pakol is a variety of banana that grows abundantly in the lands of Sta. Catalina.
The Pakol Festival is a dance which celebrates the abundant Pakol bananas in Sta. Catalina. With realistic banana bunch and trees the Pakol Festival gives a better scenario of the lands of Sta. Catalina. Of course monkeys love bananas; therefore, the Pakol Festival won’t be as good as it is without the cute and adorable little monkeys. Originally, these monkeys represent the pygmy monkeys which live in some forestry lands of Sta. Catalina and what great importance it does to the town.
According to the tourism office, the bananas of the festival represent the great role of bananas in the local economy of Sta. Catalina, while the monkeys represent the fragility of the balance of nature. The dance of this festival is mixed up with folk dance and traditional ritual accompanied with Latin or Samba drum beats.
The vibrant colors of yellow and orange flood the festival as costumes, floats, and even confetti. Through the years has passed, the Pakol Festival never bored the viewers and guests. With shouting and dancing, the thanksgiving of the Pakol Festival gives a more enthusiastic feeling to the town.
The search for the new Miss Sta. Catalina, street dancing, showdown, food booths and cultural show events are some of the other activities held during the Pakol Festival.