Kapaw Festival of Basay

Kapaw Festival of Basay

The Kapaw Festival of Basay is another of these most colorful and vibrant festivals here in Negros Oriental. With a theme of underwater wonders, the festival is taken into a new perspectives point of view. This festival reflects on the abundant marine resources of the municipality of Basay.

Kapaw is a Visayan word that refers to the “overflowing” catch of fishes. Some also refers it as the “Tingkapaw” Festival due to the shimmering scales of the fish produces once it reaches the surface. In honor and celebration of the abundant harvest the Kapaw Festival was created. This festival is celebrated during the surrounding days of March 19.

History of Kapaw Festival of Basay

The story went back long before the Spaniard invaded the island of Negros. The natives called Negrense, who lives near the shores of Basay, would wake up early morning to do their daily livelihood. One regular day the villagers set sail with all hopes to have a good catch. They dropped their nets and before their very eyes the overflowing harvest of fishes of all sizes, colors and variety were caught.

That is why during the festival, you can clearly see the beauty of underwater creatures as head dresses shaped into fishes are worn by the festival dancers. With uniquely designed costumes of the performers, the festival never misses to catch the eyes and the attentions of thousands of spectators.

Other events such as the search of the new Miss Basay, street dancing, showdown, food booths, trade fair, cultural shows, live bands and fireworks display are some activities that are also held to mold a better Basay Festival for the people of Basay.

As the celebration of the festival ends, the start of the town fiesta starts as an institutional mass is held at the Basay Church near the plaza. This religious and cultural tradition of the festival is celebrated to unite and harmonize the town’s people of the municipality of Basay.