The Pagdaug Saludan Festival in held annually in Tigbauan, Iloilo Province. Pagdaug-Saludan Festival means the victory of our people. The Pagdaug-Saludan Festival is both cultural and historical. It highlights the culture of the residents of Tigbauan and how “salud” has become part of their everyday life. It will also show the struggle that our people experienced during World War II under the Japanese occupation and more importantly, it will give due recognition to the courage, bravery and heroism of those who fought against the invaders to eventually regain peace and freedom that led to our victory day.
March 18 has been a significant date for the people of Tigbauan because on that date, the historical “Liberation of Panay and Romblon” took place on the shores of Parara on March 18, 1945. In Proclamation No. 430 issued in 1989 by former President Corazon Aquino, or “An Act Declaring March 18 of every year as Victory Day in the Islands of Panay and Romblon including the cities of Iloilo and Roxas” March 18 was declared as a special non-working holiday for the three island. The proclamation said in part, “March 18, 1945 is a great historical and sentimental significance to both the veterans and the people of Panay and Romblon because it was the day when the Panay Guerilla Forces launched the final assault on the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces. This event is not only part of Tigbauenos history, the same has a huge significance in the colorful Philippine History.
To further highlight the act of heroism of the local heroes who fought for freedom against Japanese occupation during the Second Wold War and at the same time to educated the younger generation of the importance of nationalism, courage and bravery to our present enjoyment of democracy, March 18 will be made even more enjoyable.
Apart from the usual floral offering annually done at the “landmark” presently located between the boundaries of barangay Parara Norte and Parara Sur, the Local Government Unit of Tigbauan is taking the celebration one step further making March 18 as the official festival date of the Municipality and the said festival will be officially called as “Pagdaug-Saludan Festival”
“Pagdaug”, is a Hiligaynon term which means victory in recognition of the significance of March 18, 1945 being the Victory Day of Panay and Romblon as contained in Proclamation 430. Indeed, that historical event on March 18, 1945 marked the success of not only the American forces who landed in the shores of Tigbauan against the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces, it is more importantly the victory of our local freedom fighters, our Philippine Veterans who did not allow oppression to continue in our very own soil. The March 18, 1945 event happened nowhere else but in our very own Tigbauan. The victory of our forefathers deserves a huge celebration. Their good example of courage, bravery and love for our land must not only be remembered by must be replicated by today’s generation. Previously, the municipality launched a local cultural festival known as Saludan Festival which is being celebrated every last week of October. The framers of the said festival derived the name Saludan from the word salud. The rationale of the said festival states among others that:
“Tigbauan is coastal town its sea water abounds in different kinds of fish. An excerpt from a book, “The Philippine Islands,” by Blair and Robertson; 1493.1898; Vol. XII, pp. 217, 219-220 of which Fr. Pedro Chirino related his experience and observations about our town states that, “The village itself was on the same shore, at the mouth of the river, of which I myself have enjoyed in abundance. As they were continually fishing on the beach, usually with three or four nets, they never made a haul without devoutly is regaling us with a part of it”. Since the beginning of recorded history-Spanish time, our fishermen have used nets or woven bamboos to catch fish from the sea or river and in the local dialect we call this salud. On the other hand, aside from our water resources, our forest, farmers and hills also abound in rich natural resources. The book further states; “Tigbauan has a very beautiful district with many villages extending more than six leagues along the coast of the sea; the entire district is well supplied with game, fruits, and vegetables and fish from the sea. The people are very industrious and always pre-occupied the men with their fisheries and farming, the women with their spinning and weaving..” Primarily our farm product is rice. Whether crude farming ways and tools or modern agricultural machineries are used we use the term salud. I threshing rice using the old method or the modern equiptment – kita nagasalud gihapon. Our tuba is famous for its sweetness and as practiced “ang tuba ginasalud kang salud”, and salud also means the method of catching “Hipon” or shrimps “Salud ta sa Palupadan”.
“Pagdaug-Saludan Festival”-is both cultural and historical. It will highlight the way of living of the people of Tigbauan in the past and how “salud” has become part of their every fishing and farming. It will also show the struggle that our people experienced during the World War II under the Japanese occupation and more importantly it will give due recognition to the courage, bravery and heroism of those who fought against the invaders to eventually regain peace and freedom that led to our victory day. Today, we are visitors. We enjoy freedom and independence in our peaceful and progressive municipality. However, the present day Tigbaueno has new struggles and battles to fight against with. As we look back and reminisce our glorious past we must find source of inspiration to have the same courage, bravery and heroism to rise above our modern day struggle and difficulties. We must remain victorious