NOW on its 47th year, Pavia’s Carabao-Carroza Festival remains an enduring celebration of the local industry, perseverance, and grit of the Pavianhons!
The carabao is considered as the Philippines’ unofficial national animal. A symbol of determination and strength, the humble animal has been the Filipino farmers’ companion in plowing their fields since the dawn of agricultural in the country.
Despite its burgeoning industrial and residential developments, Pavia town remembers its agricultural roots and continues to recognize the importance of farming and the humble carabao – vowing to continue to preserve it – through its annual celebration and revelry in honor of the burdened farmhand.
The town of Pavia kicked off the annual festival, dedicated to its livestock, with the annual Carabao-Carroza parade and race on May 3 – the yearly festivity now being dubbed the longest existing festival in Iloilo Province.
The Carabao-Carroza Festival celebrates Pavia’s rich agricultural culture. A highlight of the festival was the carabao race held at Pavia National High School grounds. For years, this has been the highlight of the festivities. Before the pioneering race competition, 18 decorated bamboo carrozas (carts), representing the 18 barangays of Pavia, paraded around the town.
The festival boasts Pavia’s rich cultural heritage and long history. It also helps a great deal in preserving this indigenous celebration in Iloilo. Despite the advent of modern machinery rapidly replacing our carabaos for agriculture making most of the farm work mechanized, the Carabao-Carroza festival continuous to rise to greater heights with the progress of Pavia.
Celebrated annually every May 3 since 1973, the festival is an avenue for Pavianhons to express their creativity as an ingenious people, and perpetuate the heritage of the town as an agricultural community.
The festival, which highlights the celebration of the town fiesta, has three main attractions: the Carabao-Carroza Parade, Carabao-Carroza Race, and the Search for the Carabao-Carroza Queen.
The town’s festival is one of the longest provincial tourism events in Iloilo, just one year younger than the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival of Iloilo City./PN