OBANDO'S STA. CLARA FERTILITY FESTIVAL BEGINS
Obando, Bulacan, May 17, 1998 - One of the country's most popular Maytime festivals is the fertility fiesta in Obando, popularly known as the Kasilonawan Festival, attended every year by busloads of local and foreign tourists who come as observers and participants. People from all parts of the world come to Obando to seek divine help in getting pregnant and in finding the right mate.
The unique lure of the Kasilonawan is the hope it gives to childless couples. Held every year from May 17 to May 19, it is highlighted by the pandanggo dance of childless couples to the tune of Santa Clarang Pinong Pino. The dance-prayer is a ritual dedicated to Santa Clara, the patron saint of infanticipating mothers.
The two other patron saints of Obando are San Pascual Baylon, who is said to help unmarried individuals find their ideal mate; and Nuestra Senora de Salambao, protector of fishermen and farmers.
Obando's fertility rites date back to pre-Spanish times when it was organized by a priestess called Kataloran. The rites were performed in the house of the datu or barangay chieftain.
Fertility rites were resorted to because being barren or childless was considered a disgrace in the old days.
The town of Obando was established by Gobernador Jose Francisco de Obando y Solis on May 14, 1753.
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