City of Batangas, July 16, 2003 (MALAYA) City transforms into a "city of culture" as it revives old customs and traditions in celebration of the "Sublian Festival" in observance of the City's 34th Foundation Day, July 17 to 23. With the theme "A Date with Batangueño Traditions," the week-long Festival features customary events such as household serenades, a farm skills olympics, a Santacruzan, a folk dance competition, a recitation of the 'lua' - a religious poem, and prayer vigils, among others.

On July 20, there will be a Palaro ng Lahi which will highlight indigenous team games such as patintero, dinuron, culliot, kadang-kadang, tayakad (race on stilts), sabong (cock fight) and karera sa sako (sack race) which are dying because of the advent of Western sports. Other sporting events are a five-kilometer fun run around the city's major streets and a 'paraw' regatta on the Calumpang River.

The highlight of the festivity is the Foundation Day Parade and the Sublian sa Kalye on July 23 where participants will parade in native attire dancing the "Subli," a Batangueño liturgical dance. In lieu of motorized floats, participating delegations will be on board carabao-drawn carriages.

After the parade, the public will take part in the 'Lupakan' - a sampling of the local delicacy 'nilupak' at the City Hall Complex. In the afternoon, old folks from neighboring towns of Lobo, Bauan and Agoncillo will compete as they perform the more authentic form of the Subli.

Sublian was introduced in 1988 by Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha and revive the traditional devotional dance which plays homage to the Holy Cross. "With the Festival, we want to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city despite its rapid industrialization and urbanization," Dimacuha said.

The capital of Batangas province for more than 200 years now, Batangas City was chartered on July 23, 1969 in observance of the birth anniversary of the Sublime Paralytic Apolinario Mabini, brains of the Philippine Revolution.

For more information, call the office of the City Mayor at 043-7231558.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved