TUGOB, an Ormoc City Festival
A celebration of thanksgiving. Lively festival music reverberated in the air of Ormoc City. Thousands of Ormocanon merry makers joined the festival, which is one of the highlights of it’s annual week-long celebration of the “Adlaw sa Ormoc” every 2oth of the month of October for its Charter Day anniversary.
Clad in colorful attires, the festival participants stomped their feet on the ground, raised their arms, slapped their thighs, clapped their hands and shouted in unison as they thanked the Lord for a bountiful harvest and for bestowing the city an array of natural resources.
Tugob is a Visayan word that means bountiful or abundant. Residents of Ormoc City in the western part of Leyte speak Cebuano, unlike those in the east who speak Waray.
Ten contingents participated in the festival. Each of them was named after the resources that the city is enjoying most: coconut, rice, pineapple, livestock, minerals, sugarcane, vegetable, fish, steam and water.
City officials, employees and the people of Ormoc City with tourists will witness the event that will start at early in the morning with the street dancing competition. The dance parade passed through the major streets in the city and lasted until noon that day.
Then by early afternoon, the Tugob dance showdown started at the Ormoc City Central School grounds/Ormoc City Superdome (depending on the availability of the venue) attracting thousands of spectators.
In the street dancing contest, each contingent was given at most five minutes to present in a predesignated area along the major streets of the city.
During the Tugob Festival dance showdown at the designated venue, each contingent was given 6 to 10 minutes to present their number.
Each participating contingent depicted through a dance the livelihood that the food and natural resources have given the people, giving more emphasis on their assigned resources.
For instance, the white-clad Steam contingent gave focus on geothermal steam that provides geothermal energy and produces electricity.
Ormoc City, together with Kananga town in Leyte, hosts the Leyte Geothermal Production Field. Today, the geothermal plants in Ormoc City provide electricity not only to the city but also to other parts of the region and some provinces in the Visayas and Luzon.
On the other hand, the Pineapple contingent depicted in their dance how a native Ormocanon, Sabin Larrazabal, was able to nurture the pineapple variety that he got from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Starting from a small plot, the farm grew to 200 hectares, and is now producing more than 2,000 sweet pineapples daily. The famous pineapple variety is popularly known as Ormoc’s “Queen Pineapple.”
Tugob Festival, truly celebrates bounty in the city of Ormoc…
Photos by: Alan C. Noval