The Official Website of the City Government of Dagupan

Bangus Festival

Welcome to the Bangus Festival, an annual celebration that has grown to be a cultural icon and a defining event for the City of Dagupan, in the Philippines. Originally conceptualized in the early 1990s by Mayor Al Fernandez, the festival was initially a simple bangus harvest, or ‘Gilon,’ for visiting Balikbayans. Over the years, however, it has evolved into a grand spectacle involving street dance competitions and street extravaganzas.

The highlight of the festival is Gilon-gilon ed Dalan, a vibrant street dance competition initiated by Councilor Belen Fernandez and choreographer Resty Fernandez, which debuted during the celebration of the city’s charter. The festival also features the Kalutan ed Dalan, another signature event, both of which were crafted to celebrate the harvest of bangus, a staple and popular milkfish that has come to symbolize the city’s identity.

However, as the festival grew in popularity, it was met with some reservations from the Church authorities who felt that the celebrations overshadowed the veneration of St. John the Evangelist, the city’s Patron Saint. To address this concern, Mayor Belen Fernandez, a devout Catholic and one of the festival’s founders, sought to incorporate the city’s socio-religious heritage into the festival.

To make the connection between St. John and the festival, scriptural references where the apostle John, who was originally a fisherman, figured prominently in biblical stories of bountiful fish harvests were drawn upon. The mayor aimed to imbue the festival’s popular Gilon and Kalutan events with these religious contexts, making it not only a grand celebration but also a reflection of the community’s spiritual heritage.

This interpretation culminates with the Easter Sunday mass held at sunrise in Tondaligan, where a unique interpretation of the traditional “Abet-abet” or “Salubong” is performed, tying in with the festival’s theme. The ritual not only depicts the meeting of Jesus and Mother Mary, but also the interaction between Jesus, John, the apostles, and the fisherfolk, tying the festival to the religious roots of the city.

Thus, the Bangus Festival is not just a lively street celebration, but also a meaningful community thanksgiving that honors the city’s patron saint. This delightful blend of tradition, culture, and religion makes the Bangus Festival a truly unique and meaningful celebration. Mabuhay, Bangus Festival! Vivay masanton patron na gilon, San Juan Evangelio!

Related News

18 April 2024
4,000 SENIOR HIGH STUDENTS JOIN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION CAREER FAIR
4 May 2023
Diplomatic Corps Graces Bangus Festival 2023
14 April 2023
Gilon Gilon Ed Baley: In Honor of St. John The Fisherman
18 April 2024
4,000 SENIOR HIGH STUDENTS JOIN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION CAREER FAIR
4 May 2023
Diplomatic Corps Graces Bangus Festival 2023
14 April 2023
Gilon Gilon Ed Baley: In Honor of St. John The Fisherman