Binirayan Festival

Binirayan Festival
Binirayan Festival

Antique is host to the Binirayan Festival, a month-long festival that starts in early December. It commemorates the arrival of Bornean Datus and honors the Malay roots of the Antique locals.

The term binirayan literally translates to “where they sailed to,” referring to where the Bornean Datus sailed upon arriving at Panay island.

It commemorates the legend of the arrival of the ten Bornean datus on the island of Aninipay now known as Panay. As Governor Evelio B. Javier, the Father of the Binirayan Festival, reminded the Antiqueños during the earlier celebrations, “let us gather the strands and memories of our past, as we look back with pride, that we may look ahead with confidence to Antique tomorrow.”
Actually, Binirayan Festival’s permanent theme is “Retracing Roots, Celebrating Culture and Greatness.”

The festival opens with a parade from the Pantalan Port to Malandog beach, believed to be where the ancestors docked. This glorious celebration continues with theatrical street plays where performers are adorned in full Malayan costumes and traditional rituals are performed in Binirayan locations.

By the sea, a colorful flotilla attracts onlookers. Street dancing competitions, beauty contests, and exhibitions of local arts, crafts, and products complete this month-long festival.

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