Pakol Festival of Santa Catalina
Santa Catalina – Negros Oriental
The Pakol Festival in the municipality of Santa Catalina is celebrated annually in the month of April. Santa Catalina is famous for their pakol (special type of banana with seeds inside) which drew attention to the wild monkeys from the mountains. Santa Catalina is about 97 kilometers/ 60 miles from Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental.
Pakol Festival and its History
Back in the olden days, wild monkey would somehow roam around from the mountains to the town center of Santa Catalina. The people didn’t mind for they enjoyed watching these adorable creatures. But there were times when they would destroy belongings, steal harvests and caused trouble to the municipality. The farmers and the town’s people decided to harvest some of the pakol banana and feed these wild creatures. Naturally, it worked and peace among nature and mankind was solved.
The Pakol Festival is celebrated along the street of the town plaza with their colorful gown costumes and pakol bananas and baskets as props. Little kids would dress up as monkeys as they act silly during the street dancing and showdown. Various concepts and creative story line are very much welcomed as an add-on to the festival.
Of course, other events such as the Miss Santa Catalina beauty pageant, live bands, and variety shows are being held as well during the celebration. Food booths and bargained goods are being sold as well for either souvenirs or budget reasons.
The Pakol Festival is usually concluded with a fiesta and a bonggacious (extravagant) party where locals and guests dance the night away.