Sandurot Festival | Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Dumaguete may be a city known for its everlasting quaintness. But a few times in a year it breaks out from the usual & throws in some of the best parties no one forgets. Happening every September, Sandurot Festival is one of those best times to lose it. So pack your wings & stilts — because Dumaguete is so ready to wow you!
Sandurot is derived from the Visayan word “pakig-sandurot”, meaning to “join in”. The festival celebrates the diversity of its people & the myriad of stories woven into the fabric that make Dumaguete what it is today.
Sandurot Festival: Stories from Pulang Yuta
Understanding Dumaguete brings one back to prehistoric time when the place was carved out of red earth. Along Banica River where their ancestors all began were artisans who molded earthenware from “pulang yuta”.
Over time & through various episodes in history, Dumaguete became a melting pot of people from different places. They brought with them their art, culture & cuisine that eventually created its collective dynamic social identity.
Sandurot Festival usually runs for a week beginning with the lighting of the 1811 belfry of St. Catherine de Alexandria. Then the launching of Duma Comida at the famed Rizal Boulevard follows it.
Duma Comida is a showcase of Dumaguete’s gastronomic flair. It runs throughout the festival filling everyone with delectable delights from street-style to gourmet food. But no trip here is ever complete without sampling the usual “budbod-sikwate” tandem & sylvanas. So make sure you put them in your chow list.
And if you ever miss the good old “bayle”, Sandurot Festival will bring you back to the charm of the crystal ball era. Relive the memories of the cha-cha-cha & the things that made John Travolta a legend.
Then there’s Dulang Pinoy that kicks in the fun of traditional children’s game. Yes, Gen Zs, long before electronic gadgets took over, there were “luksong baka”, “chinese garter”, “dakpanay” & tumbalata”. And who could ever forget “doctor wak-wak” & “bulan-bulan”?
Fairs, Exhibits & More Parties
Parties are everywhere during Sandurot Festival. Check out Tiki Bar & Café Racer as these are the most happening places in town. You can also stroll along Rizal Boulevard & go tipple-hopping.
Concerts & street parties are also staple attractions during this weeklong fiesta. Partyphiles from everywhere troop to Dumaguete. Even celebrities come down to chill here.
If you love handicrafts & collectible art pieces, its Creative Industries Fair is a wonderland! Make sure you reserve plenty of spaces in your luggage & watch out for Subida Souvenirs.
But amidst all the frenzy, don’t miss out on Sandurot Festival’s highlight activities. It opens with “paghihimat” where the story of the city is told in dance, music & mime. It is then followed by “pasigarbo” where major thoroughfares transform into a live stage filled with street dancers & drum-beating musicians.
As if the pageantry is not enough, it ends with “pasundayag” where each contingent battle for the grand prize in an intense performance showdown. It is then capped with a spectacular fireworks display.
Sandurot Festival is always a good time to visit Dumaguete City. It loses you in the poetry of its cityscape & art. It tickles your fancies with heart-thumping happenings & attractions.
Just a gentle reminder though, it’s easy to fall in love with Dumaguete. And what they say about the hashtag #DumaGeTMe is all so true.