Maasin comes alive with ‘Tultugan’
- Leo Solinap () - January 12, 2003 - 12:00am
MAASIN, Iloilo – For Tagalogs, tultugan sounds like tugtugan or music-playing. But for Ilonggos, it refers to a bamboo instrument which natives long ago used for communications and well, for music too.

Bamboo, that large woody plant often used to characterize the Filipino’s resiliency in difficult times, abounds in this municipality 39 kilometers from Iloilo City. No wonder, a bamboo industry thrives in this town, with local folk crafting the best sawali mats, furniture and other home decor and handicrafts this side of the archipelago.

To celebrate this abundance and productivity and promote tourism as well, the municipal government under the helm of Mayor Mariano Malones Sr. hatched the Tultugan Festival in 1999. Since then, the fest has been a much-awaited event every year.

A big boost to the festival, staged every Dec. 28, is its inclusion in the Department of Tourism’s year-round calendar of tourism activities which will surely wow locals and foreigners alike.

On its fourth year, the whole-day Tultugan was another rousing success. In the morning, seven contingents of teens clad in bamboo-derived, tribal-chic costumes competed in a street-dancing contest. The groups got ample support from schools and barangays in the town’s seven districts.

Next were twin parades – of 52 carabaos dressed up to the nines for the Gwapa-gwapo Karabaw, and of 52 roasted pigs (lechon) similarly in outlandish garb – the search for the fastest weaver of sawali mat or the Rara Amakan, and the race of "towering" men on bamboo stilts or kadang.

With its pomp and pageantry, the Tultugan has, indeed, given life and color to this Western Visayas town, recognized as a haven for mountaineers and environmentalists and a major watershed of the entire province.

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM FOR TAGALOGS GWAPA ILOILO ILOILO CITY ILONGGOS MAYOR MARIANO MALONES SR. RARA AMAKAN TULTUGAN TULTUGAN FESTIVAL WESTERN VISAYAS
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