In a town called Guimbal
- Leo Solinap () - March 16, 2003 - 12:00am
What better time to stage a festival of its own! The Iloilo municipality of Guimbal believes so because it was turning three centuries old. Really, 300 years old.

Guimbal Mayor Richard Garin thus thought of staging a festival showcasing the town’s culture, adding to the continuously growing list of festivals in this country of fiestas.

Guimbal, located in southern Iloilo, named its festival Bantayan, referring to a watchtower built by the town’s forefathers from where sentinels warned the local folk on the coming of Muslims, then spreading the word of Islam, to their shores.

Actually, Garin said there were five watchtowers that have survived through the years, three of which have been restored to their old glory, thanks to the help of his father, Rep. Oscar Garin.

Last March 1, the first Bantayan Festival was staged, coinciding with the town’s main tri-centennial celebration. The festival culminated on March 5 where 13 contingents showed off their respective interpretations of the tri-centennial theme and vied for the top prize.

Other festival activities included the Porma Balas, Pinta Lawas, boat-racing, reenactment of the Moro raids, a musical concert and a food festival.

BANTAYAN FESTIVAL FESTIVAL GARIN GUIMBAL GUIMBAL MAYOR RICHARD GARIN ILOILO LAST MARCH OLD OSCAR GARIN PINTA LAWAS PORMA BALAS
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