Agusanon Pride - Naliyagan Festival

The Festival

Naliyagan Festival is celebrated annually, highlighting the commemoration of the founding anniversary of Agusan del Sur every 17th of June. Also called the Bai Naliyagan, the week-long event showcases the culture and products of the province.

The event starts with a Manobo ritual where high priest of the Manobos called the baylan summons the spiritis of the forest, giving them a safe day in celebrating the occasion, same time driving away the evil spirits to avoid mishaps. A hog is butchered as its blood is offered by the priests, praying to appease the evil spirits in exchange of the safety of the people. Tobacco, eggs, fowls, gin, candles, fruits, and leaves chewed by natives, used as a concoction called mama, are also offered.

After the spiritual ceremonies, an event called the raising of the colors is held. Each barangay has their own flag raised at its designated flag pole in the Naliyagan Plaza. Soon, a giant balloon along with small balloons are released, representing dreams, hopes, and aspirations of the people of Agusan.

From day one to day six, an array of activities are prepared to be witnessed, especially by local and foreign tourists, who are drawn in every celebration, and keep on increasing year after year. One factor the Naliyagan appeals to the crowd is the holding of the Bai Naliyagan Beauty Pageant, participated by local beauties from 13 towns.

Activities in the festival are the Agri-industrial Fair, where indigenous cottage and agricultural products are displayed for sale, essay writing, cock derby, native games such as spear throwing, boat rowing, boxing, night concert on the culmination night, various sport competition, airsoft tournament, rappelling exhibition, which is participated by several teams all over Mindanao, the Naliyagan Agri-lympics featuring the biggest farm produce, fastest manual rice miller, mudfish relay, fastest fir maker contest, piglet catching, tribal street dancing competition that highlights the colorful ethnic display of the Manobo dance that has proven to be the top crowd drawer during the festivity.

All the natives of the river valley of Agusan del Sur come together, displaying their very own dances, songs, products of both agricultural and cottage industries, and handicrafts that pictures the lifestyle of the early natives.



Due to the continous support of the indigenous people of the Agusan, the Governor of the province came up with an opportunity to feature these indigenous people, showcasing their cultural heritage, products, artifacts, and their practices, in an event that fall the same day as the foundation anniversary of Agusan.
To have it addressed by a fitting name, the Governor sought the help of the Manobo elders, and chose naliyagan, meaning the chosen one and the most loved. Thus the Naliyagan Festival is born, being celebrated at the Naliyagan Plaza, same space where official celebration in the province and official programs are held.

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