Sunday, February 22, 2009

Captivating Capiz-Sinadya sa Halaran

Roxas City, Capiz -- Sinadya sa Halaran is as much an artistic and cultural celebration as it is a religious celebration. Every year, during the festival, artists emerge from their hiding places to showcase the richness and color of Capiznon tradition, arts and culture.

The parade of festivals is a grand testimony of how rich Capiznon culture is. In this parade, each municipality in the province of Capiz brings their festival to the city in the form of street dancing and pageantry. The richness of culture and tradition in the Province of Capiz and the City of Roxas is very evident in the people's way of life. Aesthetic sense and style are the most common determinants of this affinity to arts and culture.

During the festival arts and culture explode in a rainbow of colors and flavors. The fluvial parade which happens on the Panay River is a reflection of the religiosity of the Capiznons as well as it is evidence of the creativity and the artistry of the people. The solemn procession begins with the public letting afloat hundreds, or even thousands of candles covered with colored cellophane, lighting up the water for the entrance of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. The entourage of the main float of the icon is led by numerous colorful lanterns in the shape of huge fishes and other seafood to lay claim to the City's title as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines and to show gratitude for the bounties of the sea. Upon the float's docking at the bank of the river, the night sky explodes with a grand fireworks display. This is only one of the many activities that showcase Capiznon artistry and creativity.

The tribal competition which takes on seafood as its theme is also a colorful display of Capiznon talent. During this contest the streets fill up with energetic dancers in bright and innovative seafood costumes. Some come as mythical sea creatures and dance to the inviting rhythm of drums and bamboo instruments.

While Sinadya sa Halaran is one of those activities that puts Capiznon arts and culture up on a pedestal, you can simply look around you and see tangible evidence of the Capiznon artistic spirit. In the Panublion Museum one can marvel at the art work that the local artists group has created through the years. Paintings speak of pastoral scenes derived from everyday Capiznon life as well as creative and insightful renditions of issues and events. There are also sculptures and commercial art for sale that would definitely look appropriate in any metropolitan home.

The food in Capiz and Roxas City is also living evidence of Capiznon culture and tradition. Presentation may not be a big factor in Capiz culinary exploits but the flavor can make you come back for more. The secret to Capiznon cooking is particular attention given to the freshness of ingredients, as well as the harmonious mix of indigenous herbs and spices. The culinary experience in Capiz and Roxas City can be experienced during the Seafood Festival of Sinadya sa Halaran which runs every night for the entire duration of the festival. Here, local concessionaires sell their culinary masterpieces at the city plaza for all to savor and experience. Of course the best way to enjoy the country's freshest seafood is by simply broiling methods, but come to the festival and you will be astonished at how simple broiling can bring out the best in the best seafood in the country.

All in all, Roxas City and Capiz can truly present you with a very exciting mix of culture, arts, and tradition. In this place myth, legend, tradition, culture, and history blend together to give you a multi-sensory experience of what the Seafood Capital of the Philippines and the Garden Center of Panay is truly like. Sinadya sa Halaran is the best time to experience this grand unison. The festive mood will definitely plunge you into a diverse pallet of culture, history, art, and tradition. Welcome to Sinadya sa Halaran 2005!

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