Every month of April the people of the Municipality of Kauswagan celebrates Hugyaw sa Kadagatan, a Sea Dancing Festival, the local thanksgiving to God for the year’s bountiful harvest of the sea. Kauswagan is famous for its abundance in coastal resources such as fresh fish and shells which brought interest to business sectors to engage in food, shell craft and other industries.
With this bounty in which the people have benefitted, they have come up an idea to give thanks for the blessings they have received. Thus, Hugyaw sa Kadagatan Festival was conceived and aptly celebrated by the seas. Hugyaw is a bisayan term for “roar’ while Kadagatan refers to the “sea”.
One of the various activities and highlights the festivity is the Fluvial Parade of Floats contest, where floats are made of bamboo rafts and are being towed by a motor boat. Each float is carefully decorated to animate the marine life commonly found in the municipality. And to make it more vibrant and interesting, dancers performed on the float wearing costumes that accentuates the beautiful life of the sea.
Residents, local and foreign tourists gather annually at this time of the year to personally witness the colourful fluvial parade of floats as it passes-by at the municipal’s board walk representing each barangay of the town.
Aside from giving thanks to God, this festival also creates opportunities to organize activities that educate and motivate the fisherfolks for the preservation of marine resources as well as sustain the biodiversity in the coastal waters of Kauswagan.
The Hugway sa Kadagatan Festival coincides with the weeklong celebration of the Town’s Fiesta and Foundation Day.
Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo recognizes the importance of promoting cultural festivals such as this that will showcase the peaceful co-existence among culturally diverse people of the province. The Provincial Tourism Office is tasked by the Governor to provide assistance and collaborate with all municipalities for the promotion of festivals to help boost the Tourism Industry of the Province of Lanao del Norte, “The Land of Beauty & Bounty.” PIO-LDN