Buglasan 2016: Festival of Festivals in the City of Gentle People

The Buglasan Festival is a week-long commemoration of all festivals held every second week of October in Negros Oriental’s capital – Dumaguete City dubbed as the City of Gentle People. It is an annual festivity of the island’s antiquity and diversity showcasing its cultural treasures that progressed from the many festivals from municipalities and cities in Negros Oriental.

Buglasan Festival is a summit of these local festivals as a commemoration of each patron saint. Thus came to be known as the festival of festivals.

Why is it called Buglasan?Buglasan Street Dance

Buglasan came from the word “Buglas” which is the former name of Negros. According to two popular narratives, “buglas” came from 1) the tall perennial reeds known as “buglas” that were said to be predominant vegetation on the place at that time 2) when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi anchored Bohol, he was intrigued by the neighboring island (Buglas) that he sent an expedition team to explore the area wherein the crew encountered several dark-skinned natives. Thereafter, Buglas was then called NEGROS.

Ariel of The Little Lai:Beyond Limits  and I had our early trip bound for Dumaguete City. We arrived at around 10AM on 14th of October, 2016. We went directly to our accommodation at La Residencia Almar Hotel. After our early check-in and meet up with our host from Negros Tourism (on behalf of NOCCI), we had our lunch at Captain Ribbers and while we were eating our mouthwatering boodle style lunch, the heavens cried. I was a bit worried as the parade would start at 2PM and yet it was still raining when we were about to head back to the hotel to get our cameras before joining in the parade.

Transportation was a bit of a challenge as most trike drivers won’t haul us near the Provincial Capitol due to the traffic caused by the parade and some road closure. After several tries, we finally got our ride.

Despite the heavy rains, “the show must go on, rain or shine! “The parade went on as planned even if the participants were soaked wet while dancing on the streets. All you can see on their faces are smiles and enthusiasm.

Parada Negorense started at 2PM from Quezon park to Provincial Capitol forecourt. It was joined by different participants from different LGU’s and schools. It showcased their respective talents, produce, patron saint devotion and or local culture.

Buglasan Beauty Queens Parade

Festival Highlights:

  • Booths from different cities/municipalities

Each booth brings the experience of their localities for the tourist to experience what each municipality has to offer from arts, culture, cuisine and different produce such as fruits and vegetables.

Buglasan Booth

  • Float Parade

An eye-catching parade of floats clearly depicts the creativity and resourcefulness of the people. This is one of the most awaited events that fascinates and interests’ tourists to come and witness the event.

Buglasan Floats

  • Street Dancing

This will showcase the talents of the local people in dancing and creativity that offers a great opportunity for the public to experience and witness this fun and colorful activity.


  • Shows

From the opening until the last day of the festival, there are shows held in different locations within the city. These shows are not limited to concerts, Talent shows, beauty pageants, etc.

Buglasan Republikaravan

After the parade with the unfriendly rain, we got to witness the awarding ceremony of the brilliant people of Negros oriental who bring home honor from competitions both local and international. We had dinner on one of the food stalls at freedom Park, we chose to eat in the stalls and not on the restaurants for the purpose of immersing ourselves to the locals and taste their local foods. There were a lot of stalls for almost everything, food, pasalubong, fruits, local produce, and even telco like Globe/TM.

Buglasan Party

One of the highlights on the opening day was the opening of LGU Freedom Fair Booths at Capitol forecourt with the fireworks display. We’re not too lucky as we were having our dinner when the firework display had started.

We had checked these booths after dinner and we were in awe because it was really an eye-candy. These booths were well-made and conceptualized well. The ingenuity of these people at its best!

Enjoy these few booth snapshots that I took during the event.

IMG_6446.JPGIMG_6433.JPGBuglasan Booth

Another remarkable event was the Negros Oriental Tourism Jingle Competition wherein the winning piece will become the official Jingle for Negros Oriental.


I was so thankful that I got to witness this kind of activity. Indeed, it showed that Negros has a lot to offer not only to its own people but to the tourists as well. The experience is one of a kind and I had a chance to experience the many different cultural offerings all in one remarkable event, only in Negros Oriental – a province full of festivals.

Come and visit Dumaguete now and get to experience the festival of festivals!


I would like to thank the Office of NEGROS ORIENTAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (NOCCI) for sponsoring this trip and to Province of Negros Oriental Tourism Office for the assistance as part of the celebration of Buglasan Festival 2016. The Buglasan Festival will run from October 14-23,2016. For more updates visit their Facebook page at Buglasan Festival.

Getting There

From Cebu by Bus:

  • Take the bus from CSBT (Cebu South Bus Terminal) bound to Liloan Port
    • Fare = Php 185 (CERES Liner Air-conditioned)
    • Travel time = 3.5 – 4hrs
  • Take the ferry bound to Sibulan
    • Ticket = Php 50 + Terminal Fee Php 12
    • Travel time = 20-30 mins
  • From Sibulan wharf, take the tricycle or PUJ bound to Dumaguete City.

From Cebu by Air:

  • There are few flights from Cebu to Dumaguete (3 flights per week)

From other Major Cities by Air:

Major Airline companies offer few flights to Dumaguete per week.

22 thoughts on “Buglasan 2016: Festival of Festivals in the City of Gentle People

  1. The devotion of the people is limpidly and naturally flowing to their nerves, though the rain was a bit antagonistic, but it didn’t make them stop to continue the natural activities. I experienced a great time during the opening, thank you for bringing me.

  2. Glad you were able to go and witness it! I’d love to go back to Dumaguete. I hope I can visit soon. I love festivals although ironically, I don’t get to attend lots of them these days. It’s a battle between my laziness and my paranoia of stampede in crowded places. Yeah, sometimes I’m just weird like that. LOL. 🙂

  3. AJ! I am happy you explained what Buglasan means! Hahahaha! Lai did not explain it properly kasi. It’s very easy to go to Dumaguete but I keep on postponing my trip there. Hmmm… Escuses noh? Hahaha!

  4. So that was the meaning of Buglasan. Hehe! Thanks for clearing that one out. Nver experienced Buglasan yet, maybe next year..God willing. Looking t your photos, it looked like a fun filled festival that every one should not miss.

  5. This is such a nice informative post on the Buglasan Festival and what should I expect when going there! Thanks for this! Will take note when going to Dumaguete someday. 🙂

  6. I’ve never been to this festival my whole life! Ah. Student life. Tsk. I mean when I was still studying I couldn’t visit because exams are usually during this time. Suya ko. huhuhu.

  7. I’ve been going back and forth to Dumaguete City (my mom is from Dauin, which is two towns away) but I’ve never been to their festival. Looks really beautiful, especially the booths!

  8. I’ve never celebrated any festivals here in the Philippines, even of our very own Sinulog! I just don’t like to be suffocated in the crowd. But I hope I can join Buglasan Festival in the future. It seems like a colorful and lively celebration.

  9. Just like what I said in the same post from Lai’s blog, festivals like these are really interesting. Colorful kaayo ang palibot and also, I love it how they managed to still go through the festival despite the ‘antagonistic’ weather! Haha learned that adjective from master Lai, nindot jud sya i-describe sa weather hahaha! Also, I like the photos!

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