Carabao festival in the Philippines
700 carabaos or water buffalos were honored on Sunday in this year’s Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan, according to The Philippine Inquirer Online report on Monday.
Garbed in colorful fabrics and painted in bright colors, the water buffalos were brought in from Bulacan and other provinces in Central Luzon to join a two-kilometre parade that began in Barangay Lumbak and ended at the parish church in Barangay Paltao.
As each beast reached the church, it was made to kneel at the prodding of its owner and hundreds of revelers.
Making the animals kneel was a practice started nearly a century ago as farmers paid tribute to their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, for the year’s abundant harvest and for protecting their rice fields from calamities.
Farmers have much to be thankful in this year’s festival as they produced as much as 250 cavans a hectare, up from their average yield of 120 cavans, said Adriano Ignacio, a farmer from Barangay Balatong B.
Ignacio grew up in an agricultural family, although he preferred a job overseas. But 18 years as a migrant worker proved to be a career disappointment for him. He returned to farming and had been profiting from his farm and carabaos for the last 12 years.
Carabaos are however threatened by the massive conversion of farmlands into industrial zones or residential areas, according to the Pulilan farmers association.
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