Every April, the people of Antique come alive as they celebrate a momentous event filled with dancing, parades and revelry, drawing locals and visitors alike to the colorful Binirayan Festival.
The Binirayan festival is an event celebrated in the province of Antique in the Philippines. "Binirayan" literally means "where they sailed to."
The festival was conceived by Governor Evelio Javier, and first celebrated on January 11–13, 1974. In 1975, the festival was moved to April 25–27, but in the succeeding years was celebrated in December to coincide with the Christmas celebration in the province. In 1981, with the assumption of Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar, it was moved back to April. The festival was not celebrated in 1980, 1984–1987, and 1995 due to political crises. Consequently, the dates of the festival, which has become one of the major festivals in the West Visayan region has suffered inconsistency with the every change of leadership of the province. In 2002, however, the provincial board of Antique passed a resolution fixing the date of the celebration in April, and when the management of the festival was given to Binirayan Foundation, Inc. the dates were set on the third weekend of April.
The Binirayan Festival commemorates the legend of the arrival of the ten Bornean datus on the island of Aninipay now known as Panay. (See the legend of Maragtas.) As Governor Evelio B. Javier, the Father of Binirayan Festival, reminded the Antiqueños during the earlier celebrations, "let us gather the strands and memories of our past, as we look back with pride, that we may look ahead with confidence to Antique tomorrow." Binirayan Festival's permanent theme is "Retracing our roots, Celebrating our greatness."
- Fluvial Parade
- Beauty Pageants
- Cultural Shows
- Street Dancing
- Arts and Crafts Local Products Exhibits
The Binirayan Confab
In 2007, Binirayan Foundation convened the Binirayan Confab (initially billed as Binirayan Summit) as a gathering of scholars, academicians, researchers, artists, cultural workers, and almost anyone interested in "Antiqueniana." The confab serves as the intellectual strand of the festival, because according to the organizers, to make the Binirayan Festival closer to its vision of bringing together Antiqueños to look at their past with pride, and look ahead with confidence. The Binirayan festival is not all raucous revelry, but also a time to think about which direction the province takes
How to get there
- Antique is accessible via RORO (Roll-On-Roll_Off) from Manila and major cities in the country. There are buses and vans plying from Iloilo City, Iloilo, Kalibo, Aklan to San Jose and vice versa.
- About Two and a half hours from Iloilo International Airport and one and a half hours away from Kalibo International Airport.
- When touring around the province, jeepneys and tricycles are also available in the area.