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Sarakiki-Hadang Festival

Sarakiki is a local term apparently referring to premeditated or frenzied movements which means to allure, to draw with, to attract or exercise attraction, to entice, or to win. By its pre-colonial denotation, it means to praise, extol, or eulogize spirits of gods.

by Jhaypee Guia on July 14, 2012

Sarakiki is a local term apparently referring to premeditated or frenzied movements which means to allure, to draw with, to attract or exercise attraction, to entice, or to win. By its pre-colonial denotation, it means to praise, extol, or eulogize spirits of gods. The word does not only ascribe to the ritual or hadang as an activity to gratify the gods, but likewise hadang as the offering or the sacrifice.

Sarakiki as a ritual dance per se is a dance-offering of the Warays to their deity or deities which traces its roots to pre-colonial religious beliefs. Calbayognons held that spirits occupied a position of command over the power of nature which may inflict harm or do good in society. Rituals to please these spirits were held during feasts and other occasions like planting and harvest season, drought and in times of dreadful epidemics. The ceremony could last a couple of days. It involved the entire villagers who offered sacrifices to venerate the spirits. Traditionally, our forefathers made use of patani ug ugis nga manok (black feather and white feather chicken) as the offering in veneration of the spirits.

In the context of cultural development, the term Sarakiki is adapted to describe the significance of the movements used in the famous dance “kuratsa”, a courtship dance eminent to all Calbayognons. Today “kuratsa” is the most popular dance form consummated in all celebrations most especially during wedding jovialities. Sarakiki is likewise place forth in songs, particularly the SADA-SADA, an event of merriment in the evening before a wedding ceremony, which redound to one of our most well-liked tradition, the so-called pamalaye or pamamanhikan. Another confirmation is the thumbs-up form of the Calbayognons while dancing which represents the tahud.

During the 1st Grand National Street Dance Competition–Aliwan Fiesta on May 1–3, 2003, participated by 26 famous festivals in the country, the Sarakiki-Hadang Festival of Calbayog City won the 3rd prize. The Sarakiki-Hadang Festival is celebrated in Calbayog City every year from September 1-8 under the auspices of the City Arts And Culture Office.


Calbayog, being crowned as "The City of Waterfalls" by the Department of Tourism has much to offer, and to cater those visiting Calbayog, hotels have been established. Here are the most prominent:

  • Ciriaco Hotel & Resort: The largest and highest rated hotel in Samar Island, it is located at Barangay Bagacay, Maharlika Highway. The hotel offers an incredible view of the Samar Sea. It is known for hosting international events like the recently concluded Samar International Music Festival which was held at the hotels convention center, the hotel is rated as a 3-star hotel. It is the only deluxe hotel in Eastern Visayas.
  • Marju Krisel Resort: The Hotel is located at Barangay San Policarpo, Maharlika Highway. It offers the best of services and includes two swimming pools that cater both the locals of Calbayog and those staying in the hotel.
  • S&R Bed and Breakfast: The only Bed and Breakfast in Calbayog City, ensuring that each guest receives personalized service. It is conveniently located a few minutes away from Calbayog Airport and ideally located less than 10 minutes from the city proper. It's a serene place where guests can unwind and enjoy a laid back ambiance. Each room has its own private veranda. Website:
  • Almira Garden Hotel: Situated at the heart of Calbayog lies this tumbling 5-story hotel. You can see the entire city and you have a fantastic view of the Calbayog River from here.
  • F & A Suites: Also found at the heart of Calbayog's commercial district, the hotel offers the finest quality of service in the cheapest ways.


By land

Calbayog is roughly 256 nautical miles from Manila, and 56 nautical miles from the region’s capital, Tacloban City. Buses ply Manila-Calbayog and Davao-Calbayog routes daily for approximately 18 hours. Buses daily take passengers to as far as Manila in Luzon and to General Santos in Mindanao. Provincial buses and jeepneys as well as vans take travelers to almost all the key towns in the Eastern Visayas regions. Tacloban City, which is 183 kilometers away, by regular transport vans and buses in about 3 hours. The common mode of transportation within the city limits are buses, jeepneys, motorized cabs and tricycles.

By sea

Calbayog is 114 nautical miles from Cebu. Calbayog City Port is used by passenger boats plying the Calbayog-Cebu-Calbayog route and chartered cargo ships to transport copra and abaca hemp to other points of the country. Another port is also situated at Brgy. Manguinoo, Tinambacan District. Such could accommodate bigger cargo ships and inter-island vessels as well and considered to be an alternative seaport in the locality. Coakaliong Shipping Lines with a 3X a week schedule From Cebu to Calbayog MWF 7AM-5AM. Motorized boats also ply to Masbate Island and the neighboring island towns of Tagapul-an, Santo Niño, and Almagro.

By air

Airphil Express, Zest Airways and Cebu Pacific operates daily flights from Calbayog-Manila and Manila-Calbayog. ETA Air also offers Calbayog-Cebu and Calbayog-Tacloban flights. The Calbayog Airport is the secondary choice for those from Eastern Visayas who want to travel by air to Manila.

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