Sarakiki-Hadang Festival is celebrated in Calbayog City, Western Samar during the first week of September. It is highlighted with a presentation of street dancers dressed like chickens and doing their rooster's courtship movements.
Sarakiki is a local term apparently referring to premeditated or frenzied movements which are meant 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. Sarakiki is said to be based on the legend of Ilahas and Mahusay. Ilahas invented a new dance that he and Mahusay performed a chicken and rooster courtship dance before their tribe in Ibatan (now Calbayog)
Sarakiki is a ritual dance and hadang is the offering, so that means it is ritual dance offering of the Warays to their deity or deities. Calbayognons believe that spirits occupy a position of command over the power of nature which can cause harm or do well in society. Rituals are held to please the spirits, during feasts and other occasions like planting, bountiful harvest season, drought, defeat of the enemy, in times of dreadful epidemics, and cure of the sick. They do the rituals or ceremony for couple days. They offer native chicken as sacrifices to venerate the spirits. Traditionally, our forefathers also use black-feather and white-feather chicken as the offering for the spirits.
In the cultural development context, the Sarakiki is adapted to describe the significance of the movements used in the famous dance “Kuratsa”, a Calbayognons’ courtship dance. Kuratsa is the most popular dance performed in all celebrations most especially during wedding. Sarakiki is likewise placed forth in songs particularly the sada-sada, an event of merriment in the evening before a wedding ceremony, which happens after 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 Streetdance 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.
This colorful festival describes the movements of a rooster as it tries to court a hen or challenge another rooster to fight. Participants perform the rhythmic dance which is they thought to cure the sick and bring a good harvest. Dancers dress from head to toes in feathers and dance mimicking the movements made by the cockerels as they parade through the streets of Calbayog City where festival is held annually. Its defining feature is the wild and wacky chicken dance. They flapped their wings, scratched the ground and also wiggled their tails and romped through the streets. The cock spreads one of his wings down and moves fast with one legs up, and that’s what the performers imitate. Performers synchronize their movements to the lively beat of drums. Spectators line up along the streets while watching the streetdancers in awe. They also gather at the grounds of Christ the King College for the formal presentations of the dancers. The dancers had become the joy and pride of the locals who would always crow in praise of the dance group’s success.
How to get there
From Manila to Calbayog City via Philippine Airlines, Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific or Zest Airlines with approximately 2,000php – 2,500php in a way trip. From there, you can hire a tricycle that will bring you to the city proper that cost around 90 – 120.
You may ride bus from Metro Manila at the Ali Mall Bus Terminal in Cubao and from different terminals in Pasay City along EDSA they are plying the Luzon-Visayas –Mindanao route that pass through the province.