Bicolanos Culture, Customs And Traditions

The Bicolanos observe an annual festival in honor of the Virgin of Penafrancia every third Sunday of September. The towns of Naga comes alive. During the celebration, a jostling crowd of all-male devotees carries the image of the Virgin on their shoulders to the cathedral, while shouting Viva La Virgin! For the next seven days people, mostly Bicolanos, come for an annual visit light candles and kisses the image of the Virgin. To the Bicolanos, this affair is religious and cultural, as well. Every night, shows are held at the plaza the year's biggest cockfights take place, bicycle races are held and the river, a lively boat race precedes the fluvial procession.

At noon of the third Saturday of the month, the devotees carry the Image on their shoulders preceded to the packed waterfront. The image is boarded onto the barge and the procession begins. With much splashing back to the old chapel until next year's celebration.

ABOUT THE ART....

Bicolano art is shown in their love songs such as Sarong Bangul, Burac na Magayon and others. Among the young songs about nature are popular. To the Bicolanos, the Ibalon, a story of heroism, is an impotant epic.

THE BICOL REGION....

The Bicolanos live in the provinces south of Luzon Community namely Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Albay and Sorsogon. With large tracts of land, farming has become the chief occupation of the people. They also engaged in fishing, logging, cattle-raising and handicraft.

The Bicolano is conservative. They believe it is safe to stick to the old than take a risk in the new. To some extent however, the educated Bicolano has begun to change gradually.

His way of life resembles those of the other people of Luzon. He loves songs and dances. In them, he expresses his feeling and sentiments. He spends his leisure time dancing, singing, playing musical instrument like the guitar, and in cockfighting. He also plays game similar to those played by Tagalogs.

Historian Mr. Teodoro A. Agoncillo said that the Bicolano is know for their religiosity.

Their views on the life with studied calmness and seldom shows their rough edges. Their preference for spicy food is such that no food is good for them without red pepper and coconut milk. Can this the be the reason why he is brave?