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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Kneeling Carabao Festival 2018 in Pulilan, Bulacan this May 14-15, 2018

Me and the #EATgetaway team will be going to Pulilan, Bulacan this May 14-15, 2018 to attend the annual Kneeling Carabao Festival 2018. I heard this festival before and its famous about the farm carabao that kneels when it arrives in front of the town's church.

I've seen this in the news  and social media, and I'm excited to go there and see in person how the local farmers of Pulilan train their best friend in farming, the carabaos, in kneeling in front of the church.

Here's a short history about the Kneeling Carabao

Pulilan Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan
Honoring a saint is one of the principal reasons why Filipinos celebrate numerous fiestas. This is the reason why the people in Pulilan, Bulacan never fail to commemorate and pay tribute to San Isidro Labrador, who is the patron saint of farmers. Although the festival officially begins on May 15 every year, there are traditions which the locals need to observe prior to this day. For 24 days, they must perform the Paseo or the procession of the image of San Isidro to the different barangays/chapels within the municipality. Also, they ought to complete the Novena for nine consecutive days.

Based on historical records, many years ago, individuals are identified not by their given surnames but by the work they perform. Such is the case of San Isidro, whose occupation was that of a Labrador or a laborer. He was a hired hand in a farm and had no personal land to till. His landlord was amazed that San Isidro was capable of completing his assigned task despite his coming late to work most of the time. Prompted by his curiosity, the landlord investigated and saw that the person plowing the field was an angel. In awe, he knelt before San Isidro. From then on, the image of a kneeling man will be associated with this patron saint.

Carabaos play a vital role during this occasion. They are the creatures responsible in assisting the farmers in doing their jobs. One of the most astonishing sights to see during the celebration of this festival happens in the morning of May 14. The carabaos are thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the parade. During the march, the carabaos are trained by their owners to kneel in front of the church as they pass it one by one. A priest is there to bless each one of the creatures as they pay homage to their patron saint. On the 15th, a street dance competition is held as part of the festivity.

Kneeling Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan Kicks off
In the fast emerging town of Pulilan, Bulacan there is a peculiar festivity celebrated annually and participated by hundreds of local farmers together with their very remarkable field companions – the carabaos.
Nearby municipalities and provinces as far as Nueva Ecija participate in a parade of beautifully decorated karitons and colorfully adorned carabaos trained by their owners to kneel in front of the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church as a sign of respect and thanksgiving to their patron for the bountiful harvests.

This is held every 14th day of May and spearheaded by the Municipal Government of Pulilan; regarded as the highlight of the fiesta and was made more spectacular this time with the local chief executive Hon. Maria Rosario Ochoa-Montejo as the Hermana Mayor.

With this year’s theme “LAKAS NG PULILAN”, the Kneeling Carabao Festival features a float competition among the 19 barangays and a street dancing contest among public schools where major cash prizes await the winners, plus a series of very exciting daily and nightly shows beginning May 6 until May 15.

Further, this event will set the stage for the implementation of Pulilan’s New Market Positioning strategy which aims to put the town in the list of the newest and most popular tourism destinations in Central Luzon. 

PulileƱos are known for being gaudy when it comes to important occasions. That may be one of the reasons why this festival is much anticipated by people from various places and has gained recognition from the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) in recent years.
So whether it is a simple family trip or a barkada getaway, paying a visit to this town will definitely not be a waste especially for anyone who is interested to experience a taste of the countryside in a celebration like no other.

PHOTOS lifted from Facebook Page of Municipality of Pulilan, Bulacan and Kneeling Carabao Festival 2018

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collect Transformers toys.
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Feb 28 - Axe event in Makati
March 2-3 - out of town
March 9-10 - hotel staycation
March 16-17 - Batangas trip
March 20-24 - Batanes trip
March 25 - Azrael and Lace wedding anniversary
March 30-31 - hotel staycation
April 18-22 - Singapore trip
June 28-30 - Toycon 2019