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embajada festival

EVENTS | CATARMAN, NORTHERN SAMAR, PHILIPPINES

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Catarman, Northern Samar, Philippines

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Every second week of January, Catarman celebrates Embajada Festival. It is a traditional festivity that has been celebrated for centuries now. The comical festivity is more of the story of the province’s rich history which depicts Moros’ conflict with the Spanish colonizers. Exhibition of array of native delicacies and colorful street dancing is a common attraction during the festivity. The festival depicts the conflict between Christians and Muslims that has existed in the archipelago brought about the Spanish occupation. In a Catubi, a fluvial procession highlights the celebration.

Some Samar festivals are confined to certain towns but the Embajada Festival is something that is celebrated by the entire province albeit at different dates. The very first towns that celebrate Embajada Festival right after New Year, in January, are Catubig and Laoang. Similar to a domino effect, the nearby towns follow and come mid June, this Samar festival would have reached Catarman. The Moro-Moros, an indigenous group in Samar is said to be the first Filipinos ever to celebrate the Embajada Festival and being a tradition, they have been celebrating it for centuries.

This Samar festival depicts a time in history when conflict prevailed between the Moro-Moros and the Spaniards although nowadays it is presented in a comical fashion. During the Embajada Festival, street dancing is common and there’s always the delicious array of food served in the town center as night sets in. The Moro-Moros themselves take part in the Embajada Festival and this Samar festival is also a good opportunity to learn so much about one of the oldest tribes in Samar.

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