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South Asia - Guimaras

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Balsahan Festival

Guimaras, Philippines

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Overview of Balsahan Festival

The Balsahan Festival coincides with the foundation day of the Municipality of Sibunag every February 20.

Sibunag is one of the two youngest municipalities of the island-province of Guimaras. Established in 1995, it was named after its main river, the town's main geographical feature that makes its way through most of the barangays.

The river is the setting of many spellbinding folktales and legends. A visit to Sibunag is sure to unravel the town's secrets and make your journey much more colorful.

Legend says that a son of a deity and a mortal was stolen when he was only a baby. He was named Sibunag, and was raised and cared for by a fairy. His amazing quests and romance stories have been one with the waters ever since.

The Balsahan Festival is the town's way of immortalizing the mystical river. 'Balsa' refers to the bamboo water raft. The people of Sibunag and all over Guimaras celebrate the festival with fun activities such as balsa racing, a motorized banca race, and a paraw regatta.

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Brion H. wrote about Fitzroy Island Resort:

"Great hospitality and staff. They held our luggage while we waited to check in (you arrive early in the morning). They also watched our bags, since you have to check out before the boat arrives. Rooms were excellent. We stayed in a studio (cheapest option), but it was really nice and worth the money. Maybe next time will go for an upgrade.


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