Monday, January 17, 2011

Atimonan: Tagultol Fishing Festival

Tagultol Festival 

The Tagultol Festival is an evolution of various cultural activities, practiced in previous years by Atimonanins. The Town & Patronal Fiesta every August 1 & 2 is simply celebrated with the usual parade, a cultural program, thanksgiving mass and procession. In 1981, during the administration of the late Quezon Board Member and former Mayor of Atimonan Remedios V. Diestro, an activity was started – the Karakol. It is a fluvial parade done in the afternoon of the 2nd day of the fiesta. The boats traveled around Lamon Bay within the boundaries of the town proper headed by the Grand Boat where the patron - Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles was aboard. There were singing, dancing & band playing, all in expression of gratitude to the Almighty for the year’s bountiful catch. The parade then joined the religious procession and ended at the church. Later, it was done in the morning after the thanksgiving mass at the Fishing Port and Boat Racing Competition followed after the Karakol.The creation of the Lupong Tagapangasiwa ng Kultura at Sining sa Atimonan (LUPTAKSA) under the leadership of Mr. Francisco T. Laude, a retired public school teacher, put new dimension and vigor to the town’s cultural awareness and in the year 2003, the Tagultol Festival was finally launched. Tagultol, an old fishing method used by Atimonanins, was derived from the Tagalog word ugtol, meaning bounce. Tagultol fishing consists of a rectangular stone tied at the end of abaca strings dip in honey. Thorns of calamansi & similar plants with bait were tied 2 feet above the stone before dipping in water and moved in a bouncing movements. The festival is a five-day celebration starting July 29 until August 2. The celebration is an array of both cultural and sports activities, talent and beauty contests participated by community organizations and individuals and headed by the local government’s culture and arts council (LUPTAKSA) and Atimonan Tourism Council. (


Atimonan.  Nadadaanan ko lang ito dati kapag umuuwi kami sa Calauag, Quezon. Whenever we pass Atimonan, it reminds me of the bitukang manok (zigzag road) and yung sirena sa bato. Yun lang. 

Thanks to my friend, Nina, for she brought me in Atimonan (her hometown). We witnessed the annual Tagultol Fishing Festival. Plus, felt her family's and the Atimonanin's warm welcome. You can really feel the fiesta spirit once you've set your foot. And you might tell yourself, "I'll definitely go back for more!"

Let me give you some of the fiesta's highlights:

First, the Higantes. Similar to the higantes of the north (in Angono, Rizal). They're pretty taller huh! Di ganon kadami, mga 5 lang yata sila na nag-parade, but they caught most of the crowd's attention.

Second, the Fluvial parade. We would have wanted to come and join but we all woke up late. Sayang! First time ko sana makasama sa isang fluvial parade. That day, nakisama ang panahon. Ganda ng sikat ng araw, maliwanag na maliwanag ang paligid at di malagkit sa pakiramdam

napaka-kalma ng karagatan

ang popular na sirena sa bato

Third, the Street Parade. Colorful, Lively and Entertaining. You can see and feel the distinction of their street parade as compared of what we have here in Manila. Talagang pinaghandaan! From the props, costumes to the choreographed steps of the performers. Everyone's busy and participating. Mapapa-indak ka talaga. From the streets diretso ang mga performers sa school grounds. And they will compete to bag the best performer. Kahit mainit ang sikat ng araw, we're able to manage to witness them dancing. And you can feel the energy oozing from the performers, mostly elementary/high school students.

Kulang ang ilang araw kung bibisitahin ang Atimonan, lalo na pag fiesta.. Maraming pwedeng puntahan at gawin. At hindi masasayang ang oras mo. The Atimonanins were friendly and hospitable.

So, for this year 2011, we're all looking forward again to go back and witness Tagultol for the 2nd time. I'm pretty much sure we're gonna see more. :)

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