Boljo Festival (Boljoon)
The historic town of Boljoon in the Southern tip of Cebu once again came alive with the annual Bolho Festival in the occasion of their fiesta in honor of Nuestra Señora Patrocinio de Maria. This dance festival got its name from the origin of the town’s name, “bolho”, which refers to the water sprouting from the ground that can be found in several parts of the area. The clear water it brings forth is potable and has been used in household chores for many generations.
The 3rd Bolho Festival took place last November 12 during the visperas and was celebrated with much dancing, in the streets and in Plaza Muralla. Blessed with good weather conditions, the five clusters composed of the different elementary and secondary schools were able to showcase their tribute to their patroness. The hour-long street parade, which started around 2:00 in the afternoon, circled the main streets and ended at the town plaza where the townsfolk waited in anticipation of the dance showdown.
The affair opened with a warm welcome address from Hon. Merlou D. Derama, the Municipal Vice-Mayor, who expressed their gratitude to Gov. Gwen F. Garcia, the honorary guest, for gracing the event and for her undying support for the town’s endeavors, especially the Bolho Festival. Also in attendance during the event were Provincial Board Member of the 2nd District, Hon. Peter John Calderon, Boljoon Mayor Teresita “Daday” Derama-Celis, and Capitol Consusltant, Mr. Glenn Soco.
The dancers, garbed dominantly in various shades of blue, all moved to the tune of the Boljoon jingle. Unlike the previous Bolho festivals wherein a competition was held between the different presentations, this year’s celebration was solely an offering or “halad” to the Nuestra Señora Patrocinio de Maria.
The first cluster composed of the Boljoon National High School – El Pardo Extension was dressed in blue and gold with tattooed leggings highlighting their every movement. The second presenter was the masked pupils of El Pardo Elementary School and Baclayon Elementary School who were clothed in blue and silver. The pupils of Boljoon Central School in their blue and pink costumes comprised Cluster III. The fourth cluster was made up of the students from Boljoon National High School – Main campus who used a “nigo” for props as an added attraction to their blue and white outfit. They also had a child performer who reaped cheers and laughter from the crowd. The last performance given by the Granada Elementary School pupils in their blue and orange attire paid homage to the patroness.
After the presentations, Gov. Garcia lauded another successful festival and pledged her support for the continuous progress of Boljoon. She then awarded cash incentives to the participants which were received by their respective festival queens and choreographers. The collective rendition of all five clusters to the tune of “One Cebu” was the appropriate and meaningful finale for another memorable event.
Another milestone during the 12-day celebration of the Feast of the Patronage of our Lady was the inauguration of the addition to the Boljoon Parish Museum which featured “Boljoon in Ancient Times: Excavated Remains from Our Ancestors”. The honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon was done by Gov. Garcia and Bishop Julito B. Cortes, D.D., the Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, who also blessed the artifacts. Earthenware pots, metal implements, gold jewelry, jars and jarlets as well as porcelain bowls are on display in this part of the museum.
More photos below. Click on picture to view larger size.