Fiestas are time to celebrate. A time to take some break. It is a time to give thanks for bounties received for the whole year. A time to get together. A time to play and re-energized. They offer a respite for people who work the entire year . And restore inspiration for another year ahead.
Hundreds of years ago, here in Central Luzon, landlords in the haciendas made the farmers build the “damara”, just before planting time of palay. A “damara” is a makeshift shelter made from kawayan (bamboo) and nipa, built at the center of ricefields as a protection from the sun’s heat or from rain. Over the years, it has been tradition that after all the harvests were safely brought home, the “damaras” are demolished (“ginigiba”). People then start celebrating together for the bountiful harvest.
In 2008, with rice as its primary produce, San Jose City conducted its First Rice Festival, adopting the century – old festive tradition. However, unlike in older days, wherein people celebrate separately in their barangays, San Jose City now celebrates as one big family. The after-harvest celebration has become a multi-sectoral effort, collectively prepared, funded out of contributions (from the public and private sector), and participated in by all sections of the city.
Sama-samang pagsasaya, mga barangay na nagkakaisa – this is PAGIBANG DAMARA. And this is San Jose City.