First harvest offering is a common theme in Bicolano festivals, and in Iriga City, where the commemoration day coincides with the Catholic community’s celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the locals and the tourists enjoy a simple but meaningful experience with the contiguous blend of the ancient tradition and contemporary beliefs in the Tinagba Festival.
A practice of the early Bicolanos, the rituals for the Tinagba in Iriga were presided by a Bibyana (priestess). As the men approach the gulang-gulangan (altar), the women of the tribe would sing the soraki (a religious song or chant for the deity) along with the Bibyana.
Today, the community rounds up the first harvests to offer to the altars of St. Anthony de Padua, their city parish, and all the collected offerings are distributed to the less fortunate people in the city such as those in caregiving homes, orphanages, city jail, and patrons of smaller parishes in the city.
Revived through the efforts of the Irigueño historian, Jose Calleja Reyes in 1974 and hosted by the city government since 1983, the Tinagba Festival is held every 12th of February in line with the activities for the Philippine National Arts Month and Bikol Arts Festival.
Aside from a parade of community representatives wearing colorful costumes that depict the details of the festivity, this festival features bull and carabao carts carrying the newly harvested crops to be offered for partaking to the city’s poor.
This year’s theme is “Tinagba around the world”. The list of activities included:
Feb 5 – Medical Outreach (Day 1 – 8 To 5pm)- St Anthony of Padua Parish
- A Night to Remember (Mayor’s Night)-Iriga Plaza Convention Center
- Beer Plaza – City Colloseum
Feb 6 – “I Run Iriga” (4am) Infront of old City Hall
- Medical Outreach (Day 2 – 8 to 5pm)- St Anthony of Padua Parish
- All Breed Fun Dog Show (9 to 12pm) – City Colloseum
- Dog Show Proper (1 to 5pm)
Feb 11 – Tinagba Festival Highlights
9:30 am Blessing of Floats & Bullcarts
10am Civic & Bullcart Parade
1-3pm Street Dance Moving Choreography & Float Parade
3:30-4:30 pm Exhibition
4:30-5:30 pm Short Program
6 to 7 pm Fantillusion Parade