Turugpo fest, part of Carigaran-on tradition

March 31, 2013 10:41 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, March 30 — Just as expected as part of the tradition of Carigaran-on every observance of Holy Week, the action-packed Turugpo Festival was once again held in this former capital town of Leyte and also former seat of Catholic Religion of the province.

Thousands of Carigaran-on including those from its neighboring towns witnessed this annual event held at Barangay Camansi, an interior barangay of the town which is more than 10 kms from the national highway.

“Turugpo” or matchmaking is derived from the local term "tugpo", which means matching.

But this matchmaking is not for human but for animals who need to fight with each other in order to have a declared winner.

This tradition is different from Holy Week observance in other places which centers on the Passion of Christ.

Originally held on Good Friday, the holiest day in the Christian world, turugpo had its origin in the Spanish era, 300 years ago.

It was the way of Kalgaranons’ defiant answer to the friars’ orders that Good Friday be observed in piety, solemnity and in absolute silence.

Since then, every Holy Friday, the annual “pasungay” or joust of carabao and “paaway” or horse fight is held in the town of Carigara.

Added attraction to this annual turugpo festival is the “karambola” or cockfight of 10 roosters left inside an arena or cockpit.

The rooster that remains alive after the fight is declared as winner.

After more than 200 years of celebrating turugpo festival every Good Friday, in 1983, the former Bishop Cipriano Urgel of Palo requested that turugpo be staged on a day other than Good Friday.

This was intended not to distract the parishioners in their pious observation of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross to which the organizers acceded as the Spanish friars were no longer present.

Although, date of the original turugpo was already set to another date, officials of the Catholic church under the Archdiocese of Palo, continue to appeal to the organizers to re-set the date of the festival to other date other than Holy Friday and Good Saturday as the Lord is still consider dead on those days.(PNA)

HBC/ROEL T. AMAZONA/MEC

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