The Padada Cemetery Grounds will once again host a different kind of spirit this summer. The Tabanog Festival is an annual kiting extravaganza held in the Philippines’ smallest town. Now on its 6th year, the event features various kite-related contests for locals and foreigners to enjoy. Interested kite-runners are invited to participate in the kite-a-thon from May 12 to 14.
The three-day event is scheduled to provide a truly balikbayan back to basics feel. The first day invites children of all ages to play in classical “heritage” games such as patintero, kasing (tops) and simple kite-flying. Those who do not know or have never made kites will be glad to know that the second day offers a kite-making workshop. The workshop for kids and adults is to be held at Saint Michael’s School of Padada and supported with help of the Rotary Club of South Digos. The workshop is followed thereafter with a kite-fight, as participants fight to be crowned as the last kite flying for the second day.
The third day shall feature the main event as the contest invites kite-makers within the province to compete in two contests: flat kites and 3-D kites. Professional kite-flyers are designated their own contests to ensure a level playing field. The best kites of the contests shall receive various prizes from sponsors including cash and trophies. Onlookers and guests are reminded to bring shades, water and umbrellas to beat the summer heat.
The proceeds of the Festival go to a privately-run Mangrove reserve. The Saint Michael’s School of Padada- Batch 80 Alumni Association started and maintains the reserve. The ultimate goal of the reserve is to restore the mangroves of Padada’s beaches. The Festival began its life as a fund-raising program for mangrove conservation.
The event is supported by the Department of Tourism – Region XI, Avenue One Hotel of Digos City and many sponsors.