The fifteenth (15th) of October means a day of festivities in Talisay City, Cebu. The City celebrates its annual fiesta in honor of their patron saint, Sta. Teresa de Avila, whose feast day is observed internationally on the said date. Not only that, the City amplifies their celebration with the Halad Festival and the highly talked about Inasal Festival.
According to the City’s official Web site (http://www.talisaycitycebu.gov.ph), it was named after the abundant “Magtalisay” trees, which grew abundantly in the area. Others say that the City is named after a town in Spain. In 1849, Talisay became a municipality and in 2000, it became a component city by virtue of Republic Act 8979. Silverio Fernandez was the first “Gobernadorcillo” while Pedro Labuca served as Talisay’s first “Capitan.”
Talisay was used as a base for the colonial forces during both the American and Japanese regimes. During the epic World War II, it was used as the headquarters for the guerilla intelligence operations in Cebu. On March 26, 1945, the returning American forces, specifically the 182nd and 132nd Infantry divisions, landed on Talisay Beach. This historic landing was crucial in the victory against Japan, and is thus commemorated annually by the Cebu Provincial Government.
Located approximately four miles or 6.5 km west of Cebu City, Talisay serves as an intermediary to the southern parts of Cebu. The City is primarily a residential and commercial center, with 22 urban barangays.
Sta. Teresa De Avila
Sta. Teresa of Avila is a prominent Roman Catholic saint and one of the first women to be conferred the title Doctor of the Church. She was born as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada in Avila, Spain, in 1515. She died at the age of 67 in 1582, in Salamanca, Spain. In 1614, she was beautified by Pope Paul V and less than a decade after, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV.
Sta. Teresa of Avila is the Patroness of Spain. Her feast day is commemorated every 15th of October in the Convent of the Annunciation, in Alba de Tormes, Spain, which is her main shrine. In Cebu, the feast day is observed vibrantly at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Sta. Teresa de Avila.
The parish of Sta. Teresa De Avila was built in 1836 and it is now considered among the oldest parish churches in the Philippines. If you wish to visit this Archdiocesan Shrine, it is very accessible. It is situated right in front of the old Talisay City Hall, in Poblacion, Talisay City.
During the annual fiesta celebration, Talisaynons have a tradition of showing thanksgiving. They call this traditional gesture the Halad Festival, which is pretty much like Cebu City’s Sinulog festival. The street dancing kicks off at the Talisay City Hall and contingents dance their way to the South Coastal Road. The choreography for the dances depict the movements involved in preparing Talisay’s famous specialty, the “inasal.”
The contingents come from both public and private schools who wish to participate in the year’s festivities. In 2011, there were eight participating contingents. Specifically, the contingents represented Candulawan Elementary School, Cansojong National High School, Divino Amore Academy, Lawaan National High School, Maghaway Elementary School, San Roque Elementary School, Sisters of Mary School, and St. Scholastica’s Academy.
According to Richel Bacaltos, Talisay City Administrator, the City allocated approximately Php1.5 million for the activities of the 2011 fiesta. The grand fiesta celebration was attended by incumbent City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, and Cebu First District Representative Eduardo Gullas, among other personalities.
Aside from the Halad Festival, Talisay City also celebrate the “Inasal Festival.” The City is famous for its roasted pig, which in local terms is called “inasal baboy.” While still serving as the mayor of Talisay City in 2001, Rep. Gullas established the “Inasal Festival” in order to promote the city and its specialty.
Since then, the “Inasal Festival” has been considered as the highlight in the City’s fiesta. So, if you’re ever at Talisay on October 15, you shouldn’t miss the parade of “inasals.” Each roasted pig that joins the parade will be dressed in various costumes and prettified with decorations. According to the wires, these pigs also represent the different families who are the original residents of the City.
Talisay’s Fiesta celebration in honor of its Patroness Sta. Teresa de Avila is laced with a series of events and activities leading to the day of the feast itself. Among these are nightly variety shows, an agro-industrial products fair, and the “Ms. Talisay City Tourism” pageant.