'San Juan sa Hibok Hibok Festival' of Camiguin

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

WHILE summer already ended in most places, the 'Island born of fire' gives its residents and tourists another reason to hit the beach.

San Juan sa Hibok Hibok Festival is celebrated every 24th of June in the whole province of Camiguin. Activities started as early as the 23rd and lasted up to the 25th.

The festival is held in honor of St. John the Baptist. During this feast, streets, houses and establishments are closed and empty. Beaches, on the other hand, are filled with people having fun and enjoying the day.


Residents make it a point to bathe in the sea. Being an old tradition, it is considered a sin or taboo if one does not spend time camping and bathing in the island's shores.

Locals would say "Diri sa Camiguin, wala gyuy gutom." Being said that, one will see tourists and locals alike visiting the beaches empty handed are offered boiled banana and sweet potato, native delicacies and other traditional food.

Mr. and Ms. Hibok Hibokan 2014

This year, the provincial government of Camiguin prepared various activities which included the traditional fluvial parade, parlor games, water sports competitions and different events. Officials, residents and tourists gathered at the Lagundi beach for the simultaneously held activities.

Highlight of the feast was the Mr. and Ms. Hibok Hibokan 2014 which consisted of 15 pairs from the municipalities of Sagay, Mambajao, Catarman, Guinsiliban and Mahinog.

Students of universities in Cagayan de Oro won the Mr. and Ms. Hibok Hibokan title this year.

The Mr. Hibok Hibokan 2014 title was given to Jake Pabololot, 19 years old from Mahinog. He is a Hotel and Restaurant Institution Management student of Liceo de Cagayan University.

Studying at Xavier University is this year's Miss Hibok Hibokan, Kissie Angelie B. Lagang, 18 from Mahinog, and an International Studies major.

According to governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo, the pageant is held each year because of tradition. The Mr. and Ms. Hibok Hibokan contest is a yearly event ever since beauty contests started. Although the name is new, the contest started has begun quite a time ago. 

Pageants bring communities and neighbors together in support for their candidate.

"What's in Camiguin? Romualdo raised proud of the recognition and achievements of the province.

"Well, like an airplane, Camiguin already took off. We're just getting the right altitude and when we do, I know Camiguin will soar." he added.

Camiguin is considered one of the top seven best beaches in the Philippines according to a news article published in Yahoo.com.

Tourists flock to the island any time of the year for its crystal blue waters and romantic ambiance made to forget the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 29, 2014.


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