Paladong Festival of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Paladong Festival of Hinatuan Surigao del Sur

August 28, 2016 marks the second time around for me to experience Higalaay Festival. I would be a fool to deny that I’m not looking forward for the weekend but it’s hard to suppress as well the sadness that build up inside me. A day prior to the said event, our humble town also celebrates Paladong Festival.

It’s been seven long years since I wasn’t able to feel the high spirits of Hinatuan every month of August. This miss outs started when I set off to college and the event seems to fall on preliminary exams or other school events which required attendance. *sigh* Being a competitive student back then, I sure don’t want to trade school demands over temporary fun. Anyway, that was all in the past. At this moment though, I’m tied up to work and availing leave credits does not appeal to me yet unless I have already proven something (hello adult life!).

Nevertheless, social media posts from my friends out there keeps me inspired hoping that I too will have a blast on next year’s Paladong festival. Here, then, is my entry to appease my sadness and for you as well to look forward to it the next time you visit Surigao del Sur.
Also Read: Hinatuan Adventure Beyond Enchanted River


Paladong Festival highlights the celebration of feast of St Augustine of a humble town in Surigao del Sur, called as Hinatuan. To anyone who’re not familiar of the place, it is actually where the deep, blue lagoon Enchanted river can be visited.

Paladong Festival comes from the Kamayo dialect “Ladong”, known as the ritual to heal the sick believed to be caused by dark forces. This annual activity,  held during Araw ng Hinatuan on the 27th of August is a means to depict and give value to the culture and tradition of the early settlers of the town.

Paladong Festival of Hinatuan Surigao del Sur
Paladong Festival of Hinatuan Surigao del Sur

Although a small event, Paladong is still popular reaching to as far as Agusan because the said event is being participated by different municipalities of Surigao del Sur province. On this day, people expect an all-out street dancing and showdown competition where the dancers exert both effort and grace to the rhythm of fasssst beat. Not to mention, under extreme heat of the sun!

I even remembered during my senior high school days how I badly want to join the said competition and be one to represent our school. Of course, grandma disapproved knowing how strenuous the practice goes. So imagine how I was dying of envy upon reminiscing how she easily said yes to my big brother during his senior years. You know, gender discrimination. Haha.

Moving on, the streets of Hinatuan are all two lanes. It’s quiet small when crowded during the festival hence you don’t stand a chance to see the street dancing category when you decided to watch just ‘on time’. What we do then is to go hours ahead to the location where final showdown is to be conducted. When I was younger, however, my cousins together with our neighbors and visitors climbed up the roof when street dancers are coming their way in order for us to see and support our bet. This was actually a kind of privileged for us back then when the second block for street dance was executed just a walk away from our house, like one house away from ours! :D But then, the block was moved to the next street sometime in 2005 I guess.

Moving on, I have always been looking forward to Paladong Festival, grace and experience it with different people every year. So to sum all up this reminiscence, I should say that celebrating the event during my younger years we’re a whole lotta fun! I’m not sure what ‘s to come next year but I’ll see to it that I’ll be able to witness again the joyous and high spirited Hinatuanons.

Will you come with me by then? Our house is open for you! ^__^

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