We Caviteños have always been known as brave and courageous people; aptly named for we live in the birthplace of heroes such Feliciano Cabuco and Antonio De San Agustin of the XIII Martyrs, Julian Felipe, Ladislao Diwa and Roman Basa to name a few.
Now, Caviteños are making it known that we do not just belong to a bloodline of heroes, but we can also show to the world that we can be both religious and fun-loving at the same time. And voilà ! The much awaited annual celebration of the REGADA FESTIVAL was born.
The Regada Festival started in 1996 during the tenure of the former Mayor Timoteo Encarnacion. The festival’s moniker was derived from the Spanish word “regar” which means to water or to sprinkle. It was conceptualized primarily for two important reasons that were both religiously related: 1. to celebrate the feast of St. John the Baptist; 2. as thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest from the sea as Cavite City is surrounded by water and thus, most of the townsfolk earn their living through fishing or selling tahong and talaba. From then on, it has become an annual festivity that Caviteños look forward to.
It is a weeklong celebration that is religious, full of culture and fun both for young and old alike. This yearly tradition is often associated with several water festivities. This year, the festival kicked off with “Linis Dalampasigan” This is Caviteños’ way of giving back to nature which is usually supported by ecology-conscious people. This was followed by the colourful Mardigras. Other notable events include various contests meant for the talented pupils of the participating schools- “Kulay at Tubig” , “Disenyo sa Buho” at “Disenyo sa Logo”and many more.
The highlight of the festival is the so-called Basayawan where people splash water to anyone whether they are strangers or not. But what really makes this Basayawan a lot more special is the long sprinkler installation which stretches more than a kilometer long along the P. Burgos Avenue. The sprinklers will be activated from time to time in the entire course of the celebration along with the sound system which transforms the P. Burgos Avenue into a huge wet party. Underneath the sprinklers are huge crowd of people dancing and participating in many activities held by different stage or booths. The activation of sprinklers is usually done at the start of the colorful parade and street dance participated by different schools, barangays and more. Costume parades are also part of the celebration where participants are encouraged to wear recycled materials! The colorful the better!
A fitting climax to the yearly festival is THE CARACOL NI SAN JUAN BAUTISTA where in the patron saint is led out on a fluvial parade from the bay to the festival’s PAULAN to bless the people and for the Cavitenos to give thanks.
Truly, Regada Festival is a yearly tradition that we Caviteños can truly be proud of. It is also living proof that we are not just heroes in the making, but we are also God-fearing and fun-loving as well. (Melinda T. Rafael, Editor, DO Express)