We didn’t plan on visiting Dalaguete. Much less visit it on its town fiesta which is celebrated every 9th and 10th of February. Yet there we were, witnesses to all that revelry in honor of its patron saint, San Guillermo de Aquitania.
As with similar town fiestas, Utanon is the Dalaguetnons’ way of showing gratitude for all their blessings. Through dance and music, they celebrate the town’s good harvest as Dalaguete is Cebu’s vegetable basket much like Baguio is in Luzon. It is also alleged that Dalaguete is the Music Capital of the island. The name Dalaguete came from balete, a tree which grew abundantly in the town, and which in Cebuano, is called the dalakit. On the other hand, Utanon means vegetables in the local dialect.
We caught sight of the bands and street marchers/dancers in front of San Guillermo Church. The festive colors of red, blue and green complemented the floats with “Hermana Mayors” gamely waving their hands as they were paraded around town. I have to say that the sight made for a very rural scene….. A village affair. I bet everyone knows everybody in this small town.
We surmised that the religious procession in honor of San Guillermo is scheduled later in the day as local men were still busy decking the floats with flowers. We said a prayer inside this 18th century baroque church with its shell-shaped altar before heading out for one last glimpse of the church and its adjoining convent. Should you come and visit this church, take time to stare up to view one of the few masterpieces by Canuto Avila, a 19th century maestro who did religious murals for 20 or so churches and convents in the Visayas, including the ceiling of Cebu’s Santo Niño Church.
Next time around though, we’d make time to do the trek to Osmena Peak. For now, it would just be a pit stop towards Carcar where more Chicharon awaits us ☺