The Garlic Festival is held in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, dubbed as the “garlic center of the north.” It is held from the 1st to 3rd of May. The festival aims to showcase the talent, ingenuity and hard work of the Ilocano farmers and encourage them to produce high-quality garlic using modern technology.
The Bawang Festival, also known as Sinait Bawang Festival, was initiated by the offices of former governor DV Savellana and former Sinait mayor Edgar Yabes in 2000. The celebration was inspired by the Garlic Festival in Gilgory, California, USA, which is known as the ”garlic capital of the world.” The Bawang Festival’s primary objective is to give recognition to garlic farmers. It aims to educate visitors and local residents on the importance of the garlic industry to the Philippine economy.
The festival is usually held on the grounds of the Sinait National High School. A parade of garlic-themed floats, street presentations, street dancing and various kinds of competitions are part of the celebration, along with a trade fair.
The various talents of Ilocos Sur farmers are showcased during the competitions. A province-wide garlic-cooking contest is held to exhibit the culinary skills of participants in preparing and cooking dishes using bawang as their main ingredient. Other contests held are the search for the biggest garlic bulb and garlic bundling, which tourists may join. The categories include longest twined garlic and creative bundling. Artistic presentations such as root trimming and cleaning are also held.
The grand closing day of the festival is held on the 3rd of May and starts with an early-morning mass. The much-awaited search for the most beautiful cow and carabao serves as the highlight of the event. It aims to recognize the superior indigenous livestock breed raised by backyard farmers, and also encourage improvement of animal breeding. The criteria for judging include general appearance, head and neck, forequarter, body, and hindquarter. The festival is capped by a fireworks display before midnight.
- Sinait Bawang Festival (accessed on April 25, 2008)
- Bawang (Garlic) Festival (accessed on April 25, 2008)
- List of Philippine Food Festivals (Accessed April 21, 2009)