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Boling-Boling Festival

Catanauan, Philippines
01 Jan 2024

Start Date

01 Jan 2024

End Date

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About Boling-Boling Festival

Boling Boling Festival is an old age practice particular to Catanauanins, which is celebrated annually starting Sunday and ends on Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday and signals the start of the Lenten Season. Participants roam around the town garbed in any costume they may fancy. Most of them wear colorful clown-like clothes called “Karnabals”, originating from the prominent figure probably coming from the clowns of carnival while others imitate anybody whom they despise and make fun of them.

Senior women wearing brightly colored dresses and hats with flowers called “Denonas”, or like one house to another with accompaniment of a guitarist and some tambourines to solicit cash donations, half of which is given to the local Parish Church for its expenses during the Lenten Season activities and the other half for their own groups civic projects. Some men smilply clad only in their undergarments put on mud or grease with charcoal all over their bodies and roam around the town trying to scare young women and children for fun.

This is a symbolic ritual of cleansing oneself making them prepared to commemorate the Lenten Season and also a way of expressing their creativity. No one can tell exactly when and how this practice started, not even the oldest resident of this idyllic town located at the heart of Bondoc Peninsula. Boling-Boling comes from the visayan word “Boling” which means dirt. This reminds people of the mortality of man.

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