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Escarilla, Jannille Abbie S.

THEA 101 E
April 4, 2014

THE IWASIWAS FESTIVAL
The Iwasiwas Festival originates from San Guillermo Parish,
Buting, Pasig City. It is held on February 10 each year to honor the
parishs patron saint, San Guillermo de Maleval. The festival takes its
name from the action verb, wasiwas, which is the action done to the red
flaglets being carried by the parishioners of Buting throughout different
periods in the festival. The red flag is significant to the parishioners as it
is carried by San Guillermo and his most important identifier.
The festival is unique in that it is modernized because it started
only in 2011. It has become an awaited event each year as it is a source
of merriment and bonding for the parishioners. Its highlight is a dance
contest for several groups around the parishs constituent areas held in
honor of the patron saint. A procession is held in the afternoon.
The festivals patron saint
San Guillermo de Maleval (St. William of Maleval, also known as
William the Great), was said to be a Frenchman, as his efforts were
accounted for in the new Paris Missal and Breviary
1
. He lived the first
years of his life in the army, which may explain the importance of his red
flag, a revolutionary symbol in many contexts. He lived as a hermit
2
and
became head of a monastery near Pisa in Italy. After some time he
founded the Hermits of St. William in Siena until it was absorbed into the
Augustinian Canons. (St. William of Maleval, n.d.) He died on February

1
Missal liturgical book containing instructions for celebrating Holy Mass (Missal, n.d.); Breviary liturgical book
containing Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church, especially public prayers (Breviary, n.d.)
2
Hermit an individual who secludes himself from society; in this case for religious reasons (Hermit, n.d.)

San Guillermo de Maleval (St.
William of Maleval, 2011)
10, 1157 and was beatified
3
in 1202. (Butler, 1993) This day is now celebrated as his feast day,
or fiesta.
San Guillermo Parish is the main unit behind the Iwasiwas Festival. Established in 1993,
its areas of jurisdiction include Brgy. Buting, Brgy. San Joaquin and Sitio Ulilang Kawayan.
Each year, it assigns a Fiesta Committee to oversee preparations for the festival. It is supervised
by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Joeffrey Brian Catuiran.
The festivals prominent elements
To commemorate the festival and for it to have a distinguishing feature,
the Iwasiwas song was composed. It figures prominently in many parts of the
festival, like San Guillermos red flag. This song is the most important element
of the dance contest and is sung repeatedly throughout the procession.
A song to San Guillermo is also a frequent theme in the festival. It is
sung in the parade and is often used by the dancers to augment their
presentations. This song is sung consistently to honor the patron saint. The
song is also sung during other important holidays through the year to thank San Guillermo for
the blessings received in the previous year.
The festivals focal point
The highlight of the festival is a group dance contest for several groups in the parishs
constituent areas consisting of no less than 30 people each. The contest is held in the Buting
Covered Court, with a large number of parishioners and supporters in attendance. It takes place
in the morning of February 10.
The dance groups competing in the contest include church organizations as well as
schools around Buting, San Joaquin and Ulilang Kawayan. GABAY has been the competitions
champion for four consecutive years. Other groups who have took part in the contest include
the Mother Butler Guild, the Chiro Youth Movement, and the Gemille School of Buting.
Similar to the noontime show Its Showtime, the program is set for each dance group to
present their routine. The atmosphere of the event, however, is festive but people remember that

3
Beatification official recognition from the Pope and the Vatican to qualify as a saint

The parishs official seal,
featuring an image of San
Guillermo
the event is held to give praise to a saint. Most or all of the dancers from each group should
carry a statuette of San Guillermo and Mama Mary as they execute their presentation. One
presentation featured a male dancer portraying San Guillermo and a female dancer portraying
Mama Mary. The actor was carried around instead of the statuette during the presentation.
There also must be something red in their costume, as well as red handkerchiefs that must be
incorporated into their costumes in honor of the patron saints red flag. Most dance groups have
utilized set designs to help the audience understand the concept behind their dance.
Each showcase must start with the dancers moving to the Iwasiwas song. The steps to
this part of the showcase should be interpretative and reflective. This part will last only for
around 2 minutes. The next part of the presentation is entirely up to the dance group. Four-time
champion group GABAY has made it a point for their presentations to also reflect the Filipino
festival culture and merge it with the subject of giving praise to San Guillermo. This part lasts
until the end of the routine, which runs for a total of 7-10 minutes.

San Guillermo Parish has an afternoon mass at 4:30 PM that may be cancelled on the day
of the festival in order to give way to the annual procession. For this event, all parishioners are
encouraged to attend. They are encouraged to wear red and will be waving red flaglets
throughout the procession. Usually, when the parish holds a procession, all of its constituent
areas will be passed. The Iwasiwas song will also be played all throughout After the procession
has ended, the parish priest will bless the parishioners before they go home.


UNO (United as One) Group competing in the
Covered Court
Dancers still in costume attending the afternoon parade
The festivals modern, light-hearted quality
The modernization of ways in which this festival uses to praise San Guillermo is a
reflection of the Churchs recent position on adapting to present times. The Catholic Church,
though its means may sometimes be misguided, wants to do everything to help people grow
closer to God. The Iwasiwas Festival ushers this belief therefore making it easy to continue in
todays rapidly changing times. Furthermore, the festival is so light-hearted because it represents
the youth who comprise a large portion of the San Guillermo Parish community. This
community believes its youth to be its hope, and the fact that they are reflected in something as
cultural and encompassing as a festival serves as testament to that.
Also, The Iwasiwas Festival is unique because it takes such modern elements to give
praise to something that some may consider old-fashioned, even primitive. Also, its different
for having started so recently compared to other festivals in the Philippines. The Iwasiwas
Festival, may not be renowned, but its proponents should be commended for making the move to
help San Guillermo Parish make history. This festival is something of their own, something they
can be proud of and look back to later on.
*Pictures were taken from the Facebook accounts of San Guillermo Parish (managed by Rev.
Fr. Joeffrey Catuiran) and Mrs. Mina Anore unless cited
Works Cited

Breviary. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://catholicencyclopedia.org
Butler. (1993). Saint William of Maleval. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Bartleby.com:
http://www.bartleby.com
Hermit. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Merriam-Webster: http://merriam-webster.com
Missal. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://catholicencyclopedia.org
San Guillermo Parish. (2012). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/sanguillermopasig
St. William of Maleval. (2011, February 10). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from 365 Rosaries: A Year
of Prayer: 365rosaries.blogspot.com
St. William of Maleval. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from Catholic Online:
https://www.catholic.org