Sumayajaw Festival

Jabonganons living in other places will really come home to Jabonga to witness the Sumayajaw Festival. It is a festival celebrated annually in Jabonga every 15th of August, the fall of the Feast of Our Lady of Assumption. This is a thanksgiving offering through songs, dances and “Luwa” (lyrical poem) for the bounties showered by the Heavenly Father through the intercession of Our Lady of Assumption – the Patroness of Jabonga.

Sumayajaw dates back as far as one can remember. But the staging of Sumayajaw as a festival began in 2002 with Rev. Fr. Almado C. Ecarma, the Parish Priest, at the helm believing that Sumayajaw would not only unite the Jabonganons but would also bond with the visitors as they gather at the Town Square.

Sumayajaw Festival was purely a thanksgiving celebration for the bounties received and forthcoming. The following year, 2003 categories were created. Category A is a group dance competition. Contestants from the neighboring municipalities come to join. Big amount of cash prizes await the winners. Category B is a non-contest. It is merely a participation to retain the essence of Sumayajaw.

Sumayajaw showcases the ethnic attire and colorful props. It shows to the world the creativity of the people in showing gratitude to the Almighty for the blessings received. Sumayajaw is a great attraction to the townsfolk and tourists as well.

Baoto Festival

Baoto Festival is held in Jabonga every 3rd week of September. It starts on a Friday and culminates on the following Sunday. The festival pays tribute to the “baoto” or native dug-out canoe. It features, among others, free adventure skills training such as paddling, mountaineering, trekking, caving, and single rope technique.

Baoto races/contests include the following: 150 m. double slalom – men/women, boys/girls; 75 m. single sprint – men/women, boys/girls, triathlon and regatta (most beautiful boat). The finale event is the 30k paddling marathon from Jabonga to Tubay, which is the longest paddling race in the Philippines. This is participated in by the different municipalities in Agusan del Norte and other provinces. You can only witness such event in Jabonga.

What is “Baoto”? As the most proficient means of transport in a land of water, the native dugout canoe or “baoto” became synonymous to Agusan for the last 1,000 years. Today, canoeing has grown into an adventure and competition sport.