According to http://www.calirayalake.com (2011), Bandana festival is a religious festival honoring the Nuestra Señora de la O and Sto. Niño de la O. It is being celebrated every December eighteen of the year. The highlight of the festival is the street dancing wherein the participants are wearing colorful bandanas.
According to my interview with Ms. Rowena Rellosa, she said, “Ang bandana Festival ay isang pagdiriwang para sa Nuestra Seńora de la O. May iba’t ibang grupo ng organisasyon ang nagsasayaw ng nakabandana at sumasabay sa tugtog ng “Dic Mihi. Ito ay tinawag na Bandana Festival dahil sinalubong noon ng mga taga- Pangil sa Wawa, daungan ng mga Bangka, si Prinsipe Carlos ng nakasuot ng bandana dahil umuulan noon nang dumating ang prinsipe.” [According to her, Bandana festival is a feast for the statue of Nuestra Seńora de la O. Different groups and organizations are participating in the dance wearing their bandanas and are trying to follow the beat of the “Dic Mihi”. This is called Bandana Festival because during the time when the Pangilenians welcomed Prince Carlos at the Wawa, boat dock, they were wearing bandanas because of the rainy weather.]
During my childhood days in the town of Pangil, I think I haven’t participated yet in the Bandana Festival or I just forgot about it. But I think it was really fun and exciting because a lot of people said that it is really entertaining. Local tourists are going to the town in order for them to participate in the said festival.
Most of us know that Christmas is a time for children because it is the day when Jesus was born. As part of the Christmas celebration, there are number of activities that are held in Pangil, Laguna to worship the child Jesus. One of the highlights during the celebration was the ritual locally called “OO” wherein the Santo Nino de La O is being danced and sang by the infants and children.
The ritual locally called “OO” starts nine days before Christmas like misa de gallo. It is usually takes place at around four to five in the afternoon at the Navidad dela Virgen Maria church in Pangil, Laguna. At that time, a lot of children will be in the church to partake the dancing and singing of the Santo Nino de Lao. Once it is started, the children will sing the “OO” and then the image will be walked through the church’s aisle back and forth followed by the children.
Many people believe that “OO” has been derived from the Latin devotional verses that start with “O”, like: “O Maria! O Mater Nostra!”
It is said that putting up the image during the celebration was a privileged task in which people line up for years. They also said that if the person who will bring the image has sinned, he would find the statue heavy; if not, the statue would be light.
The image was donated by Prince Carlos or also known as King Charles III of Spain as a sign of gratitude for the hospitality of the Pangilenians when he stayed in town.
During my childhood days, I was also fond of participating in the celebration because of its uniqueness. I only found there that kind activity wherein the image of the child Jesus is being danced and I enjoyed it.