Sublian Festival: 2021 Complete Guide to Batangas City’s Lively Festivity

Sublian Festival dancers

Like Sinulog and Dinagyang, Sublian Festival is a religious occasion that is celebrated to honor Batangas City’s patron saints the Holy Cross in Bauan and Agoncillo, and the Sto. Niño in Batangas City.

Discover Sublian’s history, the Sublian Festival music, activities, and more in this blog. 

*Cover photo credits to Batangas Tourism and Cultural Affairs

What’s inside this blog?

About Sublian Festival

Sublian Festival street dancing competition

Photo credits to Batangas Tourism and Cultural Affairs

Sublian is a festival celebrated in Batangas City, the capital of the province of Batangas. It is a two-week long festival that culminates every July 23 coinciding with the city’s foundation day. The Sublian is celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint: the Holy Cross in Bauan and Agoncillo, and the Sto. Niño in Batangas City.

The locals’ religious devotion is translated to a dance during the festival. They perform the Subli to the beat of the drums and chant, the main Sublian Festival music.

Today, the Sublian festival features not just devotional dance and song numbers but also awesome street dancing performances, indigenous Filipino games, Harana (serenades), the Lupakan, Awitan at Sayawan.


Sublian Festival Place of Origin

The Sublian is a festival celebrated in Batangas City.


Date of Celebration

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The Sublian Festival is celebrated annually every July 23. 


Sublian Festival History

Sublian Festival float parade

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Sublian Festival History traces its roots back to 1988 when then-Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha started the festival on July 23, 1988 on the annual observation of the cityhood of Batangas City. The objective of this festivity was to renew the practice of the subli. 

Sublian Festival Description

The Sublian was derived from the word “subli” which is a ceremonial dance. A subli is presented during a feast as a ceremonial worship dance in honor of the Holy Cross. According to the website of Batangas City government, the image of the Holy Cross was found during the Spanish rule in the town of Alitagtag. It is the patron saint of the ancient town of Bauan.

The subli is indigenous to the province of Batangas, and is made up of lengthy prayers, songs, and dances in a predetermined arrangement. The dancers wearing the Sublian Festival costume are made up of one, two, or eight couples, where the males shuffle in intense fashion and hit the ground using a bamboo stick, while the females dance with a sophisticated wrist and finger movement.


Schedule of Activities

If Sublian Festival 2019 was a blast, this year, the celebration might be different as the whole country is still battling a pandemic. Stay tuned for more information and updates about the festivity as we continuously update this page.

Main Highlights of the festival

  •  Parada at Sublian sa Kalye
  • Sublian Float Parade
  • Lupakan
  • Awitan

How to Get to Batangas

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Batangas is very easy to travel to as there are lots of available transportation options. From Manila, Alabang, or Cubao, there are many buses that travel to Batangas directly often. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Sublian Festival

Q: What is the Sublian festival in Batangas?
A: Sublian is a festival celebrated in Batangas City every July 23 in honor of the town patrons: the Holy Cross (Bauan and Agoncillo) and Sto. Niño (Batangas City). The locals participating in the event wear Sublian festival costumes for the street dancing competition, while others participate in beauty pageants.

Q: What type of festival is Sublian?
A: It is a religious festivity as it honors the town patrons: the Holy Cross (Bauan and Agoncillo) and Sto. Niño (Batangas City)

Q: What is the festival celebrated in Batangas?
A: There are various festivals celebrated in Batangas including:

  1. Sublian Festival
  2. Lechon Festival
  3. Balsa Festival
  4. Tapusan Festival
  5. Maliputo Festival
  6. Kambingan Festival
  7. Bancaton
  8. Sigpawan Festival
  9. Anihan Festival
  10. Ala Eh Festival

Q: Is Batangas safe for tourists?
A: Batangas is a popular destination in the Philippines especially for a weekend getaway. It is relatively safer than other destinations in the Philippines however just like all places, it is recommended travelers practice basic safety measures like not going out at secluded places and keeping their safety in mind first. 

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