The Municipality of E.B. Magalona, headed by Mayor Marvin Malacon, in partnership with the St. Joseph the Worker Parish, headed by Rev. Fr. Ernesto Salvador with Parochial Vicar Fr. Arnel Pabalate, will celebrate the 50th year of its Hermano Mayores del Señor Sto. Niño with a weeklong festival on January 9 to 15, 2023.
Dubbed the “1st Sug-alaw Festival,” this is the very first festival of the town in honor of its second patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño.
The municipal government has organized cultural and religious activities in celebration of the 1st Sug-alaw Festival such as Novena Masses, Processions, Blessing of Images of Sto. Nino, Agape Party, Children’s Day, Float Parade, Drum Beating Competition, Tribal Dances, Zumba Party, Mountain Bike Races, Motocross, Live Bands, Food Kiosks, and Fireworks Displays.
The highlights of the festival this year will be on January 14 and 15.
On January 14 at 3 p. m., the Image of Sto. Niño will be transferred from the residence of Hermano and Hermana Mayores 2022 to St. Joseph the Worker Parish.
The next day, on January 15, around 9 a. m., the Image of Sto. Niño will be installed at the residence of the Hermano and Hermana Mayores 2023.
HISTORY OF THE SUG-ALAW FESTIVAL
The Sug-alaw Festival is the newest of the three main festivals of the Municipality of E. B. Magalona.
It was conceptualized in 2022 by Mayor Marvin Malacon in celebration of the 50th year of Hermano Mayores del Señor Sto. Niño on January 15.
Thereafter, this festival is to be celebrated every third Sunday of January, pursuant to a municipal ordinance that was passed by the Sangguniang Bayan, as presided by Vice Mayor Eric Matulac, and duly approved by Mayor Marvin Malacon.
“Sug-alaw” is a Hiligaynon term for “to welcome.” On the other hand, devotees are chanting in Spanish, “Alabare! Alabare!” which means, “I will praise you.”
The festival is co-organized by the Municipality of E. B. Magalona and the St. Joseph the Worker Parish, currently headed by Rev. Fr. Ernesto Salvador with Parochial Vicar Rev. Fr. Arnel Pabalate.
Dubbed the “1st Sug-alaw Festival,” this is the very first festival of the town in honor of Señor Sto. Niño and will be celebrated on January 9 to 15 this year.
The festival draws strong support from Mayor Marvin Malacon and First Lady Mae Ross Malacon, who are also the current couple president of the Hermano Mayores del Señor Sto. Niño, as well as the Saraviahanon devotees of the Señor Sto. Niño.
Although the Sug-alaw Festival will only commence this year, the tradition of passing and welcoming the image of Señor Sto. Niño has been practiced for 50 years.
On January 28, 1973, Fr. Vicente Pelobello, then the parish priest of the St. Joseph the Worker, founded the Hermano Mayores del Señor Sto. Niño, with then Mayor Luis Magalona, and his First Lady, Manuela Magalona, as the first Hermano and Hermana Mayores.
Since then, the Hermano Mayores del Señor Sto. Niño members recommend to the Parish Priest for approval one family as the Hermano and Hermana Mayores, who take on the responsibility of hosting the image of the Señor Sto. Niño for a year.
It is believed that the Señor Sto. Niño brings prosperity to those who become Hermano and Hermana Mayores, which is why it is considered a blessing to host the image for a year.
To celebrate the coming of the religious image in their home, Hermano and Hermana Mayores prepare a banquet for the devotees as a sign of their warm welcome for Señor Sto. Niño.
In 1980, the parish started selecting young boys to be the Knights of Sto. Niño, with Glen Boteros as the first knight. In 1981, the young Marvin Malacon was chosen as the Knight of Sto. Niño. This practice has been continued until the present.
Every year, Saraviahanons from different walks of life flock to St. Joseph the Worker Parish – bringing their best offerings, their respective images of Señor Sto. Niño, and young boys from every barangay wearing Sto. Niño costumes – for a blessing, to witness the crowning of the religious image, and celebrate the installation of the Señor Sto. Niño at the residence of the new Hermano and Hermana Mayores.
This celebration highlights Saraviahanon culture that withstood the test of time and grounded on the framework of faith and devotion.*