By: Penn T. Larena
Bayawan City is very well known as the Agricultural Capital of Negros Oriental and its 'Tawo-Tawo Festival', also known as the 'Scarecrow Festival', which the people of Bayawan City annually celebrate every 18th day of February.
Tawo-Tawo Festival is a thanksgiving festival for a good harvest and also to give honor and praise to Bayawan City's patron saint - Santo Tomas Villanueva as they celebrate the festivities. The festival focuses on the great contribution the tawo-tawo (or scarecrow) has brought in the city on shooing crows away helping farmers yield more agricultural produce like rice and vegetables for the season's bounty harvest.
Tawo-Tawo Festival is an amazing celebration and spectacle highlighted by street dancing and showdown competitions. Empty tin cans and bamboo clappers are utilized in providing for the music. In the street dancing competition, live music provided by indigenous materials made into traditional musical instruments livens the show. The indigenous costumes made by local designers and the choreography of the dance routines impart for the interest that makes people come back every year to witness the event.
I was privileged to be invited to this year’s search for Miss Bayawan 2022 and opening salvo of the Tawo-Tawo Festival and witnessed a night of talent and dexterity on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022 8pm, at the City Hayahay Square as the 14 official candidates showcased their talents and graced on their Tawo-Tawo-inspired Festival Costumes.
Miss Bayawan 2022 is a project of the liga ng mga barangay headed by board member Hon. Kurt Matthew Teves, BACEMCO, and the local government unit of Bayawan City. The next Miss Bayawan 2022 will bring the best pride, culture and heritage to Bayawanons.
The Tawo-Tawo festival reflects the culture and character of the city. Being the rice granary of the Southern Negros Oriental.
Bayawan City has been given full clearance to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies subject to the public health standards of the national government amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.