Last weekend, the 15th of March, in San Francisco, Camotes Islands, it was celebrated the traditional “Soli Soli Festival”. The Soli-Soli is a tall grass that grow especially nearby the lake Danao, one of the most well-known spot in the Island, and it is used to create handcrafted products such as hats, mats, bags, being a resource of livelihoods for the habitants, view its characteristics of being an elastic and resistant materials.The importance of this plant is celebrated together with the religious side of the festival, dedicated to the patron of the city, San Joseph. The city has been decorated with colorful bandieritas, people from other municipalities has come to join the celebration and a night market has been opened for the occasion.
The Soli Soli is one of the most important events of the whole Fiesta week, in which many activities are organized, like beauty contests, a show of the “Sandiego Dance Company” from Cebu performing traditional dances from all over the Philippines, a show organized by the students and teachers of the Cebu Technological University.
Every year five different schools (elementary or high schools), representing each 3 barangays of the municipality, compete in a show that represents the arrival of St. Joseph’s image in San Francisco, the town Christianization and the legend of Lake Danao with colorful costumes and original choreography for street dancing. It is believed that the Spanish brought, for mistake, St. Joseph’s image to San Francisco and that of St. Francis to the neighboring town of Poro: even if tentatives were made to change the situation, the images reportedly always found their way back to the churches where they were originally brought. For what it concernes the legend of the creation of Lake Danao, it says that it came to be after a couple name Insiong and Insiang fought heavily and ended up summoning thunder and heavy rain to settle their differences. When the floods came, the couple swam away from each other in two loops, resulting in the creation of the lake with its present shape that resembles a number eight.
Every team of dancers of the schools were represented by a festival queen, dress with rich decorations and that have to perform in a traditional dance representing the movements of the Soli Soli grass. This year one of the school that joined the competition was the Lorenzo C. Tanza Memorial National High School, to whom Kito gave its support for rebuilding after the strike of the Super Typhoon Yolanda, in November 2013. We are glad to announce you that the school has won numerous awards of the competition, regarding for example the best costumes and best choreography! At the end of the different performances, fireworks were shot in the night sky in front of the bay of San Francisco, for the joy of all the participants.