Magayon Festival 2024 to have first-ever maritime procession 

A maritime procession will be conducted for the first time as one of the highlights of the upcoming celebration of Magayon Festival 2024.

During the press conference on February 29 at the Governor’s Guest House, Albay Governor Edcel “Grex” Lagman, along with other key organizers, announced various activities.

“Magayon Festival is not just an event; rather, it is an embodiment of identity, a celebration of inclusivity, and a platform for innovation,” Lagman said. 

Fr. Joseph Salando, the parish priest and pastor of the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Salvation in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay, elaborately discussed the essence of faith in celebrating the Magayon Festival. 

Salando said that “Ina,” or Señora de Salvacion, is more than a symbol of faith; she is a binding force for Albayanos, and celebrating the maritime procession expands people’s knowledge about Our Lady of Salvation. 

He further explained that the concept bears resemblance to the fluvial procession during the celebration of Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga, which draws numerous devotees. Salando also anticipates that the procession of Our Lady of Salvation will be done at sea rather than in a river, which will draw more devotees and tourists to Albay. 

“We celebrate motherhood, and there’s one mother that binds us all as Albayano. Ano magayon sato bilang Albayano? Ano ang pig-celebrate na magayon bilang Albayano? Of course, we have Mayon Volcano, we have Daragang Magayon, and now we are looking at Inang Magayon,” Salando said. 

Meanwhile, in terms of safety precautions, Salando mentioned that he has started coordinating with the Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and other officials to ensure the safety of the devotees. 

Djai Tanji, the artist assigned for the creative aspects, shared the plan for this year’s Magayon Festival, which will include participation from various artists, encompassing visual arts, theater arts, and musicians, with a focus on a musical play depicting the story of Joroan. 

“Bale, when we say creatives, it implies visual arts, kasama dito ‘yong ating performers sa theater, musicians, lahat ito sakop ng Joroan musical play, which will give us all an idea kung ano ang walong Milagro ni Inang Salvation,” Tanji said. 

Tanji mentioned that the director of the Higit sa Pag-ibig musical play, Director Sari Saysay, will also direct the Joroan musical.

There will also be a few changes in terms of the venue of the said festival after the consensus made by the provincial government of Legazpi about the previous Magayon Festival held in Old Airport.

“Ang sentyimento kan tawo, the concensus that we had, ang muya tabi talaga (ng mga Albayano), duman iselebrar sa dati (sa Peñaranda Park). We also have to respect tradition and, of course, practicality,” Lagman said. 

Although the calendar of activities for the Magayon Festival is not yet finalized, the first week of May is said to be allotted for all religious activities. Lagman reminded Albayanos that the Magayon Festival is not only for the city of Legazpi but for the entire province of Albay. 

“We always improve on what we have done last year. Whatever it takes for the event to succeed, the provincial government of Albay will help you,” said Lagman. 

The Magayon Festival is an extensive month-long celebration held annually throughout May, serving as a grand event that showcases the rich culture and traditions in the province of Albay. |  Alliah Jane Babila, Gabby Bajaro