Lambay Festival in Palawan - Philippines
The Palawan Lambay Festival is celebrated in the small town of Aborlan which is some two hour distance from Puerto Princesa City. To get to the town proper of Aborlan, one can ride on the busses that depart the capital from 8am to 1pm at hourly intervals or take a jeepney.
What to See There
The Palawan Lambay Festival is an educational experience and it helps one appreciate the Batak tribe. The Palawan Lambay Festival is celebrated through various traditional dances, and there is a part where the male members of this tribe display their hunting tools dressed in their traditional costumes complete with re-enactment of what they do during a hunt. Aside from the Palawan Lambay Festival, there are also many things to see in Aborlan such as the hot springs, one of which is enclosed by the ocean believe it or not, the lush forests where the most beautiful endemic species live and a small museum at the town proper that showcases Aborlans history.
The Palawan Lambay Festival is several centuries old and is a Batak event that used to signify the start of the hunting and crop gathering season for the tribe. Batak is an indigenous group in Palawan and they have been in existence even before the settlers landed in Palawan. This indigenous group has done an amazing job of preserving their tradition and culture despite the radical changes that Palawan has seen over the centuries. Now, although the Palawan Lambay Festival is still celebrated, it is not so much an indicator of the start of the hunting season but it is in celebration of spring. One might wonder why this tribe would celebrate spring since the Philippines only has two seasons and that is wet and dry. Spring in this case signifies the end of the dry season when crops are in abundance because of the rain. It is held in the town proper of Aborlan where the biggest concentration of the Batak tribe may be found.
The Palawan Lambay Festival is and event that will not cost the visitor anything to watch and this is something that children can learn from as well. One can take snap shots of the Palawan Lambay Festival but the customs of the place dictate that if one should take a picture with a tribe member, it is courteous to give them spare change. The amount of this donation is dependent on how much the giver is willing to part with and could be as little as Php 50.