Loon’s Astounding SidlaKasilak Festival of Lights

95C40167-6080-4B8D-84E9-FEC297A4D14DPhoto credit: facebook.com/CrispyMr

Every 6th of September the entire town of Loon is a riveting piece of art. As part of the celebration of the Feast of Birhen sa Kasilak, the town hosts the SidlaKasilak Festival Of Lights. The festival has evolved over the last 18 years inspired by past religious processions in Loon when the faithful would light candles in their colorful handheld lanterns or parol.

The select group of Loonanon artists and cultural workers gathered ideas to develop a festival that would highlight the annual celebration of the feast day of the town. The festival takes a solemn turn, with a local band leading the parade from the Municipal Hall down to Loon Plaza where the main event takes place. This year, the Festival of Lights continues the rich culture that has helped to bring all Loonanons together for decades.


Photo credit: facebook.com/CrispyMr

The Visayan word Sidlak which means “ to rise” and Kasilak which means “to shine” best described the characters of Loonanons as they conquer life’s adversities with grit and resilience through their inherent talents and capabilities.



In the past few years of the festival, the dancers would only bring traditional lanterns made of Japanese paper wrapped over flickering candles. With every sway of the dancer’s hands,  the candles could not withstand its light because of the strong impact of the wind and the Japanese paper when raining or burned by the flame.




D3B1B4D3-6910-4259-BAFD-A83FC96DE786Photo credit: facebook.com/CrispyMr

Beginning in 2009, a couple of competing schools have managed to replace these candles with adjustable lights such as flash lights, magic sticks, and light-emitting diodes which made the Festival of Lights even more exciting. Japanese paper were replaced with even modernized style of lanterns made of glaze paper, plastic wrap and clothes.


After an open call to participate, eight participants from different school levels of Loon performed a range of techniques and formation of lights in their spectacular performances.

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SidlaKasilak Festival of Lights sets itself apart from other festivals in Bohol as the only evening dance festival which unites the creativity, visual, and art of all Loonanons.



Fireworks are always magical but music can add a little something to a display. This is why after the event you can hear the crowd singing the Birhen sa Kasilak song as a tribute to the town’s patron saint before popping the fireworks display.


Thanks for reading!


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