Biniray Festival of Rombon is an annual cultural and religious event to honor Nuestro Señor Santo Niño de Romblon. Held every 2nd week of January, the Biniray Festival is similar to the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, showcasing the rich culture and deep faith of Romblomanons in Roman Catholicism.
This annual festival features fun-filled activities, from parade, music, and street dancing to local product exhibits, sports tournaments, and float competitions. So to know more about this week-long event, keep reading to find out what the Biniray Festival of Romblon is and why it’s worth experiencing!
About The Biniray Festival
Romblon’s festival comes from the word “biniray”, which means “where we sailed to.” This religious event was held to praise the Nuestro Señor Santo Niño de Romblon, where its enshrined image can be found at the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the province, the Saint Joseph Cathedral, or known as Romblon Cathedral. Apart from the abundant harvest, it celebrates the day the Spanish vessel was swept by the typhoon while carrying the replica of Santo Niño the Cebu.
Tonton & Fluvial Parade
For firm believers, Tonton is a must-experience religious event, which takes place a day before the Biniray Festival of Romblon. It’s a traditional practice held at Romblon Cathedral, which starts with a mass and ends with the traslacion of the decades-old Santo Niño de Romblon replica. The statue is brought down from the altar and roams to the streets for a parade. Then, the crowds chant lively, saying “Viva Señor Santo Niño! Viva!”. Afterward, the statue will be sent to the church with a choreographed move.
Experience the Festival
During the Biniray Festival, the people joining the festivities will paint their bodies in black as it represents the Ati. With the Ati-Atihan version of Romblon, the festival is bright and lively. It features ethnic dances accompanied by live music utilizing traditional instruments, like bamboo tubes, drums, sticks, and gongs. The street dance parade starts early in the morning. Participants wear colorful costumes adorned with flowers, vines, and black body paintings.