Majority of the Boholano culture has been greatly influenced by Spanish civilization mixed with indigenous Filipino traditions.
The most evident upbringing brought about by the Spaniards is Christianity. About 75% – 85% of the total population comprises the Roman Catholics. Other Christian denominations such as Iglesia ni Cristo, Protestants, and Born Again, and Islam belong to the remainder.
A fiesta is a form of celebration in honor of the respective patron saint of the town.
Over the decades that have passed, many have regarded Bohol as the ‘Fiesta Capital’ of the Philippines, especially on the month of May. Call it peculiar, uncanny, surprising, or whatever you have in mind, be perplexed upon discovering that the Boholanos’ love for fiesta is eternal. Be it in the city or anywhere else in the province of Bohol, the month of May is a haven for fiestas day by day.
For Boholanos who are working or living in other places within the country or even abroad, they always keep in mind the dates of their town fiestas, and then make every inch of effort to come home or visit their relatives and friends just to attend the celebration. It is that huge deal for Bol-anons when it comes to fiesta, since it is the only time of the year where all of the family members get to gather together and have a timely reunion.
Regardless of social status, almost every Boholano home prepares a sumptuous feast, be it simple or lavishly prepared. And definitely, the main course that is considered to be the highlight of every celebration is the Lechon or Inasal. It is a fattened pig that is roasted to perfection, with its skin cooked to the ultimate crisp.
This tradition has surpassed a lot of obstacles in the past. In fact, several attempts were made by the provincial government, and even the church, to stop this idiosyncrasy once and for all. Once, ordinances were attempted to arrest waves of fiesta visitors and guests, but all of these were unsuccessful. All of these were not enough to dampen the Boholano festival spirit.
The significance of fiesta is rooted to one simple trait, hospitality. When one celebrates fiesta in his own home (regardless of his financial status) the host warmly welcomes his guests – friends and strangers alike – all with a honor and cordial reception. And in return, those who have been invited will also become hosts themselves of their own homes when the time of their fiesta comes. This form of mutualism overwhelms any form of obstacle and barrier, thus strengthening bonds and friendship, respect, and family ties.