Kinabayo Festival which is celebrated every July 25 in Dapitan City Zamboanga del Norte Philippines celebrate a mysterious and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, mainly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan. They were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and modernism has made this annual celebration a popular attraction which brings thousands of tourists to the Dapitan City.
St. James, the Greater is the patron saint of Dapitan City. Earlier on into the Spanish rule, Dapitan was still flooded by Moro pirates. The Jesuit priests fatefully set up St. James, to protect the Dapitanons from an attack of invaders. It was believed that in the fifth century, an apparition of St. James, atop a horse carrying a sword, guided the Spansih Christians into victory over the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga. Three centuries later, St. James still plays a significant part in the Dapitanons’ lives. For the past three years the Kinabayo Festival of Dapitan has been celebrated by city folk centering on his feast day, July 25. On that day a magnificent re-enactment of the Battle of Covadonga is unfurled before the city folk and tourists. It is 45 days of celebration that can only be rivaled by Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-Atihan.
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