Every October, Buglasan Festival of Festivals is celebrated by the whole Province of Negros Oriental. But as of present time, only a few knew of how and where the festival began.
In retrospect, the first Buglasan Festival was held inside the campus of Foundation University in May of 1980 and the rooms were offered by then University President Marcelino Maxino to be used by the local government units as display booths.
The prime movers of Buglasan namely: Prudencio Sirilan, Bobby Villasis, Peter Dayot, Daniel Delfin and Bobby Café were connected with the University during that time.
Unexpectedly, Villasis’ plan to reorganize the University Dance Troupe now called Buglasayaw Dance Troupe led to something bigger. He wrote a letter to Loury U. Lacson, daughter of Bayanihan Dance Company founder, Lucresia Reyes-Urtula. And in 1979, Lacson arrived at FU giving everybody a shock and a worry on how to pay her professional fee as the choreographer of the dance troupe.
Little did they know that a year later, Lacson received an invitation to the 1st Philippine Folk Arts Festival in Manila wherein every province must be presented through a festival. There was no existing organized festival yet during that time for the province so, this prompted the prime movers to create a festival now called Buglasan – coined after the word “Buglas” the old name of the province which is also a type of weed that can grow up to three feet high. The catch phrase “festival of festivals” was added to convey that it is a collection of the festivals from all over the province.
Foundation University’s commitment to preserve and promote Filipino culture has been evident in the community and Buglasan is a living testament. Years after the festival grew, FU turned over Buglasan for the province to develop and sustain.
After thirty-seven years since its inception, Buglasan Festival of Festivals stands at the crossroads of history, as one of the remarkable fruits of Foundation University, a babe once cradled in the humble arms of an institution that aims to conserve and preserve the history, culture, arts and traditions of the Filipinos, inspired by the ideals of its esteemed founder Dr. Vicente G. Sinco.
Foundation University’s participation in the present-day Buglasan Festival of Festivals is a testament to its lifelong commitment in order to sustain, to continually nourish and support the Province of Negros Oriental in its development programs through tourism, culture and arts.
Indeed, the simple reorganization plan of the dance troupe led to the renaissance of culture and arts not only inside the campus of Foundation University but was shared to the community, through the inception of Buglasan Festival.
When Buglasan is celebrated every year, FU takes pride to see how its brainchild, once cradled in the arms of the institution, has grown to be the prime fiesta of history, culture and the arts for the Province of Negros Oriental.
Photo by: Hersley Casero, FU Resident Artist (1st prize, 1st Buglasan Photo Contest)