7 Reasons To Attend Gapo and Pasulong Festival in General Nakar

Have you ever celebrated a fiesta in a town? A town where you didn’t know anyone, yet you feel like you are one of them. Here are the 7 reasons to attend Gapo and Pasulong Festival in General Nakar, Quezon Province.

In celebration of its 74th founding anniversary, General Nakar’s Gapo and Palusong Festival was held on July 21–27, 2023, with the theme Fiestang Nakarin, Ani ng Galing. The residents of General Nakar’s hometown, known as Nakarins, and all the adjacent towns in Quezon Province held a one-week celebration. Every day was jam-packed with activities that allowed the Nakarins to showcase their ingenuity, sportsmanship, and rich culture, including parades, street dancing competitions, cooking competitions, motocross challenges, and sing-and-dance competitions, among many others.

The constantly changing weather made it difficult. Even though it has been raining quite a bit on occasion, Nakarin’s unwavering spirit has not lost any of its strength. Every time they carry out their daily activities, they are blessed with wonderful weather.

1. The Grand parade on the streets of General Nakar

The rain continued to fall in the early morning hours before the parade. The sun appeared and shone on us just as the parade was about to begin! There are barangay, neighborhood department offices, senior citizens, parent-teacher organizations with all smiles on their faces. The local government employees of General Nakar are also present at this event. There are also street dancers, drum and lyre bands, and majorettes.

Children were the focal point of the parade; donning cute and dainty dresses while dancing to the beat of the drums.
Gapo and Pasulong Festival
The lyre and drums wake the townspeople to join and watch the parade at Gapo and Pasulong Festival.
Gapo and Pasulong Festival
They danced their hearts out in the middle of the street.

2. Exciting street dance performance

It was sweltering hot now that the sun was up! The competitors in the street dancing competition were just encouraged to give their best effort and enjoy performing for their encouraging barangays. They understood Nakarin’s tradition of Gapo and Palusong—a tradition that was held before they sowed their farms—as a sign of praying for God’s blessing on their crops and giving thanks at the same time so that they will have abundant and fruitful crops during this harvest season.

Salute to the props; they gave the dance a realistic effect and boosted their performance.
Winners of the street dance, Barangay Anoling

3. Night of the LGU/Governor’s

At Nakar’s Sports Center, they conducted the LGU/Governor’s Night to wrap up the first day of the Fiesta. The hardworking Mayor Eliseo Ruzol, the “action man” as they call him, and all the constituents, barangay captains, and government officials made this whole fiesta possible. A special mention goes to Sir Jonathan Saynes, Head of their Tourism Office, who has helped us since we arrived on our first day. The night was full of good music from the bands, who entertained us while we ate our sumptuous dinner.

The people sang along with Azel of Moonstar88. She sang her top hits: Sulat, Torete, and Stained Glass.
A night with the bloggers Janrey of Just Janny, Jan of Kapampangan Traveller, and Kat Cortes of Tara Let’s Anywhere enjoy the night full of soothing music and delicious food.

4. Appetizing Coco Cooking Contest

Here is where the Nakarins’ inventiveness showed on the second day of the Fiesta! Competing from several participating barangays. They were to prepare a dish using “gata” (coconut milk) as the primary ingredient for both the main course and the dessert. I have observed how they all work together to create the food that will be served to the judges. We were also allowed to taste test their prepared cuisine as well, and oh! Each dish is distinctive! I’ve consumed a wide variety of foods prepared using various variations of their gata ingredient. But of course, Barangay Anoling, for their main course, Baranlosdish, and dessert, Kalabuko Turon is the contest’s sole winner.

Brgy. Anoling’s big winner for the main course and dessert category, which are truly unique and can be promoted as one of the original recipes in General Nakar.
Here are the other dishes that competed in the Coco Cooking Contest of Gapo and Pasulong Festival.

5. Kickstarter Enduro Cross Challenge and KTM Rimba Raid Asia Qualifiers

The events are still going on the third day, and every day it only gets busier and busier! One of General Nakar’s greatest assets is its scenery, which is ideal for sports like motocross. It was breathtaking to witness! All of the competitors faced difficulties due to the hurdles. I have no doubt that all motorsports fans want to take part in this competition, particularly the KTM Rimba Raid where the large bikes will participate. When I refer to tough roads, I mean rocky roads that are both uphill and downhill. Numerous rivers must also be crossed by them. Watching them gave me adrenaline; what more if you are the one driving through these tracks?

Gapo and Pasulong Festival
It was a sight to see when they flew their motor up and then jumped back down!
Everyone who watches the competition is giving the contestants cheers and support!

6. Awesome Sing and Dance Contest

The sing-and-dance competition preparation took place on the fourth and fifth days. The sixth day till their performance night is now here. For a Filipino, a fiesta would not be complete without a singing and dance competition! Of course, Nakarins have that talent as well! When it came to their performances, they were all talented! Even though there were some technical issues, it was incredibly enjoyable. Since the hosts are equally fantastic at making the audience happy, it is hardly a feat. Their quips and banter have made me laugh a lot! The judges had to make a quick decision throughout the competition because they couldn’t go back and change their prior scores. As a result, they had to go with their instincts, and they all chose the best! The winners are indeed deserving! I hope those who didn’t win will continue to compete because they were all great!

Gapo and Pasulong Festival
The hosts—Cris Astoveza and Ervin Villanueva, a homegrown Nakarin—worked their charm through the crowd, and their wittiness is very commendable!

7. Robust performance for the Champion Variety Show

The Eucharistic Celebration and the eagerly anticipated, star-studded Champion Variety Show were held on the final day of the Fiesta. PPop Generation, Don Amuel and Kelvin Miranda of GMA Artist, and Rachelle Laylo and Luis Gragera of Tawag ng Tanghalan all dazzled us. Everyone in Nakarins was ecstatic to see  Pambansang Ginoo, David Licauco. With their entertaining performances, the audience went wild. I adore the fact that they even left the stage to mingle with the audience. They spent time taking pictures. Such a memorable night!

The sweet Don Amuel serenades girls while taking pictures with them.
Girls and even guys went crazy to see David Licauco in person!

My heart is overflowing with joy as I look back on everything I saw and did to celebrate General Nakar’s Fiesta. I have learned a lot and immersed myself in their vibrant culture. In addition to the tourism office, I also felt incredibly welcomed by the hotels we stayed in, the restaurants we visited, and the tourist attractions we saw.

Jennilyn Zuniega from JENtsilyo_ph
Gapo and Pasulong Festival
Jen, a contributor of Travel with Karla, at Gapo and Pasulong Festival

Nakarins were modest, amiable, and welcoming. They genuinely exhibit Filipino characteristics. Even though it was my first time in this place, I felt at home right away. When it was time to bid them farewell and depart, I got teary-eyed. This place has a way of calming you down and putting you at peace. When they celebrate their 75th anniversary next year, you might want to go if you’re also searching for a place to unwind. There would undoubtedly be numerous sporting events, food competitions, and other activities scheduled. It is undoubtedly something to look forward to!

About the Author

Jennilyn Zuniega is a book editor and crochet entrepreneur with a splash of wit, bubbly charm, and candor. An avid sports enthusiast, she loves running and badminton. Her journal is a trove of adventures, and she adores anime and books. Beyond her hobbies, she volunteers for storytelling with kids and actively engages in her local church. The pandemic sparked extroversion in her introverted nature, as she embraces lifelong learning and authenticity. Follow @JENtsilyo_PH on Facebook and Instagram to join her captivating journey of words and crochet creations.

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  1. It really proves that no one can beat the Filipino fiesta. From what you’d shared Ms. Karla, we can really tell how amazing and fun their fiesta is. Each day are filled with great activities that everyone can enjoy, and showcasing of fantastic talents.

  2. I’m not really a festival-goer, but this sounds interesting. It also reminds me of the novel Gapo by Lualhati Bautista 😁

    There’s a huge annual festival in the place where I grew up called Dinagyang and I’ve never attended it. I only watched the competitions on the television.

    Growing up, I remember my parents inviting a lot of people every third Sunday of January to celebrate the feast of the Sto. Niño. I rarely invited friends. I prefer hiding in my room and not mixing with people lol I’m such an introvert. I only invited people when on my last year at uni.

    I liked the perya, though, especially where you threw 25 centavo coins (used to be 25 c, anyway, when I was a little nipper) on a square board with loads of smaller squares on it in a bid to win something small like a packet of crisps or a glass for drinking. Good fun!

  3. Ang daming activities sa Festival na ito kaya for sure, super nag enjoy lahat ng tao sa lugar at sa mga umattend ng iba’t ibang activities. I want to attend this kind of festival.


  5. Grabe wow , isa ito sa mga mgandang festival at nakaka enjoy tlga , pe4fect dayuhin 😍

  6. Ang saya saya kaya manood ng ganitong festival ♥️
    Kasi daming ganap ,like street dance performance and moreee

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