In 2005, Babak residents thought of reviving the
founding anniversary of the then Municipality of Babak. The
week-long celebration (May 22-28) was dubbed “The Revival”.
It was in the same year that Caracoles Samal was
staged in Babak. The grandiose festivity and the impact it has left
Babak residents kept them excited for the next year’s celebration.
However, because of lack of budget, and with the
blessings of the Department of Tourism Region XI, Davao City’s
Waterfront Insular Hotel became the venue for Caracoles Samal 2006.
Babak folks’ spirits were dampened because this was contrary to
To satisfy the Babak residents’ craving for
Caracoles, the Executive Committee of the commemoration of Araw ng
Babak adapted and innovated some of the events of Caracoles Samal
and monikered the celebration Kabasan Festival.
If Caracoles is the Spanish word for “seashells”,
Kabasan is its lumad (native) counterpart. No wonder both festivals
have some similarities.
Today, Kabasan Festival has evolved into one of Samal
Island’s biggest festivals celebrating the spectacles and splendors
of the Island City. Kabasan Festival usually a six-day celebration
starting on May 23 and culminating on May 28, with the so much
activities that made the celebration really festive and colorful.
Instead of fearing the sight of bats, environmental
advocates like the Monfort Bat Conservation Foundation set the last
week of January as the Bat Festival held in Babak District, Island
Garden City of Samal.
This is to promote bats as friendly creatures and
appreciate the Monfort Conservation Park as the home of the largest
population of Rousette fruit bat which now houses about 2 million in
This recognition was made by scientist Dr. Merlin
Tittle and Dr. David Waldien of the Bat Conservation International
who personally visited and assessed the said park.
It was found out that the intense hunting pressure in
other caves in the Samal are could have caused the increase in the
number of bats inside the Monfort Conservation Park especially when
it has already been protected.
The first bat festival ever held in the country aims
to further educate the public about the importance of bats and to
dispel myths about these creatures.
Among the activities lined up in this week-long
festival are sports activities, cultural night, cave management
workshop, and a bat research design workshop. Students were invited
to participate in the said activities.