San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish

 Pleasant Hill Subdivision, City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines       Tel. No.:  044-7690585

Sambuklod Festival - A Unique Celebration in Honor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz
by Emily G. Sequeira
September , 2003

Most festivals in the Philippines are ancestral traditions from generation to generation that have been preserved up to the present time. These legacies depict the multi-faceted re-enactment of customs and beliefs of the Filipino Christians, thus, Fiestas and other Feast Day celebrations are held.  It is an expression of the Filipinos’ strong faith in God and respect and admiration to the Patron Saints whom they consider models and guiding inspiration in their spiritual life. This was made manifest when San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish launched on September 23, 2001 the SAMBUKLOD FESTIVAL – the first of its kind in honor of the First Filipino Saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz. 

SAMBUKLOD which is an acronym for “Sambayanang Buhay at Umuunlad Kasama si Lorenzong Dakila” really hopes to achieve what its name implies- UNITY. Considering that most of the parishioners hailed from different cultural and ethnic background and had settled to form a new community, unity among the residents has always been elusive. With a new festival and tradition that the people can identify with as purely their own as a new parish and community, this dream of unification amidst diversification is no longer impossible to achieve.

The Festival includes a traditional parade of floats participated by the different sub-parishes and organizations using recycled materials. The highlight of the affair is the Street Dancing Competition or Mardi Gras which has a different theme every year. Sambuklod elicits from the people their cooperation and team spirit -- necessary ingredients to make a community move towards progress not only in their social and economic life but most importantly, in their spiritual growth.

From its third year, Sambuklod has been participated in by more diverse groups as the festival has been adapted by the City Council of Tourism as the official festival of this city. It is also a venue wherein eco-tourism can be promoted not only city-wide but also on the national level and perhaps in the future, in the international scene too.

Sambuklod Honors San Lorenzo Ruiz
by Emily G. Sequeira
September 21, 2009

Sambuklod is an acronym which stands for “Sambayanang Buhay at Umuunlad Kasama si Lorenzong Dakila.” (A Community that is Alive and Growing along with the Companionship of the Venerable Lorenzo).

“Buklod”, a Filipino word which means “unite” is what the festival hopes and wants to achieve - UNITY amidst DIVERSITY as a new parish and as a new and emerging community with residents coming from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

The annual festivity  held at San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish in San Jose del Monte, the First City of the Province of Bulacan starts with a Novenario (9 days Novena to San Lorenzo Ruiz). The days that  follow are filled with activities like variety shows, singing contests, “Palarong Pinoy”, fireworks display, processions and a Grand Healing Mass. The festival culminates on the 4th Sunday of September with a concelebrated Mass, a grand Parade and a Street Dancing Competition.

From its birth and conception in 2001, the festival evolved with a different theme each year, that showcases and highlights the community’s joyful and colorful thanksgiving for the many blessings received through the intercessions of San Lorenzo, the first Filipino Saint; the saint who had been willing “to live and give a thousand lives for God.” Like as many Filipino believers and devotees had put it in their own words: “Si San Lorenzo ang Santong Madaling Lapitan, Huwaran ng Mga Pinoy Kahit Saanman.”

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