Thousands expected to join Fertility Dance 2022 in Obando, Bulacan

Published May 17, 2022, 8:40 AM

by Freddie Velez

After two years of pandemic restrictions, the historic and traditional Fertility Dance in Obando, Bulacan will now push through with thousands of devotees expected to attend the ritual thanksgiving festival.

The feast day is held for three consecutive days with dancing in honor of San Pascual (May 17), St. Clare (May 18), and Our Lady of Salambao (May 19). St. Clare is the oldest patron saint of Obando and the first to be enshrined at the chapel built by the Franciscan missionaries in Catanghalan, the old name of Obando town.

Men and women wearing traditional costumes will be dancing in the streets followed by the images of their patron saints San Pascual, Santa Clara, and Nuestra Senora de Salambao, while singing “Santa Clara, pinung-pino” with musical instruments made of bamboo playing along.

Most visitors are asking the patron saints for a son or a daughter, a husband or a wife or good fortune. They dance on the streets as a form of a religious procession primarily in order for the spirit of life to enter the wombs of women as part of the magic and mystery of the town of Obando.

Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, mentioned this fertility dance ritual in his 1887 Spanish novel, Noli Me Tangere (Chapter 6: Captain Tiago).

Col. Charlie A. Cabradilla, acting Bulacan police director, ordered Obando police chief, Maj. Restituto Granil, to remind the devotees to follow the minimum public health protocols against Covid-19.

He ordered the Obando police to maintain peace and order and remind visitors to wear face masks and observe social distancing.