The Municipality of Sibonga is located in the southern part of the island of Cebu. Just like many towns in the country, the name of the town came to be due to a misunderstanding between the natives and the Spaniards. When the Spaniards came to the town, they asked a group of natives for the name of the town. The natives thought the foreigners were asking for the name of the betel fruit they were trading, so they answered “bonga.” From that day on, the town was called Sibonga.
The Bonga Festival of Sibonga is a thanksgiving celebration among residents of the town for the blessings they received in the past year. The town also celebrates the abundance of the food and other resources in the town. The festival is also held in honor of the patron saints of the town, St. Filomena and Our Lady of Pilar. It also falls on the feast day of its patron saints, August 9. The term “bonga” is the Cebuano word for fruit or harvest. The festival originated from the time of the Spaniards when each town celebrated the feast day of their patron saints. A solemn parade is typically held on the feast day of the patron saints.