Originally named the Sadsad Festival, it started off as a festival in Barangay Poblacion. During this time, the festival was in honor of the patron of the barangay, San Roque, and was celebrated in March, the feast day of the saint. When the barangay captain became mayor, the barangay festival became the official festival of the town of Oslob. The celebration was also moved to December, which is the feast day of the Immaculate Concepcion.
The festival was later renamed the Sadsadayon Festival. The name comes from two Visayan words, “sadsad,” meaning dance and “dayon,” which means welcome. The term was used to highlight the hospitality and welcoming nature of the Oslobanons. It also shows that the Oslobanons continue to practice good values and traditions.
The Toslob Festival of Oslob features a ritual dance depicting how the town got its name. According to a story, during the Spanish era, two guardia civils or civil guards passed a couple on their way to the town. The two were soaking boiled bananas in vinegar and salt before eating them. When the Spaniards asked them for the name of the town, the couple thought the Spaniards were asking what they were doing. In response, they told the civil guards “toslob,” which means to soak. Due to this, the Spaniards thought the name of the town was Toslob, which eventually became Oslob.