Tostado Festival was first celebrated in 2006 to symbolize and highlight the town’s abundance of farming and marine resources.
The festival’s celebration coincides with the town fiesta with St Gabriel Archangel as patron, a common religious practice among Cebuanos who are mostly Catholics by religion.
One of the highlights of this festival is the vibrant and dazzling street dancing competition that showcases tostado, a famous local cookie. The dancers’ costumes and props reflect the theme as well as their choreography.
Santander is located in the southernmost part of Cebu Province. You can find it at the tip most part of this province where you have an amazing and unobstructed view of the neighboring islands and provinces – Negros Oriental, Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor, etc.
Travelers and locals take advantage of this town’s ports to explore or do business with those neighboring islands taking boats, ferries or pumpboats (local outrigger boats).
Santander is comprised of 10 barangays (townships). It has a backdrop of rugged terrains and ranges that flow towards the coastal plains. The barangays in the coastal areas are the Poblacion (town), Pasil, Canlumacad, Talisay, Liloan and Looc.
Nice white beaches, crystal clear water and thriving marine life make their home in the rich underwater world offering great environment for divers.
Established in 1867 and renamed by the Spaniards after the northern coast of Spain, Santander was first called Tanong by locals. Just like in many parts of the country, this town remains to be called as such.
Now, going back to the festival…
As mentioned above, tostado is the town’s pride as their tasty local cookie delicacy. Some people tried to uncover the origin of this delicacy, however, to no avail nobody has ever established the date or time of its origin.
Anyhow, tostado (which, by the way, I linguistically guessed right), is a Spanish term for ‘toasted’ in English, which is actually not the proper description of this delicacy as it is not really toasted but baked.
Most probably, this present tostado is a variation of the original toasted delicacy in the olden days. We can positively assume that people’s taste changed and the ingredients changed overtime, but the name is inscribed in stone – tostado!
Tostado is a baked cookie made from mixing common ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, shortening and probably some secret flavors. Certainly, this can serve as your snack, dessert or even breakfast for busy bodies!
Being part of the province’s drive to boost local customs and economy, Santander is religiously promoting and trying to make Tostado even more interesting and exciting each year.
The festival does not only attract visitors from outside the town, but it also encourages and empowers townsfolk to participate and become part of the whole drive to promote and develop the town.
The colorful and vibrant performers of street dancers depict the local culture, heritage and primarily the abundant sources of livelihood – farming and fishing.
The dancers are mostly trained by professional choreographers and taught with dance steps depicting tostado cookie making gestures. This is obviously shown through the costumes and props they use.
To make the whole province (or the whole world) learn about this festival, contingents from Santander join prestigious events and cultural shows in Cebu or Mandaue Cities for the wide audience from various places to witness.
Aside from this festival, you can at the same time or take the opportunity to explore a little bit more Santander’s natural sites, tourist attractions and leisure resources. Here are some of them…
It is natural that the beach resorts in this part of the province flourish. This side of the province is one of the best places to establish resorts that are affordable to both visitors and locals. The beaches here are mostly natural and not so ‘manmade’ and ‘beautified’ (yet)! Check out…
Albion Seaside Resort, Bonga Villa Beach Resort, Eden Resort, Lubi Resort, Marine Village Dive House, Pebbles Beach Resort, Swan Beach Resort, Villa Tropical Resort, Kingdom Resort, Ocean Terrace Resort, and more.
The dark history of destructive fishing techniques in Santander has left a bad memory of about the area, nevertheless the recent promotion of environmental and sustainable livelihood has greatly improved the marine life’s diversity of the municipality.
Consequently, it means that you can already enjoy the burgeoning myriad sea life thriving under the sea in the area. Most areas are now under the watch of local officials and protection of the government’s marine policies.
It is the area by the sea where you can view the distant but clearly visible islands of Bohol, Siquijor, Sumilon and even the Province of Negros.
If you are in town, you should not also miss visiting the Poblacion’s government buildings, the town’s old structures, churches & remaining houses of known family lines.
Learn More About Santander: http://www.santander.gov.ph
Thanks a lot for visiting this page and hopefully it gives you some ideas regarding the town and Tostado Festival.
Enjoy your travels.