The Rodeo Masbateno Festival is the most popular and well-known annual festival in the island province of Masbate in the Philippines. Majority of the events are held in the capital and center of the province which is Masbate City. Events in the festival include street dancing, cattle wrestling, bull riding, and lassoing. The festival was first held in 1993 and soon became into an annual affair.
History of the festival: (Source: Wikipilipinas)
The Rodeo Masbateño Festival was conceived in 1992 as a way of uplifting the local cattle industry. It was started by MAKUSOG, a group of ranchers and businesspeople of Masbate, who formed the Rodeo Masbateño Foundation. There had been a long tradition of cattle raising in the province, with some 81% of its land used for pasturing livestock, but at that point in time the industry was in a slump. With the support of the provincial governor Emilio Espinosa Jr., the first Rodeo was staged in 1993. Following this, it became an annual event that improved tourism as well as commerce in the region and increased the locals’ pride in their province’s unique identity and products.
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The event was initially known as Rodeo Filipino, but the name was eventually changed to Rodeo Masbateño. It grew into a national event over the years, attracting tourists from all over the Philippines and abroad. In recognition of the success of this event, on September 2, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 120 declaring Masbate as the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines. Masbate has also become known as the Rodeo Capital of Asia and is now affiliated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association of America. Its homegrown cowboys, whose rodeo talents have been honed at the festival, have participated in the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas.
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