Katagman Festival is the Ogtonganon’s way of keeping and preserving its rich historical and cultural heritage and also its way of commemorating its 446th year as the First and Oldest Pueblo in Panay way back in May 3, 1572.
The word “Katagman” came from the ancient name of the nose- shaped islet that was surrounded by the Batiano River. Because of its nose shape, it was called “Irong-Irong’ but later the island became officially known as Iloilo.
Katagman (presently Brgy. San Antonio) was the seat of the Madia-as Confederation in Panay under Datu Paiburong until 1226 A.D. The Batiano River was one of the most flourishing Malay ports in 13th century where trading with the Malays, natives and the Chinese merchants took place. Fray Martin de Rada was one of the of the religious in the expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who spread the Christian Doctrine along Batiano River, hence, Katagman also became the gateway of Christianity. Fr. Rada built here the first convent in the Philippines in honor of the Immaculate Conception in 1570, and on May 3, 1572, they officially accepted Oton as a pueblo and third house of the province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Philippine Islands after Manila and Cebu.
In the same year (1572), the Pueblo and Alcadia de Ogtong became the first seat of government and Christianity in Western Visayas.
Since 2002, the Katagman Festival (originally known as Ogtonganon Festival) has become an annual celebration to observe the rich history and culture of Ogtonganon people. It is a week-long activity that starts on April 28 and ends on May 3 which is Oton’s Foundation Day. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) continuously supports and recognizes the value of the festival as contributory to the development of the Ogtonganon and Philippine culture and arts.