Home Culture and Etiquettes The Mighty Carabao, The Philippines

The Mighty Carabao, The Philippines

Although it’s found in different parts of Asian countries, there is a certain breed of water buffalo that is proclaimed as the national animal of the Philippines – the Carabao.

Like a dog, which is recognized as a human’s best friend, the Philippines has its Carabao for a bestfriend. Carabaos are essential animals used as an aid in the rice fields whether by plowing the soil or harvesting the crops. Aside from that, they are very useful as a mode of transportation and a source of meat, milk, and raw materials for furniture.

When not seen in the fields, Carabaos are used in pulling activities in the forest. And of course they have their resting period too.

I remember that every summer or any special occasion, we always visit our grandparent’s home at the province of La Union. But our anticipation goes to the visiting of their nearby farm and their second house nestled on a hilltop. In order to reach that hilltop, the kids and the elderly had to ride the Carabaos with a large Paragos, a wooden apparatus, attached to it. It’s a very exciting ride but make sure that the carabao’s master is with you in order to tame it.

Interesting facts about the Carabao:

– Did you know? The locals in the province of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Rizal celebrate the Carabao Festival for two days, beginning May 14. Because these animals have great importance for farmers, they pay tribute to the water buffalos. Farmers showcase their own Carabaos by making it the healthiest and the most handsome. They are brought to the church on the first day to receive blessings. At the second day, different kinds of activities are held like competing in a friendly race and Carabao painting. We even managed to stop by the festival on our way back home to the city. Our family borrowed a Carabao to paint on and afterwards bought ourselves Carabao milk sweets to snack on.


– A carved wooden Carabao Head choker is attached to the neckerchief of every Boy Scout of the Philippines. It symbolizes loyalty, humility, strength, patience and industry that is held by every Filipino.


/// Written by Daisy Lopez, The Philippines