To manifest their gratitude, the early Filipinos celebrated the victory by holding a revelry that is the SINULOG today.
The nearby town of Ilog, the first established town in south Negros, whose influence extended beyond its jurisdiction, had not been spared from those attacks. Kabankalan, being adjacent to it, had, then, become a safe refuge, at one time or another, of the townspeople who fled the onslaught of the pirates. The fleeing people would even reach the far-flung Carol-an Valley, a mountain redoubt in Kabankalan then ruled by its legendary leader Datu Manyabog.
Old tale persistently circulating in that town told of an incident that, in the fiercest battle, that proved to be the last, the town defenders were surprised to see the pirates scarily retreating to the seashore and hastily reaching for their vintas to flee homeward.
Curious to see what it was, the townspeople saw a small child atop the church tower waving his shining sword as though driving the pirates away. As the pirates fled in haste, the townspeople indulged in revelry creating hilarious sounds on things they could hold on.
In one sense, SINULOG is an apt effort to uphold and perpetuate the tradition that has eventually been lost by the early Filipinos and venerate a patron saint who has played a significant role in the history of the country. In another sense, it recognizes the value of the migrant workers from across the sea who earlier brought in the tradition and eversince had been an indispensable partner of the sugar industry.
Initially staged in 1976 as a festival, SINULOG has grown to become one of the major festivals not only in Negros Occidental but also in Western Visayas. In 2005, SINULOG has gone global in partnership with ABS-CBN, thereby placing Kabankalan on the road map of festivals in the Philippines.