This fiesta was held to honor the patroness of Opon, and the celebrations always take place every year on November 20-21. This religious and social event reveals the deep religious faith of the people and the penchant for merry making. A food fair, a procession and then a coronation of the Fiesta Queen highlights the festivity.
It has been known that Opon was the nickname of Lapu-lapu. As a matter of fact, Lapu-lapu has nothing to do with the original name of the island. Opon, or opong, was a local word which refers to the cogon grass used to teem the island. And thus, the island had derived their name from that lowly cogon grass called opon.
According to history, the first parish to have been created by the Augustinians in mainland Cebu was the San Nicolas Parish, 1584. Opon was a visita of San Nicolas from the early 1600's and up to the start of the 18th century, civily and ecclesiastically under the administration of San Nicolas. The first parish priest of Opon was Fr. Francisco Avalle, an Augustinian friar from Spain who officially began his term in 1735. He was referred to as the "Prior y Ministro del Convento de Nuestra Señora de Opon". The first diocesan priest, after the parish was governed by the Augustinians and then the Jesuits, was Fr. Vicente Roa.
Strictly speaking, the word "regla" does not refer to menstruation. It actually means "rule" or "discipline", as in the Rule of the Order of St. Augustine. It was St. Augustine who hand-carved the first image of the Virgen de Regla and made her the patroness of the Rule of what is the present-day Order of St. Augustine. He made reglas or rules for the members of his Order to follow, dedicating them to the Virgin of St. Augustine.
The dark image of the Virgen de la Regla was due to its history. It was originally the patron saint of North Africa, and so, to give the people a sense of familiarity and acquaintance, their patron saint was also made to have her skin color similar to theirs. What is known in Opon as the Virgen de la Regla was also known to Guadalupe as La Virgen Morena. Whatever her name might be, this patron saint will always continue to bring hope to her people, amidst many trials that they may face.