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Philippine Festivals

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The Sinulog Festival is distinguished by its unusual two-steps-forward-and-one-step-backward shuffle, thus simulating the Holy Child of the shores, the Sinulog is a century-old tradition observed in the part of Visayas region. The prayer-dance is harmonized to the beat of drums and shouts of “Pit Señor! Viva Sto. Niño!”.

Ati-atihan Festival
Date of Celebration: 3rd week of January
Place of Celebration: Kalibo, Aklan
The Ati-Atihan Festival honors the 13th century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the indigenous Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Sto. Niño. The constant, rhythmic pounding of drums get to you, and before you know it you are on the street, shuffling your feet, shaking your head, waving your hands – and joining thousands of soot-blacked, gaily-costumed revelers in an ancient ritual of mindless happiness. A familiar battle cry reaches your ears, and amidst all this bewilderment you remember where you are: Kalibo, Aklan. “Viva, Sto. Niño!” The Ati-Atihan celebration is boomed in many parts of the country.

Kadayawan Festival
Date of Celebration: August 20-24
Place of Celebration: Davao City
People in Davao City watch as the festivities reach a glorious peak on Saturday morning: that’s when the Kadayawan parade is held, featuring colorful, orchid-bedecked floats and more than a dozen “ethnic” groups dancing to the beat of wooden drums.

Panagbenga Festival
Date of Celebration: 4th week of February
Place of Celebration: Baguio City
The Panagbenga Festival is flower season in the city of Pines – perfect timing for an all-out fiesta in the streets. The Baguio folk take a break on these days to revel in the cool climate and the unique culture of the city. Multi-hued costumes are worn, mimicking the various blooms of the highland region (or any of its 11 ethnic tribes). These are flowerbeds – masked, of course, as the Panagbenga parade floats.

Feast of the Black Nazarene
Date of Celebration: January 9
Place of Celebration: Quiapo Manila
The Feast of the Black Nazarene is a festival where people go to Quiapo Church, Manila to honor the miraculous wooden black statue of Jesus Christ carried by male devotees during the procession.

Masskara Festival
Date of Celebration: October 14-21
Place of Celebration: Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
The Masskara Festival features a street dance competition where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully-masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina. Major activities include the Masskara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events organized ad-hoc every year.

Pahiyas sa Quezon Festival
Date of Celebration: May 15
Place of Celebration: Lucban, Quezon
During the Pahiyas sa Quezon Festival, each household decorates the facade of their house, each one trying to outdo another in a friendly competition. A winner is picked every year and many prizes are up for grabs to the household with the most creative and unique decorations.

Pulilan Carabao Festival
Date of Celebration: May 15
Place of Celebration: Pulilan, Bulacan

The Pulilan Carabao Festival involves hundreds of work animals, mostly carabaos, are led on a parade in the streets of the town every 14th and 15th of May to honor its patron saint. San Isidro Labrador. The carabaos decorated with garland and shaved for the occasion, genuflect or kneel in front of the church. Witness the colorful Carabao Festival and religious activities of the town. On the 14th of May, farmers all over the town pay tribute to their patron saint. San Isidro Labrador, in glorious thanksgiving for a year-long bountiful harvest. The celebration is manifested by hanging all sorts of fruits, candies, food crops and multi-colored kipings on bamboo poles. The affairs are highlighted by kneeling of carabaos in front of the church and the symbolic floats. Every year, a sea of frolicking humanity comes in droves to witness these showcasing talents of the carabaos.

Feast of Neutra Señora Peñafrancia
Date of Celebration: 3rd Saturday of September
Place of Celebration: Naga City
The Feast of Neutra Señora Peñafrancia is a celebration in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Its week-long activities feature the fluvial parade of the patroness, sports fests, beauty pageants and other cultural exhibitions.

Pinya Fesitval
Date of Celebration: Calauan, Laguna
Place of Celebration: 2nd week of May
An annual event which started in 1999. The Pinya Festival aims to promote pineapple and other agricultural products of Calauan. It features cultural presentation and exhibit performances, mardi gras, street dancing, pineapple
float parade, pineapple and native products décor contest.

Dalit Festival
Date of Celebration: Tangub City, Misamis Occidental
Place of Celebration: September 29
The Dalit Festival is Tangubanon’s simple way of saying”Mabuhay and Welcome to Tangub” as they celebrate the feast of Saint Michael, the Archangel every September. Dalit means “offering,” that shows the extraordinary way of fostering, friendship, unity, and love of all Tangubanons to their visitors. Rituals and dances that portray the Filipino way of life are some of the various activities and presentations.

Dinagyang Festival
Date of Celebration: 4th week of January
Place of Celebration: Ilo-ilo
The Dinagyang Festival is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan. It is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.

Moriones Festival
Date of Celebration: Easter Sunday/ held on every Holy Week
Place of Celebration: Marinduque
The island of Marinduque prides itself in being the “Lenten Capital of the Philippines”, and it is easy to understand why. Come the seven days of Holy Week, the people of the island take part in the age-old ritual of the “Moriones”. Colorful warrior costumes are worn topped with finely carved masks portraying the violent Roman soldiers of Christ’s time. All these are done to show the story of the conversion of Longuinus, the centurion who stabbed Jesus’ side – and his subsequent beheading.

Obando Festival
Date of Celebration: May 17-19
Place of Celebration: Obando, Bulacan
The Obando Festival is a feast wherein a group of people perform a dance to the tune of musical instruments made out of bamboo materials, the men, women and children of Obando, Bulacan, Philippines wear traditional dance costumes to dance on the streets followed by the images of their patron saints San Pascual Baylon (St. Paschal), Santa Clara (St. Clare) and Nuestra Señora de Salambao (Our Lady of Salambao), while singing the song Santa Clara Pinung-Pino.

Tabak Festival
Date of Celebration: Last week of March
Place of Celebration: Tabaco City, Albay
The festival derived its name from a local word “Tabak”, meaning bolo, where the name of the City (Tabaco) was taken from. Its highlight is a street presentation where participants showcase the legend of the City. Numerous other activities are lined up to drum beat the affair.

Sandugo Festival
Date of Celebration: Tagbilaran City, Bohol
Place of Celebration: 3rd Sunday of July
The Sandugo Festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. This 16th Century peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact or “sandugo”. The Sandugo Festival is held every July. The Tagbilaran City Charter Day on July 1 kicks-off the month-long festival with a holy mass, diana, motorcade and program sponsored by the City Government of Tagbilaran. Among the major activities during the month is the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, and the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition which is usually held on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of July, and organized by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc. (BSFI).

Pintados Festival
Date of Celebration: Tacloban City
Place of Celebration: June 29
Back during pre-Hispanic years, tattoos denoted courage among the natives of Tacloban. These days they symbolize a cultural revival, and a wild, wild fiesta called the Pintados. Join the town residents as they decorate themselves out in body paint, imitating the warriors of old while dancing to the frantic beat of drums.

Balsa Festival
Date of Celebration: May 18
Place of Celebration: Lain, Batangas
The Balsa Festival is that centrepieces the Balsa as a way of relaxation by the Matabungkay Beach Resort. The celebration is culminated by a race and decorating contest for the Balsa. The festival is spearheaded by the Matabungkay Beach Resort and Hotel and the private sector of Lian, Batangas.

Higantes Festival
Date of Celebration: November 22-23
Place of Celebration: Angono Rizal
The Higantes Festival is a fiesta of “gigantic” proportions; this one is highlighted by a grand procession featuring the higantes, ten-foot papier-mâché puppets, surrounded by a crowd of drenched, water-fighting revellers. Better bring your squirt gun if you want to join the fun. It is a water-logged event that is sure to leave you wet n’ wild – and wanting for more.

Sampaguita Festival
Date of Celebration: February 21-22
Place of Celebration: San Pedro, Laguna
The Sampaguita Festival features a grand parade of colorful floats participated by both government and private sector. The highlight of the festival is the Coronation Night of the “Hiyas ng San Pedro”. The festival aims to promote tourism in San Pedro and revitalize the sampaguita industry in San Pedro, Laguna.

Bangkero Festival
Date of Celebration: 1st week of January
Place of Celebration: Pagsanjan, Laguna
The Bangkero Festival features exciting events both on water and land such as the “palarong bangkero” (fluvial parade and exhibitions), street dancing, drum and lyre band competition, chorale fest, cultural night, trade fair, sports events among others.

Talulot Festival
Date of Celebration: Last Sunday of September
Place of Celebration: Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
The Talulot Festival is a vibrant and wondrous spectacle of music, dance and local talents. Close to 2,500 people attend the Pontifical Mass and festivities every year. On its fifth year, the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines and Magnificat Ventures Corporation, partnered with the City of Pasay, Barangay 183, Resorts World Manila, and the Newport City Estate Association. Talulot is named after the Filipino word for petal, in honor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus who is also known as God’s Little Flower. Devotees of Saint Therese believe that she sends a flower or flowers as a sign of granted prayer.

T’nalak Festival
Date of Celebration: July 13-18
Place of Celebration: Koronadal City, South Cotabato
The T’nalak Festival is a prestigious annual event highlighting the famous t’nalak fabric that symbolizes the culture of South Cotabato. The province is a key player in the merging of South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City (Socsargen), one of the country’s fastest growing development clusters. The festival is celebrated during the foundation anniversary of South Cotabato from July 13-18. Apart from the innovative agri-trade expos, exciting competitions, sports and parades, the highlight of this festival is the street dancing competition, featuring a dazzling display of colors from performers garbed in traditional costumes.

Kaamulan Festival
Date of Celebration: 2nd week of February to March 10
Place of Celebration: Bukidnon
Expect the Bukidnon to go tribal from the first to the second week of March, when the streets of Malaybalay take on that familiar fiesta theme. Banners, banderitas, and beer will be standard, as well as the sweet, haunting sound of native music. An early morning pamuhat ritual kicks off the festivities, to be followed by an ethnic food fest, trade fairs, and a lot of native dancing. Aliwan Festival

Date of Celebration: the month of April/May
Place of Celebration: Pasay City
The Aliwan Festival is an annual event that gathers different cultural festivals of the Philippines in Star City Complex in Pasay City wherein contingents compete in dance and float competitions, as well as in a beauty pageant. Organized by Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) together with Cultural Center of the Philippines(CCP) and the cities of Manila and Pasay, the event is dubbed as “The Mother of All Fiestas,” with prizes totalling to P3 million (roughly US$70,000). Aliwan Fiesta, which began in 2003, aims to showcase the different Filipino cultures and heritage not only to the people in Metro Manila but also to the rest of the world. The contingents, meanwhile, aim to promote their respective regions both economically and tourism-wise. It was originally organized as a visual extravaganza for the Christmas season, but it has since been held during the summer months of either April or May. Aliwan is a Tagalog word for “entertainment” or “amusement.”

Kagay-an Festival
Date of Celebration: August 26-28
Place of Celebration: Cagayan de Oro
The Kagay-an Festival is a week-long festival in celebration of Cagayan de Oro’s patron saint Señor San Agustin, held every month of August. “Kagay-an” thus means a river. Highlights of the Kagay-an Festival are Kahimuan Trade Fair that features the native products of the city and province particularly on agriculture products, Miss Kagay-an, Folkloric Street Dancing Competition which features colorful attires and cultural dances of the Higaonon tribes, Golden Float Parade, Halad sa Lambagohan, PE Rhythmic Dance Competition, Kalo Festival and Kumbira that started on 1996 by Kagay-anons hoteliers and restaurants. A culinary show and exhibit, it has been evolved over the years and it now hosts a culinary competition among students and professionals all over Mindanao.

Penafrancia Festival
Date of Celebration: 3rd Sunday of September
Place of Celebration: Bicol
The Penafrancia Festival is Bicol region’s largest celebration is an annual affair that combines religion with culture and tradition, stuffing it all in a 9-day fiesta of biblical proportions.

Lanzones Festival
Date of Celebration: every 3rd week of October
Place of Celebration: Camiguin Island
The Lanzones Festival in Mambadjao Camiguin is celebrated with a weekend street dancing competition and parties, cultural shows, parade and beauty pageant (coronation of Mutya sa Buahanan) and trade fair that features local handicraft and products. Houses, street poles and even people are ornamented with lanzones during the event.

Puto Latik Festival
Date of Celebration: February 5-6
Place of Celebration: Laguna
The Puto Latik feautres a lot of activities including the Maglalatik Street Dance Competition; the Grand Float Parade; the Miss Biñan Coronation Night; a tree-planting activity; and the Biñan Trade Fair.

Tuna Festival
Date of Celebration: 4th week of September
Place of Celebration: General Santos City
The Tuna Festival celebrates the contribution of tuna fish to the General Santos City’s livelihood.

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