Festivals and Events

 

January

New Year
Date: January 1st

Filipino start the year with a Bang!!

Feast of the Black Nazarene
Date: January 9th
Location: Quiapo, Manila
A grand Fiesta, this festival centers on the image of the Black Nazarene which was transported by galleon from Mexico to Manila in the 17th century. The festival is marked by an afternoon procession by thousands of devotees.

Ati-Atihan
Date: January 16-22 Location: Kalibo, Aklan
One of the most popular of the Philippine festivals, the Ati-atihan is a celebration in honor of the Sto. Niño. Revelers don colorful costumes and paint their bodies black and dance to the distictive beat of “Hala bira!” around the town.

Chinese New Year
Date: 23rd of January
Philippines’ large Chinese population, the Chinese or Lunar New Year has become the “second New Year” for most Filipinos. For 2012, January 23 (declared by Malacañang as a special non-working holiday) marks the start of the Year of the Water Dragon.

Pasungay
Date: Every 2nd Saturday of January Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo
A festival of bulls on the hillsides of San Joaquin. Prized bulls from the town and neighboring areas fight amidst wild cheering from spectators.

Sinulog Festival
Date: Every third weekend of January Location: Cebu City, Cebu
The Feast of the Sto. Niño is celebrated in Cebu with a procession, street dancing competition and a fluvial parade. Much like the Ati-atihan, the Sinulog Festival is marked by frenzied reverly to the chant of “Pit Senor!”

Dinagyang
Date: Every fourth weekend of January Location: Iloilo City, Iloilo
Spectacle characterized by a frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing and chanting all day and night.

Zambulawan
Date: Every third Sunday of January Location: Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
The founding of Pagadian City showcases the Subanon tribe’s rich cultural heritage by way of songs, dances and exhibits of musical instruments.

 

February

Feast of Our Lady of Candles
Date: February 2 Location: Jara, Iloilo City
The biggest and most opulent religiuos pageanty in Western Visayas. The blessing of candles and the yearly procession of the patroness, the Nuestra Senora de Candelaria is followed by the fiesta queen and her court which highlights the celebration.

People Power Anniversary
Date: February 25
People Power Anniversary is a nationwide observance and school holiday in the Philippines each year. This event holds a special place in the hearts of many Filipinos as they remember a revolution that restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986.

 

March

Parraw Regatta
Date: First Sunday of March Location: Iloilo City
An exciting race among native outriggers in the strait between Guimaras Island and Iloilo City. This is an activity every summer hedged with rules, umpires and kibitzers.

 

April

Via Crusis
Date: April 1 Location: Cebu City
A lenten activity where devotees from Cebu City and its neighboring cities and towns do their penitential procession through cities the Station of the Cross built on 12 hectares of rolling hills. the life-size statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross have been patterned after the Way of the Cross in Lourdes, France.

Lenten Season
Maundy Thrusday
Date: April 5

Good Friday
Date: April 6

Holy Saturday
Date: April 7

Easter Sunday
Date: April 8

Lenten Season is a very sacred holiday wherein Filipinos are doing something to reflect on their sins and re-commit themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the time of the year where everyone is spending their quiet time either at home or taking retreats in some religious place.Being a Catholic country, Filipinos have a lot of outrageous practices during this season and one of those can be found in a small town known as Kapitangan in Paombong, Bulacan.

Pak’kaat Kallo
Date: Holy Week Location: Magpet, Cotabato
An annual feast of the Manobo tribal community of Magpet in celebration of a bountiful harvest.

Moriones Festival
Date: Holy Week Location: Boac, Magpoc, Marinduque
One of the most famous of Philippine festivals. Colorfully garbed and masked as Roman soldiers and centurions, locals reenact the life of Longinus culminating in his beheading. The entire towns of Boac, Morpog and Gasan are virtually converted into huge stages as the story as Longinus unfolds.

Turumba
Date: Good Friday Location: Pakil, Laguna
A procession of the centuries-old image of the Virgin Mary through the streets, procession, singing and dancing to the Turumba.

Ang Pagtaltal sa Guimaras
Date: Good Friday Location: Jordan, Guimaras
Lenten presentation on the hillside of Jordan with locals as actors. This ala-Oberrammergou event has been attracting hundreds of foreign and domestic tourists: Local devotees’ visit usually culminates in the trek to “Balaan Bukid” or Holy Mountain where a huge cross is planted by the chapel overlooking Guimaras Strait and Iloilo City.

Lamilamihan Festival
Date: 2nd or 3rd Week of April Location: Lamitan, Basilan
A yearly festival coinciding with the founding of Lamitan Municipality; showcases the traditional Yakan customs and traditions, music and dances, and traditional crafts.

Manaoag Pilgrimage
Date: 2nd Week of April Location: Pangasinan
Annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. Known to local pilgrims / tourists as miraculous, the Virgin’s image has become one of Manaoag’s main attractions. Pilgrims’ vehicles are blessed every Saturday.

 

May

Labor Day
Date: May 1st
National Holiday.

Pista’y Dayat
Date: May 1 Location: Lingayen, Pangasinan
A day of thanksgiving for bountiful harvests and abundant fishing observed all over Pangasinan traditional with mass offering on beautiful beaches and fluvial parade.

Santacruzan
Date: May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Location: Nationwide
The Santacruzan is a procession commemmorating St. Helena’s finding the “True Cross”; preceded bya nine-day Novena in honor of the Holy Cross. On the ninth day, usually on a weekend, the Santacruzan is held. The Reina Elena, accompanied by a little boy representing King Constantine, and the other sagalas representing biblical characters and the attributes of the Blessed Virgin, walk under gaily decorated arches.

Carabao Festival
Date: May 14 – Location: Angono, Rizal
Farmers pay tribute to their patron saints; a procession of carabao carts bearing a myriad local produce is held; prizes are awarded to the strongest and most beautifully decorated carabaos.

Pulillan Carabao
Date: May 14 Location: Pulilan, Bulacan
Hundreds of festively adorned carabaos are paraded by theis farmer-owners on the street leading to the church; there they are made to kneel down homage to San Isidro de Labrado, the patron saint of farmers.

Pahiyas sa Quezon
Date: May 15 Location: Sariaya, Lucban, Tayabas, Quezon
Homes are decked with kiping (multi-colored paper thin, leaf-shaped rice kropeck) and harvested vegetables; trade fair; civic parades, procession and other activities.

Obando Fertility Rites
Date: May 17 to 19 Location: Obando, Bulacan
A three day fiesta celebration in honor of San Pascual, Baylon, Sta. Clara and Nuestra Senora de Salambao. Childless couples, thankful parents, grateful farmers and fishermen dance along the streets together with colorfully customed women to pray for children and a good harvest.

Tapusan sa Kawit
Date: May 30 Location: Kawit, Cavite
A procession of gaily decorated floats decked with flowers of Maytime honors the Blessed Virgin. The participation of the town’s most beautiful young ladies symbolizes the purity and innocence of the Blessed Mother.

Antipolo Pilgrimage
Date: May Location: Antipolo, Rizal
A month-long celebration that brings devotees and pilgrims to venerate the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage enshrined in Antipolo Church and afterwards, picnic to nearby Hinulugang Taktak.

 

June

Independence Day
Date: June 12 Location: Kawit, Cavite
Independence Day Celebration, marked by a flag raising ceremony on the balcony of the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, where the first Philippine flag was unfurled.

Parada ng Lechon
Date: June 24 Location: Balayan, Batangas
The parading on the Feast of St. John the Baptist of “dressed” and decorated “lechons” (roasted pigs) around town. Revelers partake of the lechons after the parade.

Pintados Festival
Date: June 29 Location: Tacloban City
Street pageantry and contest focusing on the Leyteños’ old custom of tattooing that signifies courage and status in the community.

 

July


Paaway sa Kabayo (Horsefight)
Date: July 25 and December 25 Location: Tanjay, Negros Oriental

An exciting, thrilling and oftentimes bloody fight among studs for supremacy over a female horse. More than 100 horses have been trained solely for this twice a year event.

Bocaue River Festival
Date: First Sunday of July Location: Bocaue, Bulacan
A famous river festival held in honor of the miraculous Cross of Bocaue (Krus ng Wawa). During the fluvial procession, devotees ride in the “pagoda” and douse each other with water.

 

August

Rajah Baguinda Festival
Date: 2nd Week of August Location: Jolo, Sulu
A three-day cultural show and festivites commemorating the arrival of Rajah Baguinda who was responsible for the spread of Islam and reinforcing the Sultanate Government in the Sulu Archipelago.

Kadayawan sa Dabaw
Date: 3rd Week of August Location: Davao City
A celebration of the bountiful harvests of fruits and orchids during the season. Activities include fruit and flower show, trade fair, tribal/civic/military parade, traditional sports activities, horsefight, Search for B’yaneng Kadayawan and street dancing.

September

Lemlunay (T’Boli Tribal Festival)
Date: September 16-18 Location: Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
An annual authentic T’boli tribal festival staged at Lake Sebu. Features tribal rituals that start at early down amidst sounds of gongs and native music, culminating at the town plaza where cultural dances and ethic sports like horsefight are held.

Feast of Nuestra Senorra Penafrancia
Date: 3rd Saturday of September Location: Naga City, Camarines Sur
A religious festival held in hornor of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Bicol’s most revered patrones highlighted by the fluvial procession of the Lady’s image down the Bicol river. The week-long-celebration includes civic-military parade, sportsfests, exhibits, cultural shows, beauty pageants and colorful competitions.

 

October

Maskara Festival
Date: October 19 Location: Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
The biggest annual event that reflects the Bacoleños love for fun and gaiety. Coinciding with Bacolod City’s charter day celebration, the festival features sports competitions, cultural programs, carnivals, beauty contest and a long Mardi grasstyle costumed and masked street dancers.

Ibalong Festival
Date: October 19-22 Location: Legaspi City
A celebration depicting Bicol’s early beginnings as portrayed in the “Ibalong” epic that tells of super heroes Handiong, Batlog and Oryol and villains and wild animals that roamed in the ancient times. In music and dances, revelers parade on the main streets wearing masks of these heroes and villains. Festival activities include tours, trade fairs, exhibits and beauty pageants.

La Naval De Manila
Date: 2nd Sunday of October Location: Sto. Domingo, Quezon City
A festival revolving around the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of La Naval carved in 1533 and given as a gift to the Dominican Fathers. Borne on an elaborately decorated and well-lit carriage in the form of a ship, the venerated image is brought out of the church preceded by a dozen or so images of Dominican saints. The procession goes around the main streets of Sto. Domingo parish and then returns to the church amidst applause until it reaches the altar pedestal.

 

November

Feast of San Clemente/Higantes Festival
Date: November 22-23 Location: Angono, Rizal
Angono’s joyous fiesta in honor of San Clemente whose image, resplendent in papal vestment, is borne by male devotees during a procession accompanied by “pahadores (devotees dressed in colorful local costumes, wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles) and higantes” (giant paper mache effigies) The street event culminates in a fluvial procession in Laguna de Bay amidst revelry that continues until the image is brought back to its sanctuary.

Grand Cordillera Festival
Date: November Location: Baguio City
One of the region’s major events held annually featuring the gathering of tribes in a week-long event to “celebrate life” marked by tribal dancing and performances of thanksgiving rituals.

 

December

Marian Procession
Date: December 8 Location: Intramuros, Manila
A revival of religious tradition with more than 60 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary from various parishes and provinces paraded.

Pagdidiwata
Date: December 8 Location: Puerto Princessa, Palawan
A thanks giving celebration by the Tagbanua natives of Palawan in ritual dances and food offerings to their deities and souls of departed king.

Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion
Date: December 8 Location: Intramuros, Manila
An Eucharistic celebrabration of the Feast Day of the La Immaculada, patroness of Intramuros, capped by a grand procession of more than 50 Marian images from all over the country and participated in by thousands of devotees.

Bikol Pastores
Date: December 18 Location: Legazpi City, Albay
A unique Christmas celebration believed to have originated in the province where “pastores” – young men and women dressed in colorful shepherd costumes – joyfully dance and sing “Pastores a Belen” through the city streets.

Christmas Day
Date: December 25
The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines begins on the 16th of December and ends on the first Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Epiphany (The Three Kings). It is quite different from the other countries of the world, it is the longest of the Philippine festivities stretching for over 3 weeks. This makes the Filipino Christmas celebration one of the longest Christmas season in the world.

San Fernando Giant Lantern Festival
Date:
December Location: Ermita, Manila
A fiesta in honor of one of the oldest Marian images in the country (it was found by Legazpi’s soldiers amidst the foliage of a pandan shrub on the shores of Ermita in 1571) – the La Nuestra Señora de Guia, patroness of seafarers and also known as Our Lady of Expectations. The main event of the fiesta is the Bota de Flores, a reenactment of a select group of young ladies and their escorts in sailor costumes of the procession returning the La Nuestra Señora de Guia to its reconstructed shrine in 1918.

Binirayan Festival
Date: December 28-30 Location: San Jose, Antique
A festive commemoration of an episode in the history of the Filipino race through colorful pageants acted on the beaches of Maybato in San Jose and Malandog in Hamtik. Particularly interesting is the drama of the first Malay settlement at malandog which runs for several days and nights. Binirayan is also an occasion of reunion with families, relatives and friends of homecoming Antiqueno expatriates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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