Philippines is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Asia not only because it is a beautiful country which possesses numerous tourist attractions, but a great part of it must be attributed to the ready and genuine smiles of its hospitable people, which make every tourist’s stay in the Philippines truly memorable. Visitors often travel to Philippines during festival period, within these celebration, they are treated with spectacular street performances, representing the unique culture and traditions of each provinces. To give you a better understanding of these various festivals, here are some of the most popular ones.
Dinagyang Festival. Join the locals of Iloilo City as they shout "Viva Señor Santo Niño" and "Hala Bira" amidst the cracking of drums when they amaze the spectators with their fantastic costumes and make up during the street parade. Get your camera ready for it will be a regret on your part missing to capture the local people garbed in their grandest native attire. Dinagyang Festival is celebrated every fourth weekend of January to commemorate the Christianization of the natives and to honor the Holy Child Jesus. It is a very colorful parade coupled with a dramatization in honor of the patron Saint - Sto. Niño.
Higantes Festival. Prepare to feel small and tiny as you watch the “higantes” of the Anongo, Rizal. This festival dates back to the late 1800s in honor for the town’s patron saint San Clemente. It is characterized by huge papier-mache effigies or "higantes" which parade the street of Angono every 22nd and 23rd of November. You will surely be surprised by the artistic capabilities of the locals as they bring each giant character to life.
Kadayawan Festival. It is a celebration of Good Harvest in the city of Davao. This globally famous festival is a week long celebration and thanksgiving for nature's bountiful harvest. Watch the locals as they perform graceful dances in the streets wearing costumes that signify their livelihood sources. Kadayawan Festival is being celebrated every 3rd Week of August which annually attracts thousands of visitors to purchase airfare to Philippines. This is a celebration of the plentiful harvests of fruits and orchids during the season.
Ati-atihan Festival. It is a festival in Kalibo, Aklan which is considered as the wildest among Philippine fiestas. It is also believed this is the “Mother of All Philippine Festivals”. Celebrants paint their faces with black soot and wear bright, outlandish costumes as they dance in revelry during the last three days of this two week-long festival, so be careful of our signature clothes as you watch the street parade. Catholics and non-Catholics alike observe this special day with processions, parades, dancing, and merrymaking. This annual festivity is held every third week of January to honor the feast of the Holy Infant Jesus.
Maskara Festival. Get ready to see various smiling faces when you visit the city of Bacolod for its most popular fiesta, the Mascara Festival. It is celebrated on the third weekend of October closest to October 19, the city's charter day anniversary every year. Festivities kick off with food fairs, mask-making contests, brass band competitions, beauty pageants, windsurfing regatta, drinking and eating contests, trade fairs and exhibits. To make your experience more exciting, try on some of the wonderfully designed mascara and pose for a picture!
Moriones Festival. It is the most popular festival celebrated in the island of Marinduque. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. This week-long celebration begins on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday. This festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. You will surely be entertained with the amazing performances of the locals as you learn more about their belief and customs.
Pahiyas Festival. This is a festival which attracts huge crowd in the town of Lucban in Quezon Province. It is celebrated by a colorful feast in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saints of farmers, as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Visitors will be treated with the fantastic sight of houses lining the old streets of Lucban, artistically decorated with “kiping”, a wafer made up of rice that comes in different brilliant colors and other agricultural harvest. It is held every 15th day in the month of May which has been going on since the 16th century. The locals surely knows how to make an artistic display of their gratefulness for a bountiful harvest!
Panagbenga Festival. The city of Pines comes alive with high spirit during the Panagbenga Festival as the city brings out its most beautiful flowers to make different characters and images for the famous “parade of flowers”. Don’t miss this festival which is held yearly during the month of February. The celebrations are held for over a month and peak periods are the weekends. The Panagbenga Festival showcases the many floral floats and native dances. It is definitely a festival worthy of the effort searching for discount airlines as you get the chance to see hundreds of floral variety one can only find in Baguio City.
Pintados Festival. Are you ready to get painted? Well, you better try it and enjoy a unique experience. The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making event in Tacloban City in the province of Leyte which last for a whole month of June. The highlights of which include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the "Pagrayhak" Grand Parade. These festivals are said to have began from the feast day of Señor Santo Niño, held every June 29th. The Leyteños celebrate their religious festival in a unique and colorful way and since they are experienced in the art of body tattooing, what could be the best way to present their culture but to showcase their artistic gift.
Sinulog Festival. The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest, most distinguished and most colorful festivals in the Philippines. It is a major festival in Cebu City held each year on the third Sunday of January in honor of the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus. It is fundamentally a dance ritual which represents the period before the introduction of Christianity to Philippines. Visitors will surely have fun watching the different lively and spectacular street performances of the locals wearing equally fantastic costumes.
Visit the Philippines, get to know its people and their traditions in an entertaining and fabulous way with these various festivals one can only see in this beautiful archipelago.