Festivals in the Philippines Part 4
Everything about the Philippines is alluring. It’s a paradise of crystal-clear beaches and lush fields and people that will make you feel loved, not to mention the delectable foods you surely won’t get enough of. Its beauty is too intoxicating that a day of stay will make you yearn for an extended vacation. And if you are not from here, take this as a warning: don’t celebrate festivals in the Philippines—or you might fall in love with it even more that you’ll never want to leave.
Yes, Filipinos have a lot of reasons to organize fiestas. And it’s evident in the number of festivals in the Philippines held every year. In the first three of this four-part article series, we’ve discussed the fiestas held in the first nine months of the year. Are you ready to talk about more?
10 Festivals in the Philippines Worth Letting Your Party-Loving Self Out
Nothing beats Filipino fiestas, that’s for sure. The bright-colored costumes, gleeful parades, and beautiful smiles are incomparable.
Here’s another list of festivals in the Philippines you would love to experience for yourself!
1. Lanzones Festival
October 16–22, Mambajao, Camiguin
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Legend has it that lanzones originally had a bitter taste until a mystical lady turned it sweet. To honor that, the Lanzones Festival came about. It is one of Mindanao’s longest-running festivals held annually to celebrate the island’s main export product— the sweet lanzones. It’s a five-day event that showcases Camiguin’s culture through parades, street dances, beauty pageant, and other shows.
2. Tugob Festival
Ocober 20–22, Ormoc City
If Camiguin has lanzones, Ormoc has pinya or pineapple. The richness of pinya agriculture in the city is celebrated through the Piña Festival, now called Tugob, a Visayan word for bountiful or abundant. The decision to change the festival’s name came in 2010 as a strategic initiative of the government to attract more tourists.
3. Ibalong Festival
2nd Week of October, Legazpi City
A non-religious celebration, Ibalong Festival takes place in Legazpi City, Albay. The jovial celebration came to be as a way of honoring the epic story of the town of Ibalong and its heroes, the most famous of whom are Baltog, Handyong, and Bantong. During the event, Bicolanos parade in the streets wearing masks and costumes to emulate the characters of the epic and the battles they fought.
4. MassKara Festival
October 16–19, Bacolod City
MassKara is a portmanteau, from mass (a crowd of people), and the Spanish word cara (face), thus forming MassKara, which now means “a crowd of faces.” During the festival, dancers troop the streets with vibrant smiling masks, which gave Bacolod the nickname City of Smiles.
5. Higantes Festival
November 23, Angono, Rizal
Angono’s Higantes Festival is celebrated every 22nd and 23rd of November to honor San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen. The festival showcases a parade of several papier-mâché higantes (giants), each measuring five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height.
6. Sinukwan Festival
December 1–7, San Fernando City
The core of Sinukwan Festival pays respect to Aring Sinukwan, a god of the ancient Kapampangans. It’s a week-long activity boasting colorful street parades and warm smiles from the locals. Their costumes feature large headdresses and clothing ornamented with vivid embellishment.
7. Kasadyaan Festival
December 12–14, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Now more than a 50-year-old tradition, the Kasadyaan Festival was initiated by the Foundation University (FU) to prepare for the Christmas season. The festival promises a lively atmosphere through street parades and pageant.
8. Giant Lantern Festival
December 14–20, San Fernando, Pampanga
Christmas is in its brightest and most colorful in San Fernando City, Pampanga. Each year, the city hosts an event called the Giant Lantern Festival, which encourages a friendly competition among locals on who can make the biggest and most intricately designed lantern. Because of the festival’s popularity, the city acquired its rightful title as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.
9. Simbang Gabi
December 16–24, Nationwide
Simbang Gabi is the Filipino’s counterpart of Misa de Gallo, a Roman Catholic series of mass celebrated around midnight from December 16 to 24. As early as 4 in the morning, people wake up to catch the early church service. People believe that by completing the nine-day mass without any miss, the Lord will grant your prayers whatever it is.
10. Torotot Festival
December 31–January 1, Davao City
Upon the coming of every new year, Dabawenyos turn to their party horns or torotot to celebrate. The festival is relatively new and was initiated in the effort to reduce fireworks accidents and incidents. Since December 31, 2013, the people of Davao City gather at the Freedom Park to simultaneously blow the horns to welcome the new year.
Philippines is saturated with festivals and of course, warm people, good food, and rich culture. If you do visit here, you’ll surely have a fun experience.
Watch the videos below