The Philippines is one of the countries with the most number of festivals in the world. The feasts in a single month alone will show you just how many there are in a year. A little over a week into October and there have been over thirty festivals that have gone by!
If you are meaning to witness the diversity of cultures thriving in the barangays, towns, cities, and provinces in the Philippines this month, here are the countless other chances that October can offer you.
When: Entire October
Where: Angeles City
Fiestang Kuliat is the longest feast in the country. Celebrated during the whole month of October, the feast venerates the patron saints of the city and preserves local culture and tradition through its festivities, activities, parties, traditional games, and pageants. The feast also celebrates the resiliency of the Kapampangans after the devastating Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991.
One of the things that make the Fiestang Kuliat unique is that the month-long celebration encompasses three feast days:
Fiestang Kuliat culminates in the Tigtigan at Tarakan Keng Dalan (literally “music and dancing on the streets”) on the last Friday and Saturday of October, where locals and tourists alike enjoy two nights of music, dancing, and overflowing drinks.
When: October 1
Where: Gloria, Oriental Mindoro
The Kawayanan Festival celebrates the abundance of bamboo in the locality through street dancing performances, costumes made of bamboo materials, and a trade fair that sells and displays bamboo products.
When: October 1
Formerly known as Isla del Fuego (literally island of fire) by the Spaniards due to the swarms of fireflies that light up the island at night, Siquijor named its main festival the Dilaab Festival—dilaab meaning “blazing.” The Dilaab Festival is celebrated to appreciate the natural beauty of Siquijor and to honor the island’s patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi, who is known as a lover of nature.
When: October 1 to 2
Where: Pasay City
Talulot is named after the Filipino word for petal, in honor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus who is as well-known as God’s little flower. The Philippine festival is a vibrant and wondrous spectacle of music, dance, and other local talents.
When: October 1 to 4
Where: Talisay, Camarines Norte
Representing the municipality’s heritage and main product, which is rice, the Paruyan Festival is celebrated through several activities including a street dance competition and a beauty pageant. Paruyan is derived from the Bicolano root word paruy, meaning palay.
When: October 1 to 7
Where: Castilla, Sorsogon
Unod Festival is a celebration and thanksgiving of the bountiful harvest of rich agricultural resources in the municipality and an opportunity for the farmers to display their products, which are usually root crops.
When: October 1 to 7
Where: Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte
Held in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, the festival aims to forge unity and cooperation among the community through showcasing the town’s best in promoting culture and arts and revitalizing the mining industry.
When: October 1 to 12
Where: Pilar, Sorsogon
The patience, determination, and ingenuity of Pilareño descendants as shipbuilders are shown through the Parau float competition and their victory over the sufferings and agony from the brutality of Spaniards are showcased through street dancing.
When: October 4
Where: Dumanjug, Cebu
The term sinanggiyaw comes from the two Cebuano words: sinanggi, meaning the harvested crops or the way/method of harvesting the crops, and the last syllable “-yaw” for sayaw or “to dance.” To celebrate, the townspeople showcase handicrafts, agricultural products, and a street dancing competition with steps that depict planting, harvesting, and thanksgiving.
When: October 5
Where: Cardona, Rizal
The Pagoda Festival is observed to ask for a bountiful lake by throwing bread into the water, praying symbolic of prayers for abundance of the sea through the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi, and witnessing a colorful fluvial parade participated in by various sectors.
When: October 6
Where: Cardona, Rizal
For years, the bells in the tower (la torre) of the church belfry at Cardona announced cultural events and issued warnings in the advent of unforeseen calamities. Today the people celebrate the sound of the bells colorfully with the music of brass bands as a symbol of hope that Cardona may always remain in the grace of God.
When: October 8
Where: Glan, Sarangani
Almost 90 percent of the Glan’s total land area is planted with coconuts, naming the town the Coco Queen of the South. Lubi-Lubi Festival reflects the old traditions of Glan celebrated through festive group dance competitions, each showcasing a particularly old religious belief of the people about the coconut tree. Animistic beliefs are brought to life in choreography by rituals of reverence to the tree as a source of blessings such as wind, water and rain, fire, good health, and even life.
When: First Friday of October
Where: San Jose, Batangas
In celebration of World Egg Day, Eggstravaganza Festival highlights the dominant business of San Jose, Batangas, as a town: poultry farming. This is also their way of thanking St. Joseph, their patron saint, for the success of their business. The town celebrates it with street dancing, contests, programs, and fun-filled activities to entertain local folks and tourists.
When: October 9 to 12
Where: Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat
Kanduli is a Maguindanaoan term that literally means “offering.” The Kanduli Festival is a thanksgiving celebration showcasing the rich culture and traditions of the people of Lutayan.
It is conducted during the celebration to give thanks to Allah for the blessings he has extended and to sustain these blessings and ask for more for the improvement of lives of every people in the community. The barangays of Lutayan set up booths displaying agricultural products, traditional foods, and Muslim delicacies.
When: October 10
Where: Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
The Karakol Festival of Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro is celebrated in honor of Our Lady of the Pillar. This parade is a festive celebration in the streets of the town where parishioners joyfully carry the patron saint with jovial music, dancing, and praising with the belief that they will be blessed with a prosperous life and good health. Street dancers wear colorful dresses and hats decorated with fresh flowers.
When: October 10
Where: Tagum City, Davao del Norte
The word kaimonan literally translates to “gathering.” The Kaimonan Festival is a gathering of the four dominant tribes in Tagum City—namely, Mansaka, Mandaya, Kalagan, and Dibabaon—to celebrate a bountiful harvest and to give thanks to Magbabaya, their God. This celebration showcases different rituals, tribal songs, and dances.
When: October 10 to 12
Where: Zamboanga City
Hermosa Festival, also known locally as Fiesta Pilar, honors Our Lady of the Pillar. In commemoration of her feast day, Zamboanga displays its devotion and enthusiasm with a nine-night procession, fireworks, an ethnic parade, a cultural show, a colorful regatta, and the Miss Zamboanga parade.
When: October 10 to 22
Where: Ormoc City
Tugob is a Visayan word that means “bountiful” or “abundant.” Because of the abundance of coconut, rice, pineapple, livestock, minerals, sugarcane, vegetable, fish, steam, and water, Ormoc City celebrates the Tugob Festival alongside the city’s charter day on October 20. Clad in brilliant clothing, participants stomp their feet, raise their arms, slap their thighs, and applaud and yell as one as they express gratitude toward the Lord for a plentiful reap and for giving the city a variety of natural resources.
When: October 12 to 15
Where: San Fernando City, Pampanga
Tugak is the Kapampangan term for frog. The citizens of San Fernando have reserved a special day every year to honor this amphibian because of its important contributions to the environment, the economy, and culture. This festival exhibits the traditional way of catching frogs with a bamboo rod and showcases various culinary ways in preparing frogs.
When: October 14
Where: Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental
This festival showcases tribal performance in honor to the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, and as a tribute to the Subanen tribe inhabiting along the numerous rivers inside the Mt. Malindang Ranges Natural Park. Live music and ethnic musical instruments such as bamboos, gongs, and native drums provide accompaniment to street dances. Performers dress up in ethnic costumes while performing rituals in the street and dancing to the rhythm of the parade.
When: October 14 to 24
Where: Calaca, Batangas
The Calacatchara Festival usually runs for a week and ends on October 24, the feast day of the town’s patron saint, St. Raphael the Archangel. During this ten-day period, you’ll see activities like pageants, concerts, dancing, singing, and other competitions.
When: October 15
Where: Talisay City, Cebu
The city of Talisay in Cebu is well-known for its inasal na baboy or roasted pig. After the town became an independent parish under the advocating of St. Teresa de Avila, the people began to go out on the streets, dance, and parade their showcase of roasted pigs with their colorful costumes and decorated carts.
When: October 16 to 17
Where: Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Lanao del Norte is a banana-growing province, and the town of Tubod is one of its biggest producers. In fact, Tubod yields thirty amazing varieties of bananas! Thus the town celebrates the bounty of its land and the fruits of its people’s labor. This weeklong festival showcases artistic presentations of their banana produce, as well as other products like handicrafts, through an annual booth competition participated by all barangay and local government agencies. Aside from this booth competition, the festival is also celebrated through a pageant, street parties, and dances.
When: October 16
Where: Mansalay, Mindoro Oriental
Locals of Mansalay celebrate the Pamugu-an Festival as an annual reunion of the different Mangyan tribes. There are sports events (Palaro ng Lahi), cultural presentations, product demonstrations, and an exhibit of native products.
When: Fourth Sunday of October
Where: Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Every fourth Sunday of October, the streets of Bacolod become filled with street dancers in colorful costumes, masks, and headdresses. Concerts, food fests, street parties, and revelry keep the city awake for a week more. This festival was actually born at a time of economic crisis and tragedy. To make ends meet, a couple of artists proposed the idea of making masks through paper-mache as an alternative livelihood for the city. The masks brought back the smile on the gloomy faces of the locals, and since then, Bacolod has been nicknamed the City of Smiles.
When: October 22
Where: Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Buglasan is a provincial event where all the municipalities, cities, and towns of Negros Oriental come together and celebrate to promote and conserve the diversity of the province’s heritage through dances, songs, food, rituals, stories, and many more. The festival is named in honor of the original name of the province of Negros: Buglas.
When: October 22
Where: Rosario, Cavite
Just like many coastal towns in the Philippines, Rosario is well-known to be a fisherman’s town. The making of tinapa or smoked fish, which is branded as tinapang Salinas among the townsfolk, remains to be the town’s primary cottage industry. This festival promotes Rosario as the tinapa capital of the nation.
When: October 24 to 31
Where: Tagum City
The Pakaradjan Festival exhibits the culture of the diverse Muslim clans in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, with a shared objective, that is, to safeguard, advance, and commend the custom of the five overwhelming clans in Tagum City: the Ka’agan, Maranao, Maguindanao, Tausog, and Iranon. It is a celebration of music, dances, and cultural presentation to the beat and rhythm of the kulintang, dobakan, and agong.
When: October 25 to 28
This festival is celebrated in honor of the lanzones tree, the most important source of livelihood of Camiguin. The main town on the island, Mambajao, is the center of the festival celebrations, which include cultural shows, street dancing, and a beauty pageant.
When: October 25 to 28
Where: Legazpi City, Albay
Ibalong Festival is a yearly non-religious, folklore-based celebration depicting Bicol’s early beginnings, based on the epic written by the late Professor Merito Espinas, which tells of mythical superheroes, villains, monsters, and wild animals in the ancient times. Giant masks depicting characters of the Bicol epic of Ibalong are paraded the streets. Other attractions include street carnivals, musical performances, firework displays, and many more.
When: October 27
Where: Botolan, Zambales
The Aeta Festival showcases the culture and arts of the Aeta tribe in the province of Zambales, a celebration that also coincides with the celebration of Indigenous People month. Highlights of this event are ethnic performances like dances, music playing, songs, and indigenous games.
When: Last week of October
Where: Mati City, Davao Oriental
Sambuokan is a Mandaya word taken from the term buok, which means “one,” signifying the oneness of the people of Mati. The festival is a celebration of thanksgiving for the year’s blessings and bountiful harvest. It is also celebrated with the founding anniversary of the city, which is on October 29. The event is a long-week celebration highlighted with the neo-ethnic Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan street dancing competition and other remarkable activities like concerts, musical showdowns, trade fairs, exhibits, beach parties, pageants, boat races, skimboarding and photography competitions, and many more.
When: October 30
Where: Pavia, Iloilo
Tigkaralag, from the Hiligaynon root word kalag, meaning soul, is Pavia’s way of celebrating Halloween. Now on its twentieth year, eighteen contesting barangays in scary masks and costumes amuse visitors with horror stories interpreted through dance amid a very large crowd on a chilly evening. Tigkaralag opens at the public plaza with a parade of the contesting barangays carrying torches.
It is indeed more fun in the Philippines. Enjoy the festivities!
If we were all to look back on our childhood, one of the things that would stand out are the food items we used to eat. For each of us, out favorite childhood item could vary. Some of us were all about the popsicles while others couldn’t get enough of their favorite soft drinks or candies.
Majority of the food items we used to enjoy as kids are no longer in production or being sold, but that doesn’t really take away their impact on our childhood. If you read on, maybe you’ll find your own childhood favorite on the list below of top Pinoy food items that used to be popular but are now extinct.
In the 1940s, San Miguel Brewery came out with Royal Sparkling Soda, their first venture in the non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage market. At the time, they advertised it as “perfectly carbonated pure mineralized water,” and people would drink it straight from the green glass bottles it came in that were shaped just like bowling pins.
Manufactured by Consolidated Foods Corporation, Tivoli was recognized as the “ice cream of the masses” because of its widely loved flavors and its affordable price. For many Pinoy kids back in the day, it was the staple of their childhood afternoon merienda. Sadly the product suffered from problems with suppliers and had to raise its prices. This and the competition with international rival brands were the reasons the product lost its hold on the local ice cream market.
In 2006, McDonalds Philippines introduced the McRice Burger to the local market. The unique hamburger variant operated on an “East meets West” concept, combining the idea of a hamburger and the conventional Asian rice meal. It was available in two flavors: Beef Supreme and Chicken Supreme. While a lot became fans of this product, it sadly didn’t become popular enough among the masses, who still held on to their traditional rice meals.
Non-Stop was a favorite among many Pinoy kids and teenagers in the ‘90s, and up to this day, even though it’s no longer in production, people still remember it as one of the most unique purely Filipino-made ice cream products ever made. Indeed, its packaging was distinct from other ice cream products at the time; the three-layered ice cream came in a cup and was topped with a combination of crushed nuts, chocolate syrup, and marshmallows.
Storck was popular not so much as a favorite childhood candy but as something the grown-ups would make us eat if we suffered from motion sickness or needed an instant breath freshener. An investigation by the US Drug Administration about the high lead content in its wrappers led to the demise of the product, although its makers strongly denied the claims. Another company took over production, and the once-beloved Storck candy was renamed Starr.
While this product is still strongly in circulation in its tetra pack version, its original form came in mini glass bottles that resembled traditional milk glass bottles. Pinoy kids back then would put it in the fridge for a time so they could enjoy the full, ice-cold creamy goodness of the blend of natural cow’s milk and high-grade chocolate. It was truly something else.
Whether you’re craving something hot and savory on a cold, rainy night or want to cook up something saucy for your Friday family dinner, adobong bulalo or beef shank adobo can be the dish for you. It’s the perfect thing to eat while you’re sharing interesting stories with your loved ones or, if you live alone, while watching your favorite TV series.
Adobong bulalo is essentially a hybrid of bulalo and pork adobo. Its English name is “beef shank adobo.” Whether alone or for sharing, it’s perfect to have with several cups of warm, just-cooked white rice.
Although it looks like your usual adobo, there is more to it than meets the eye. If you like your adobo to be the kind that melts in your mouth, we suggest you get the beef shank parts as the marbled fats make the dish juicier. Take note that you will need some time to tenderize the shank; it will take several hours, so it’s best if you cook this dish when you’re not too pressed for time or if you have the whole day to yourself. But if you don’t have much time, you can still cook this dish provided you use a pressure cooker to fully tenderize the shank. Just pop it in the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes, and it’s good to go.
Before you start with the cooking, here’s a few health reminders. Bulalo is not exactly known as a healthy dish because of its fat content, and consuming too much of it too frequently can raise your cholesterol and blood pressure. Limit your food intake when you’re eating this dish, and make sure you remind your family members to do the same, if you’re eating the same. Also, working out for a bit afterward to burn all the calories you consumed can also do you some good.
Try this recipe for yourself and let me know what you and your family think of it.
1. Warm the pan; add oil and heat it up.
2. When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and saute until they turn a light brown color.
3. Add the beef shanks to the pan and pan-fry on each side for about 1 minute or until they lightly brown.
4. Pour in the water and soy sauce, and add the bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 60 minutes. If it’s still a completely tender after an hour, you can extend the cooking time up to 30 minutes or until the texture of the beef is to your liking.
6. Remove the cover and add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a light boil first and stir. Let it cook for another 5 minutes more before you turn off the heat.
7. Serve on a plate and enjoy. Don’t forget the warm white rice!
The fertilized duck egg delicacy of the Philippines definitely earned its place in Sweden’s Disgusting Food Museum, together with escargot, Rocky Mountain oysters, mouse wine, eyeball juice, and many others. Largely depending on where you are from and the culture you were raised in, these foods either make your mouth water or totally put you off your next meal. But interestingly, even Filipinos remain divided over their country’s popular snack. Some crave it every night, while others still find it repulsive. This is because acceptance of balut depends on exposure at a young age, much like many of the other “disgusting foods” from other countries.
Have you been considering the snack for quite a while? Here’s how you don’t get messy.
Sold by vendors after sundown, balut has been an old favorite among Filipinos. Some vendors carry their lidded baskets of eggs and walk the streets, shouting “Balooooot!” like taho vendors. And you’ll have to yell “Balot!” back so the vendor comes over. Other vendors camp on street corners or red-light districts (due to the belief that it’s an aphrodisiac) and await their regular customers. The egg is fertilized and allowed to develop from 16 to 20 days before it’s cooked. By this point, the embryo will have become distinctly duck-like, sometimes complete with eyes, beaks, duck feet, and feathers. Although other Southeast Asians like the Vietnamese or the Thais have their own versions of balut, the Filipino version remains the most famous, thanks to various reality television shows and eating challenges.
Many people who are afraid to try balut are repulsed by the idea of chewing on an unborn duckling. But balut actually tastes way better than it looks, and munching on the duck embryo doesn’t feel like crunching through bones and cartilage. It’s tender and dissolves in your mouth, almost like a mousse, and a good balut yolk has the soft texture of cream cheese.
Before eating, here are tips to remember:
Now let’s dig in! Here’s a little guide to eating your first balut.
This part of the egg is typically hollow, preventing you from spilling the tasty “soup” inside. Make a small opening, just big enough to let some of the juice out.
You don’t have time to think too much; the snack is best consumed right after opening. Because of shells being porous, the sauce inside quickly evaporates, so don’t let it. This is the tastiest part. Carefully sip the chicken-soup-like broth.
Peel off more of the shell to reveal the yolk and the duck. The smell will remind you of hard-boiled eggs and a hint of chicken.
Balut in the Philippines is often eaten with salt or a chili, garlic, and vinegar (white or coconut sap) mixture as seasoning. The vinegar gives a sour aftertaste, while the salt helps take away the strong scent of the balut. Some vendors also offer spices like chili, pepper, or peppercorn to give you a little kick as you enjoy your balut.
The yolk looks like a regular egg yolk, except that it’s a bit slimy on the outside. Technically, the entire balut may be consumed, but the white may have an unappetizing, cartilaginous toughness to it, depending on how old the egg is. It’s literally known by locals as bato (stone in English), so people usually leave it behind and throw it away. Those who have tried eating it could attest that its flavor and texture are akin to a pencil eraser.
You may choose not to, but some people say the chick is the best part of the balut and is best eaten while it’s warm.
For more interesting bits of Filipino culture, check us out.
Staying inside a Filipino house without air conditioning can indeed get unbearably humid. And for such a family-oriented people, the living room can feel like an oven for some homes during peak sunny days.
In the countryside, Filipinos often dine and spend time together outdoors beneath the shade. You can bring this provincial privilege to your home in the city if you’re blessed with an open space outside the house. A small front yard or backyard can accommodate any of these patio design ideas.
Now that mental health is being given more attention, zen gardens are a great way to reduce stress, improve your focus, and develop a sense of well-being. We suggest you let your garden provide you the safe haven you need during your trying moments. If you have space, set up a little bridge or walkway, add rock sculptures, or put up a fountain or pond. If you want to skip the struggle of hiring a landscape designer just to install the latter, consider making use of sand to symbolize a river. Add a touch of home and create a Filipino-style zen garden. Imagine drinking green tea here early in the morning!
Creating a tropical patio is possible and can be a fun, relaxing experience. Sometimes, living in the city can make you forget the tropical wonders this country has to offer, drawing millions of tourists every year. Try torches, large shells, stones, or a mixture of all three. Create texture and variety around the patio that is reminiscent of a day in our islands. The torches can even double as warm, inviting lights at night. Imagine how romantic this could be for you and better half.
From aesthetic Instagram posts to vlogs, succulents are taking today’s world by storm. They’re now sold on the streets, given away during birthday parties or weddings, and packed as Christmas presents. And the best part? Succulents are enticingly low-maintenance! A method called grafting also produces vibrant colors on top of them. They only need watering once a week, so what are you waiting for? Fill your patio with succulents and use wooden furniture to give off the trendy art hoe vibes.
From weddings to birthday parties, the rustic theme seems to have trended recently, especially among environmentally conscious homeowners looking to create sustainable living spaces. A wooden-beam pergola easily brings rustic beauty and function and provides overhead protection. Add potted plants, garden beds, trees, or shrubs to complete the look. Stick to earth-tone colors such as brown, tan, and green when picking furniture.
Strings of festoon lights hanging between trees or structures can also instantly uplift a garden at night. You may also choose to give your garden a wonderful warm glow with enchanting festoons wound through your pergola. Lastly, if you still have space, the most alluring feature of any rustic patio is a stone fire pit, which makes the spot the perfect gathering spot for families and friends. You may include a traditional fire ring, an in-ground pit, a fireplace with a chimney, or wrought iron pits.
Your parents may have told you how they used to collect and chop firewood as kids and prepared meals outdoors. So why not immortalize this traditional experience and modernize it in your home? Draw inspiration from our Southeast Asian neighbors by using bamboo for walls, counters, tables, chairs, pergolas, and laths. You’ll be surprised how vacation-like this will turn out.
Don’t forget to include a hammock! Our people love that.
The days are getting shorter, and the weather is suddenly a lot cooler. The rainy season has come upon us.
For many people, the rain means many things. For artistic and sentimental types, it means inspiration. For farmers and those in the agriculture industry, it means a bountiful harvest. And for a lot of us, the rain is something that’s necessary—something a little convenient but yet important in the cycle of life.
But with the changing weather comes many risks, and we have to do our part to make sure that we and our loved ones are safe during this time of year.
To help you, we have compiled a list of safety tips that you would do well to remember during this rainy season.
It’s wise to prepare your house for when the heavy rains start to come around. You can keep your abode safe and dry with the following tips:
• Inspect your gutters and roof to make sure they’re in good condition. Call a handyman to make any necessary repairs. Also, make it a point to regularly remove debris or fallen leaves from your gutters.
• Check the overall structure of your house for any signs of water leaks like water rings, mold, and paint discolorations. If you see any, have them fixed.
• Closely examine your doors and windows to make sure they are properly sealed and there are no small openings through which water can enter. Make the necessary repairs.
• Prune the trees in your yard, especially those that have dead branches as they can fall on your house or around it and cause accidents and injury.
The local government usually issues warnings if there are possible flash floods, so it would be best to take some emergency measures before and during the event:
• Gather an emergency bag of supplies you will need such as water, food, first aid kits, flashlights, radios, and other necessities. When a flood happens, you can easily grab the bag so you can seek evacuation elsewhere.
• Make sure you avoid going into flood water, especially one that’s moving as it can easily sweep you off your feet and cause you to fall. You should especially look after your little children when you’re moving around from place to place to ensure they don’t get swept away.
• Immediately seek a place that’s on higher ground and stay there until the waters recede.
The wet roads during the rainy season often become a cause for accidents. Thus, you need to inspect and prepare your car to make sure it is in good working condition. Windshield wipers should be functioning, and treads on your tires should have the required depth to provide firm traction on wet roadways. You can also apply the following tips:
• Always turn on your headlights, especially at night and even during the day when it’s cloudy and dim as rain can impede visibility—yours and that of other drivers.
• Turn off your car’s cruise control function as this can greatly affect your vehicle’s ability to quickly adjust its speed.
• Drive slower than your usual as faster speeds can cause your car to skid or slip of the road.
The rain brings with it many risks, so it is up to us to take the necessary measures to be safe.
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