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Philippine Feasts, Festivals and Holiday Celebrations


January

The Sto. Nino Festival Month

The Centennial celebration kicks off with colorful street dancing showcasing the Filipinos' deep veneration of the Sto. Nino. The Ati-Atihan of Kalibo, Aklan. The Sinulog Festival of Cebu City. And the Dinagyang of Iloilo City.

  • FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
    January 9th - Quiapo, Manila
    A grand Fiesta, this festivalcenters 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
    January 16-22 - 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.
  • PASUNGAY
    Every 2nd Saturday of January - 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
    Every third weeken of January - 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
    Every fourth weekend of January - 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
    Every third Sunday of January - 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.

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Febuary

The Arts and Culture Month

February is a wonderful time to fall in love with the Philippies. Be enamored with our rich culture and colorful heritage. Know more about our diverse traditions as exhibited in music, dance and visual art forms. Listen to the music of the world-renowned Bamboo Organ of Las Pinas, in its annual concert series with international artists performing, as it casts its musical spell on you. Or view the different cultural presentations at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Theater Festival at the old walled city of Intramuros.

  • FEAST OF OUR LADY OF CANDLES
    February 2 - 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.

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March

The Sports Festival Month

Bring out the athlete in you as summer starts to sizzle. Gear up and put on those visors. Leave the concrete jungles of the metropolis. Know more about the underwaterworld in the Marine Travel and Trade Show. Go mountain biking or hiking. Gosailing or snorkeling. Or simply, laze along our beautiful coastlines under the sun's gaze.

  • PARAW REGATTA
    First Sunday of March - 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.
  • EID-EL-FITR
    March 9 - Region XII
    A worldwide Muslim festival celebrating the end of the month-long fasting period of the Holy Month of Ramadam by the Muslims.

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April

The Pilgrimage Month

Observe Lent in various traditions. Join the pabasa. An overnight reading in chant-style of the Bible. Witness the dramatization of Christ's life in a cenaculo. Take part in the pilgrimage caravan to Pangasinan. Or the colorful Moriones Festival of Marinduque. And the salubong. An early morning procession on Easter Sunday dramatizing the resurrectin of Christ. Indeed, April is the best time to renew our commitment to our Almighty Creator.

  • VIA CRUSIS
    April 1 - 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.
  • PAK'KAAT KALLO
    Holy Week - Magpet, Cotabato
    An anuual feast of the Manobo tribal community of Magpet in celebration of a bountiful harvest.
  • MORIONES FESTIVAL
    Holy Week - 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
    Good Friday - 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
    Good Friday - 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.
  • LAMI-LAMIHAN FESTIVAL
    2nd or 3rd Week of april - 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
    2nd Week of April - 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.

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May

The Mayflower Festival Month

The colorful month of the year blooms with festivities and parades. As summer comes to a close, towns come to life as fiestas are celebrated. The annual Antipolo pilgrimage. The Pulilan Carabao Festival. The Pahiyas sa Quezon. And the Obando Fertility Rites are just some of the best known fiesstas. The merry month of May would not be complete without the Santacruzan. A processional parade showcasing each locality's good-looking ladsand lasses in resplendent ternos and gowns.

  • PISTA'Y DAYAT
    May 1 - 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
    May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 - 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
    May 14 - 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.
  • PULILAN CARABAO
    May 14 - 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
    May 15 - 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
    May 17 to 19 - 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
    May 30 - 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
    May - 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.

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June

Celebration of The Philippine Independence Month

The patriotic fervor of the Centennial celebrating intensifies. Filipino heroism comes to fore as the Declaration of Independence in Kawit, Cavite-one hundred years ago-is commemorated. Witness the grandest celebration of our country, capped by a Grand Parade at the Luneta Park on June 12. The grandest homage to our gallant men and women who stoked the fires of freedom and eventually ignited the revolution that led to our country's independence.

  • INDEPENDENCE DAY
    June 12 - 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
    June 24 - 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
    June 29 - Tacloban City
    Street pageantry and contest focusing on the Leyteños' old custom of tattooing that signifies courage and status in the community.

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July

The Shopping Festival Month

Treat yourself to a showcase of the best local products and latest merchandise from around the world as the" Sale of the Century " takes place. Feet the excitement as the Philippines becomes the mecca of shoppers.

  • PAAWAY SA KABAYO (Horsefight)
    July 25 and December 25 - Tanjay, Negros Orriental
    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
    First Sunday of July - 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.

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August

The Exotic Mindanao Month Fascinating.

Spellbinding and worth exploring. Exotic Mindanao. Be mesmerized by its rich natural resources, romantic fruits, flowers and colorful tribes. Witness the gathering of tribal groups in the Kalibongan Festival of Cotabato. The Marang Festival of Agusan del Norte. Or the Kadayawan Sa Dabaw Festival of Davao City.

  • RAJAH BAGUINDA FESTIVAL
    2nd Week of August - 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
    3rd Week of August - 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.

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September

The Taste of the Philippine Month

Feast your taste buds to the annual culinary exhibit of the Chefs n Parade in different first-class hotels and restaurants, side by side with the Chefs of the World. On the one hand, know more of the cooking expertise of the Filipino. The adobo. The pinakbet. The sinigang. Or the lechon de leche. Just a sample menu of month-watering Filipino specialties that will change your discriminating taste.

  • LEMLUNAY (T'BOLI TRIBAL FESTIVAL)
    Septermber 16-18 - 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 SEÑORA DE PEÑAFRANCIA
    3rd Saturday of September - 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.

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October

The Ecotourism Month

Feast your senses on our natural beauty. Go nature tripping and discover more of the Philippines. The rainforests of Palawan. The caves of Tabon. The Chocolate Hills of Bohol. The luxuriant Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village. Or the world-renowned Banaue Rice Terraces. Just a sprinkling of some of the magnificent places to explore. All sculpted and designed by nature's delicate hand.

  • MASSKARA FESTIVAL
    October 19 - 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
    October 19-22 - 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
    2nd Sunday of October - 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.

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November

The Music and Theater Festival Month

Be enthralled by the inborn musicality of the Filipino. See Musika Manila and the International Song-writing Festival. An impressive showcase of various Filipino and international artists exhibiting their musical and artistic virtuosity. Whether it be ethnic or classical music, the Filipino's creativity is truly music to the ears.

  • FEAST OF SAN CLEMENTE / HIGANTES FESTIVAL
    November 22-23 - 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
    November - Baguio City
    One of the region's major events held annualy featuring the gathering of tribes in a week-long event to "celebrate life" marked by tribal dancing and performances of thanksgiving rituals.

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December

The Christmas Festival Month

As lanterns lighten up the Christmas spirit, no celebration comes close to the traditional rituals of Christmas in the Philippines. The month-long Christmas celebration featuring an International Lantern Parade. A Lantern and Belen competition in the Kamundagan sa Naga Festival. The misa de gallo ( early morning mas ) signals the start of the longest Christmas season in the world.

The media noche depicts the closeness of the Filipinos to their kin as they partake the midnight meal together. The Giant Lantern Festival at the Philippine Christmas Village-where the Christmas spirit is on a year-round activity pumps up the holiday atmosphere.

  • MARIAN PROCESSION
    December 8 - Intramuros, Manila
    A revival of religious tradition with more than 60 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary from various parishes and provinces paraded.
  • PAGDIDIWATA
    December 8 - 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 kin
  • FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPCION
    December 8 - 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
    December 18 - 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.
  • SAN FERNANDO GIANT LANTERN FESTIVAL
    December - 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
    December 28-30 - 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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