Festivals and Events in the Philippines

Understand

The Philippines has over 7,107 Islands and in simple words a local couldn't explain how many festivals are held in the Philippines as there are hundreds of barangay, municipalities, towns and cities in 80 provinces and each barangay, municipality, town and city including provinces has their own festival either in honor of a Saint, a religious festival, seasonal change, harvest, or in honor of the place itself. The Filipinos are happy and often in joie de vivre type of people, they are satisfied with life and love to laugh and tend to love people with humor which most festivals represent, most festivals are vibrant and energetic and most of which styles are of Hispanic-influence, because of numerous and endless countable festivals the country is often dubbed as, "The Fiesta Islands". Among all festivals Christmas is the biggest, widest and longest celebrated in the Philippines, which starts from September and lasts till January perhaps the longest Christmas celebration in the world.

Get in

Inter-island and domestic flights are offered by local carriers such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Zest Airways and Interisland Airlines.

Festivals

January

January is usually when most festivals in honor of Sto. Nino (Infant Jesus) usually occur as well as festivals commemorating the end of the Christmas in the Philippines.

Bulaklakan Festival

Feast of Three Kings

Ati-Atihan Festival

Bailes De Luces


Feast of the Black Nazarene

Lingayen Gulf Festival

Araw ng Koronadal(Day of Koronadal)/Hinugyaw Festival

Binanog Festival

Coconut Festival and fair

Sinulog Festival(Kabankalan)

Makato Sto. Nino Festival

Pasungay Festival

Kahimunan Festival

Pangisdaan Festival

Kinaradto Festival

Batan Ati-Ati Malakara Festival

Fireworks display and contest

Caracol Festival

Bansudani Festival/Feast of the Divine Savior

Sad-Sad sa Kalye

Sinulog Festival

Pandot sa Bacolod

Binuligay Festival

Atlavas Sto. Nino Festival

Dinagyang Festival

Boracay International Fun Board Cup

Feast of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

Ibajay Ati-Ati Municipal and Devotional Festival

Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival

Sana-Aw Festival

Hinirugyaw Festival

Sto. Nino Festivak

Balot sa Puti Festival

February

Salakyan Festival

Pabirik Festival

Bicol Arts Festival

Festival of Hearts

Lavandero Festival

Suroy sa Surigao

Pamulinawen

International Bamboo Organ Festival

Guling-Guling Festival

Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival

Fiesta Tsinoy

Tinapay Festival

Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival

Fistahan

Chinese New Year

Bulang-Bulang Festival

Pabalhas sa Tablas

Tiburin Horse RaceTIBURIN HORSE RACE

Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival

A 2-day festival scheduled on February 18 & 19, 2011 (coinciding with the full moon!) will be held outdoors in a totally natural environment at the foot of Mount Malasimbo on the northern tip of the island of Mindoro, with a breath-taking view of Puerto Galera Bay, a member of the worldwide Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

The festival aims to blend traditional and contemporary arts and culture together with music performances while working towards the protection and sustainability of the natural environment.

March

1. KAAMULAN WHERE: Malaybalay, Bukidnon WHEN:March 3 - 7

Expect the Bukidnon to go tribal from the first to the second week of March, when the streets of Malaybalay take on that familiar fiesta theme. Banners, banderitas, and beer will be standard, as well as the sweet, haunting sound of native music. An early morning pamuhat ritual kicks off the festivities, to be followed by an ethnic food fest, trade fairs, and a lot of native dancing.

2. ARYA ABRA WHERE:Abra Province WHEN: March 7-10

Celebrates the founding of Abra Province with a variety of events, including raft and horse races.

3. SANDUGO WHERE: Tagbilaran, Bohol W22:14, 23 June 2010 (EDT)22:14, 23 June 2010 (EDT)~~HEN: Month-long (movable)

Highlighted every 16 March by re-enactment of the Blood Compact between Spain's Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sik|tuna, which helped forge friendly relations between the two countries.

4. ARAW NG DABAW March 10-16

The celebration of Davao's Foundation Day as a chartered city.

5. PINTADOS DE PASI March 14-16

Depicts the history of the Passi City and how it got its name.

6. HOMONHON LANDING Southeastern Samar March 16

A pageant by the seashore re-enacting the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan.

7. MT. MANUNGGAL Central Cebu March 16-17

A Mountain trek, which Darks the anniversary of the tragic death of President Ramon Magsaysay, whose plane crashed on the mountain.

8. SINIGAYAN Sagas, Negros Occidental March 19

Named after the native seashell (sigay). Shell craft art is featured during the festival.

9. FIRST MASS IN THE PHILIPPINES Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte March 31

Features a street pageant by the different municipalities.

EASTER

10. MORIONES Marinduque Easter Sunday

The island of Marinduque prides itself in being the "Lenten Capital of the Philippines", and it is easy to understand why. Come the seven days of Holy Week, the people of the island take part in the age-old ritual of the "Moriones". Colorful warrior costumes are worn topped with finely carved masks portraying the violent Roman soldiers of Christ's time. All these are done to show the story of the conversion of Longuinus, the centurion who stabbed Jesus' side - and his subsequent beheading.


11. LENTEN FESTIVAL OF HERBAL PREPARATION Easter Saturday

Secret rites of herbalists from the Visayas and Mindanao, who gather in San Antonio, Siquijor, for the ceremony known as Tang Alap, the combining of medicinal herbs.

12. SEMANA SANTA Iguig, Cagayan HoIy Week

Pilgrims flock to the 11 hectare Calvary Hills to meditate on the passion and death of Jesus christ.

13. AGOO SEMANA SANTA Agoo, La Union

Features a parade of carriages and a Penitential Procession of women, dressed in black.

14. SALUBONG Angono, Rizal

Celebrates the reunion of the Risen Christ with the Virgin Mary.

August

Kadayawan sa Davao, every 3rd week of August, Davao City

Kadayawan is the celebration of a bountiful harvest and also celebrates the existence of the indigenous people (IP) in the city. Activities include street dancing (Sayaw sa Da'n) and floral float parade (Pamulak sa Kadalanan), among others. Visit the festival website for more info.

October

FIESTA ZAMBOANGA LA HERMOSA

Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival or the popularly known as Fiesta Pilar, is held in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pilar at the legendary Fort Pila. The people of Zamboanga fervently believe that the lady has served as their unifying cultural and historical symbol. 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 regatta, and the Miss Zamboanga parade. This festival runs from October 1 to 12.

All roads in Mindanao lead to Zamboanga, as the "City of Flowers" celebrates its grand, annual Hermosa Festival. The vintas, those colorful native sea boats, once again make their appearance in a fast-paced, race-till-you-drop regatta. There's also a wealth of cultural and flower shows, art exhibits, and trade fairs. It's an all-out celebration of life - Latino Zamboangueño Style!

History and Legends

The Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival embedded in Zamboanga’s rich history of devotion to the Nuestra Señora del Pilar that is supplemented by rich legends about the virgin.

In the Spanish Era, Zamboanga was an integral part of Spanish Colonization. In 1635, the Spaniards built a fort in Zamboanga named Real Fuerza de San Jose to secure them against the attacks of the moro warriors. Spaniards held the city as a seat of government and became the cultural center of the south, and was deeply seated in Hispanic heritage and tradition.

In 1734, The Lady's was brought to the fort as a frontpiece for the main entrance. The western side of the fort was converted into a shrine for The Lady when the fort was rebuilt in 1860 and the fort was renamed Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza.

The city’s devotion to the Lady of Pilar was legendary, because of the wealth of stories, miracles, and apparitions surrounding the virgin.

Devotees Dancing for Devotion

Devotees to the virgin are seen at the Fort to venerate the sacred bas-relief image of the Lady of Pilar. But at the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival, dancers pay tribute to the virgin through their movements. Each year, the dancers from Zamboanga City High School perform praise dance to the virgin. The dancers dance to the tune of lyres and drums that create a jovial atmosphere and fluidity, the dancers’ fluid body movement, coupled with intricate footwork and hand motions signify adoration to God for the intercession of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar as an instrument of Peace. The dancers pay tribute to the Lady dressed in colorful costumes, floral arches and body movements, also symbolizing Zamboanga as a melting pot of cultures that blend harmoniously in the spirit of unity and diversity.

Fiesta Pilar is considered to the biggest, Grandest and Widely Festival Celebration in the City of Zamboanga. and the Celebration which is started from October 1 to 12 and the Whole Month of October.

December

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