Events and Festivals in the Philippines
Philippines is so much more than just a land of seven thousand islands. Festivals and some of their public holidays are absolutely astonishing. They spend a lot of time and money on festivals preparations, making fantastic costumes, masks, decorations and mobile floats. You simply can’t afford to miss them. Indeed, Philippines is the land of the happiest people in the world; we love and we have a lot to celebrate. Thus, making the people from the other parts of the world say, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”
January 9, 2014 – Feast of the Black Nazarene Quiapo, Manila — The Feast of the Black Nazarene signifies the religious devotion of Filipino Catholics to Jesus Christ. The Black Nazarene is a life-size wooden sculpture of Jesus carrying the cross. The feast is highly attended by six to eight million devotees.
January 18-19, 2014 - Sinulog Festival
Cebu City — Sinulog Festival is a week-long celebration commemorating the acceptance of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines and showing devotion to Sto. Niño, the Child Jesus. The festival culminates through the Sinulog Grand Parade, a showcase of tribal dances accompanied with the rhythm of native gongs, drums and trumpets.
January 18-19, 2014 – Ati-Atihan Festival
Kalibo, Aklan — Like most festivals held in January, Ati-Atihan also honors Sto. Niño. The festival’s highlight happens on the third Sunday of January as several groups representing various tribes perform jovial dances accompanied with rhythmic drum beats and accentuated with vibrant costumes.
January 24-26, 2014 – Dinagyang Festival
Iloilo City – Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival held in the city of Iloilo. Street dancing characterized by frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing & chanting all day and night.
January 31, 2014 - Chinese New Year
Nationwide — Kung Hei Fat Choi! With a significant Chinese population, the Chinese New Year is also one of the most celebrated holidays in the Philippines. Filipino-Chinese families commonly decorate houses, prepare sweet foods, and insert money in red envelopes. These traditions, among others, are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Dragon and lion dances and fireworks are also a common attraction in Chinese communities.
February 22-23, 2014 - Panagbenga Festival
Baguio City — Panagbenga Festival, which refer to “the season of blooming”, is a flower festival held in the Baguio City, the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”. The annual festival is popular for its flower-inspired street dance competition and the parade of floral floats.
February 16-23, 2014 - Paraw Regatta Festival
Iloilo — Celebrated for almost four decades, the Paraw Regatta Festival is considered as Asia’s oldest and the Philippines’ largest traditional sailing event. For several years, the event has attracted tourists with its artistically designed sails and exhilarating slalom racing.
April 10-13, 2014 - Philippine Friendship Balloon Festival 2014
Clark, Pampanga — Originally set in February every year, the Philippine Friendship Balloon Festival 2014 (formerly Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta) will be moved to happen this April. It will already be managed by the Department of Tourism.
Participated in by over a hundred balloon pilots from different countries, the hot air balloon fest will highlight several balloons in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Renowned as the largest aviation sports event in the Philippines, the festival also features aeromodelling, kite flying, paragliding, skydiving, and ultralights.
April 17-20, 2014 – Holy Week
Nationwide — Holy Week is an important religious holiday in the Philippines. It is often observed by attending the liturgical Mass and other Catholic traditions including church visits, solemn street processions, and reenactments. The most famous, 0r perhaps the most controversial, Holy Week tradition is a Good Friday procession in Pampanga which includes a number of devotees who self-flagellate or even have themselves nailed in the cross. These practices are considered as a means to express penance or thanksgiving.
April 18-20, 2014 - Moriones Festival
Marinduque — A week-long Lenten celebration, the Moriones Festival of Marinduque begins in Good Friday and culminates in Easter Sunday. It reenacts the story of Saint Longinus, a Roman centurion who was converted to Christianity after he was miraculously healed from blindness when Christ’s blood fell upon his eyes. The event features a parade of individuals wearing vibrant Roman costumes, painted helmets and masks, and eye-catching tunics.
May 15, 2014 - Pahiyas Festival
Lucban, Quezon — Originally observed as a way to revel bountiful harvests, the extravagant Pahiyas Festival now attracts local and international tourists alike with its array of beautifully adorned houses and festival dishes. Residents decorate their homes with fruits, vegetables and dyed leaves known as kipings. Locals also serve the Pancit habhab (rice noodles traditionally served in banana leaves), the longganisang Lucban (garlic-laden sausages) and other mouth-watering delicacies.
June 29, 2014 - Pintados/Kasadyaan Festival
Tacloban, Leyte — The Pintados/Kasadyaan Festival of Tacloban glorifies the archaic body-painting traditions of pintados (tattooed) warriors. More than two decades ago, it was also organized as a religious celebration to honor Sto. Niño. It is therefore considered both as a cultural and a religious event.
July 2014 - Sandugo Festival
Bohol — Each year, the province of Bohol commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish explorer, and Datu Sikatuna, a tribal chief in Bohol. The historic peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact, locally known as sandugo. The month-long festival is celebrated through food and trade fairs, a beauty pageant, and street dances.
July 29, 2014 – Eid al Fitr
Nationwide — Marking the end of the prayer and fasting month (Ramadan) among Muslims, Eid al Fitr is practiced by offering prayers and sharing food as a gesture of charity and friendship. Philippines is the only predominantly Christian country to declare the Muslim festivity as a national holiday. About five percent of Filipinos are followers of Islam.
August 23-24, 2014 - Kadayawan sa Dabaw
Davao City — Derived from the greeting “Madayaw” which means good or beautiful, the Kadayawan sa Dabaw is an annual thanksgiving celebration for Davao City’s bountiful harvests of flowers, fruits and other produce. It is also organized to showcase the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. On the festival’s spotlight is a jovial spectrum of events including a floral float parade, tribal street dance competitions, and exhibits that feature the city’s array of products and services.
October 18-19, 2014 - MassKara Festival
Bacolod City — Dubbed by National Geographic magazine as one of the 12 must-do activities in October and featured by CNN as one of the 12 best things about the Philippines, the MassKara Festival has been celebrated annually in Bacolod which is also popular for its moniker, “The City of Smiles”. The event was inaugurated in the 1980s when the city and the whole island of Negros suffered greatly from economic depression and from a sea tragedy that claimed the lives of more than a hundred residents. For more than three decades, the festival of smiles has served as an occasion to laud and proclaim the strength and courage of Negrenses (locals) in the face of adversity and crisis.
November 3-5, 2014 – Pintaflores Festival
San Carlos City, Negros Occidental — Celebrated yearly on the third of November, the Pintaflores Festival was founded in 1992 to establish San Carlos City’s distinction and uniqueness. The concept of the festival was formed by combining two separate and smaller festivities (i.e., the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dances of Flowers) into one. Pintaflores is a portmanteau derived from the words pintados (paint, tattoo) and flores (flowers). The festival promotes the beauty of its locale and the talent of its people through pageants, talent shows, body-painting competitions, and street dancing.
November 23, 2014 - Higantes Festival (Feast of San Clemente)
Angono, Rizal — Celebrated originally as a means to honor San Clemente (St. Clement, patron saint of fishermen) during the Spanish colonization, the Higantes Festival nowadays also serve as a tourism event in Angono, Rizal — the Art Capital of the Philippines. The main attraction of the festival is a parade of around 100 higantes, giant mascot-like dolls that can measure as high as 12 feet and are made out of paper mache.
December 20, 2014 - Giant Lantern Festival
San Fernando, Pampanga — Another gigantic event in the Philippines, the Giant Lantern Festival is celebrated on a weekend before Christmas in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. The festival invites visitors from different parts of the globe with an extravagant display of colorful lanterns or parol, a significant Christmas symbol in the Philippines. Because of its popularity among local and foreign tourists, the City of San Fernando has been distinguished as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.
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