22 FESTIVALS THAT YOU MUST EXPERIENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES

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22 FESTIVALS THAT YOU MUST EXPERIENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES

In the Philippines, almost every city and every province has different kind of festivals that is celebrated all year round and it shows the rich culture of the Philippines. This kind of practice yearly has been in the tradition of the Filipinos and they have started even before the country was colonized by the Spaniards. There are different types of festivities in the country, some of them are seasonal, some are national while the others are religious. Most of the festivals that are celebrated in the country are religious and it honors the patron saint of the city or the province. Most of the time, masses, novenas, parades, beauty pageants and processions are held and it brings the community together to express gratitude to God. Festivals in the country lasts for an entire day to an entire month. These festivals attract both local and foreign tourists because of its fun, colorful and festive nature. Attending a festival in the Philippines is something that you must experience at least once in your lifetime. Since there is a festival going on in the country each month and they last for days, this should not be a problem.

If you are looking for a festival to attend, here is a list of the 22 most popular festivals in the country

1. ) Ati-atihan Festival

This festival is known as the mother of all festivals in the Philippines. This is in honor of Sto. Nino, or baby Jesus. It is one of the oldest religious festivals in the country. Ati-Atihan is a parade that is filled with celebrants who have their face painted, they also have weapons and colorful costumes. They fill the streets with amazing tribal dances and they also have loud drumbeats. There are thousands of tourists that flock Kalibo, Aklan every year just to witness this festival for free. This festival is known as the “Mardi Gras of the Philippines”.

2. ) Sinulog

The Sinulog festival in Cebu, Philippines is one of the most attended and the most famous festival in the country. It attracts millions of tourists and even locals. As of 2013, it was reported that almost four million people attended the festival and watched the parade on the streets. The Sinulog stage is not just for Cebuanos but it is also for other regional talents as they participate as contingents from the different provinces in the country. They are showcased through pagents, sports and street dancing. It is also knwon for hosting the largest raves in the country and party-goers look forward to attend this festival every year.

3.) Dinagyang Festival

This Philippine festival is set in Iloilo and it is one of the most astounding festivals in the country. Once a year, they transform their streets into one massive street party. Almost all of the streets in their city are closed, there are different bands on almost all of the corners and there are overflowing food and drinks almost everywhere. There are also boom boxes on every corner. There are different tribes that represent the different barangays and different high schools across the city and they perform in a very competitive street dancing contest.

4.) Panagbenga Festival

The word panagbenga means season of blooming. This festival consists of numerous parades of floats filled with flowers and of children that are dressed as fauna and flora. It lives up to its name, especially if you witness it first hand. It makes Baguio, Philippines the best destination for those who still wants to witness a massive festival with colorful costumes and amazing beat.

5.) Moriones Festival

This festival is a week-long celebration of the life of St. Longinus and it makes Marinduque one of the top destinations in the country during Holy Week. Morion is the helmet that is worn by the centurions while Moriones refers to the penitents with costumes taht are reenacting the search for St. Longinus, who is hunted by his fellow centurions for converting to Christianity. During this festival, you will see the locals dressed up as centurions looking for Longinus. One person will act as Longinus, hiding from the locals while they search for him and play along as some will allow him to hide in their homes. The reenactment of the Passion of Christ also happens in this festival.

6. ) Aliwan Festival

Aliwan festival is more of a competition than it is a festival. It has added an amazing value to the growing interest in the festivals in the country despite it being a regional competition. It started in the early 2000’s unlike the other festivals on the list but it had garnered a strong fanbase all over the country with more than 5,000 contestants from all over the country joining the festival. There are a lot of quality performances from different tribes that represents the festivals in their own provinces. It is also the best way to see the tribes from the other festivals on the list.

7. ) Pahiyas Festival

The Pahiyas festival is one of the most colorful harvest festival in the country. It marks the time of the year when the locals from Lucban, Quezon decorate their homes with different produces that are colored and they do it in a competitive manner. You will see turnips, eggplants, winged beans and other vegetables and fruits haning on their homes. You can also bring a basket and you can pick all of the produce from their walls for free.

8. ) Pintados Festival

Pintados is another festival that is made in honor of Sto. Nino. It just shows just how devoted the Filipinos are to the child Jesus and it wants the people to remember the childlike ways of the baby Jesus and to display the innocence and the hope of children. This festival has been growing in popularity because of the contingents that they send every year.

9. ) Kadayawan Festival

The word Kadayawan comes from the word madayaw which is a friendly greeting in Davao and it also means good  or beautiful. It is the biggest festival in the Mindanao, it has everything that all of the other festivals offer like street dancing, fireworks displays, beauty pageants and floral floats. It is also a celebration of Davao’s abundance as it showcases flowers, fruits and their other produces that bound the country’s second largest island.

10. ) MassKara Festival

This festival showcases colorful masks, electrical displays, street dancing and the amazing and sweet smiles of the locals of Bacolod. Masskara is a combination of mass which means crowd and kara which means face. You will see the participants of this festival wearing smiling masks that solidifies the title of the city which is the “City of Smiles”. This festival rakes in millions of tourists and locals and even younger crowd that loves to party.

11. ) Bamboo Organ Festival

The Bamboo Organ Festival is different from the other festivals on the list. It is not as glamorous and flashy as the other festivals but it has it unique way of celebration and they celebrate the Filipino music. This is a festival that music lovers must experience. This festival will give you some sweet tunes and some eargasmic experience through their amazing musical show that stars talented organists who plays the world’s fist and only bamboo organ.

12. ) Giant Lantern Festival

The Giant Lantern Festival is more of a Christmas contest that will amaze its spectators with its incredible and hypnotizing bright and gigantic lanterns. The Giant Lantern Festival is becoming popular in San Fernando, Pampanga and it now nicknamed as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. It is set in the evening so that everyone can see the amazing lights and the bright colors of the lanterns.

13. ) International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The International Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the most extraordinary festivals in the country. It is not like the other traditional festivals in the country and it lasts for four days. There are a lot of activities like flying, skydiving, paragliding, radio-controlled aircraft, formation flying, aerobatic displays and eye-catching hot air ballons that comes in different colors, shapes and sizes.

14. ) Salakayan Festival

The Salakayan festival is in honor of the town in Iloilo that has a rich cultural heritage. The word salakay means to attack. This festival is celebrated yearly in commemoration of Miagao’s magnificent and memorable history and bravery of their ancestors against the Moro marauders.

15. ) Bulang-Bulang Festival

This festival is celebrated in honor of the gamefowl industry of Negros Occidental. Cockfighting is their major source of livelihood. The dance presentation shows the life and the characters of the fighting cock. The dances wear cock costumes and they dance like chickens on the streets. This festival is also celebrated to honor their patron saint, Nuestra Senora de Candelaria.

16. ) Utanon Festival

The Utanon Festival is a festival that is celebrated in Dalaguete, Cebu. It is a thanksgiving celebration of a harvest throughout the year that is bountiful and it is celebrated through dancing and music. The festival features massive value of crops and vegetables of the province. It is celebrated every year during the month of February and it honors the patron saint of the province, San Guillermo de Aquitania.

17. ) Bod-bod Kabog Festival

This festival focuses on the famous native delicacy of the town called bodbod. The main highlight of this festival is the colorful costumes and the street dancing competition in which the different barangays of the town participates every year.

18. ) Paraw Regatta

The Paraw Regatta festival is an annual festival that pays tribute to the sailing traditions of the locals of Iloilo. The paraw is the main attraction of the celebration, it is a double outrigger boat that is also known as the native sailboat of the country. It is also said that the Paraw Regatta of Iloilo is the oldest traditional boat event in all of Asia and it is also the largest sailing even in the country.

19. ) Tawo-Tawo Festival

Tawo-Tawo is a local term for scarecrows and it is celebrated in the town since they are believed to be the guardians of their crops. The giant scarecrows that is made out of paper mache is paraded on the streets of Negros Oriental. There is a street dancing competition that takes place every year during the festival.

20. ) Sambayan Festival

The Samabayan Festival which is celebrated in Antique is a thanksgiving ritual for a bountiful harvest to the ancestral spirits of the town and it is also a celebration of thanksgiving for another year of good produce. There are two different rituals that are made, one on the mountains and one on the seashore. The celebration rites of the festival is called samba.

21. ) Asinan Festival

This festival is celebrated in Guimaras and it is an annual gathering to celebrate their boutiful harvest of salt. It showcases the town’s best salted delicacies and products like crispy nuts, spicy seafood and citrus juices.

22. ) Bacolaodiat Festival

Celebrated in Bacolod City, the Bacolaodiat festival is the Chinese New Year Festival of the city. It is a combination of the words Bacolod, which is the place where it is celebrated, and Lao Diat which means celebration.

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