“Mabuhay!” A Filipino greeting reverberating with life, elation and frenzied emotions. Once you set foot in this country, you will feel the Filipinos’ love, enthusiasm and positivity about life. The passion about life. The passion about culture. Clearly, these are in every Pinoys’ DNA.
Speaking of culture and DNA, Pinoys have a penchant for colorful festivities and merrymaking. Age old influences from Spanish and Mexicans, that’s engrained on every Filipino soul.
Every island in the Philippines’ boasts of magnificent celebrations worthy to take part in. And Locale City Guide compiled 7 of the Philippines’ most popular festivals. Tara na!
FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
January is when the biggest and the grandest catholic procession in the country takes place – the Feast of the Black Nazarene. An annual religious procession that celebrates the more than 200 year old statue of a black figure Jesus Christ. The procession takes place in Quiapo, Manila every 9th of January, with devotees from all over the country engaged in, barefooted.
Photo Credits: @itsbenzer
Another big festival held on the 3rd Sunday of January is “The Filipino Mardi Gras” called “Ati-Atihan.” An annual feast in honor of the baby Jesus, Sto.Nino, in Kalibo, Aklan, Ati-Atihan is considered as “The Mother of all Philippine Festivals.” Revelers, with blackened bodies and colourful costumes, sounds up the drums in rhythmic tones and enthusiastically yell “Hala Bira!”
Photo credits: @atch.dreams
Cebu’s biggest and grandest festival is the Sinulog, a festival in honor of Sto. Nino. The celebration is a dance ritual that shows the native Filipinos conversion from paganism to Christianism. This is Philippines’ best street-dancing show!
Photo credits: @danciongong
A thrilling festival held every February of the year is the crowd-drawer Panagbenga Festival. Celebrated in the City of Pines, Panagbenga is celebrated for a whole month in which the most anticipated event is the flower float parade that never fail to amaze the festival-visitors – varicolored flowers that covers the floats in different stunning designs that’s all Instagram worthy.
Who can resist the colorful ‘kipings’ used in decorating the houses in Lucban, Quezon during the yearly feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the farmers, called the “Pahiyas Festival?” Occurring every 15th of May, Pahiyas is a thanksgiving celebration for the abundant harvest in which all the houses in Lucban display different colors of rice wafers, fruits, vegetables and locally made handicrafts on their houses. The festival-goers are sure to have a grand time having their pictures taken in front of the flawlessly adorned houses that showcases the townsfolks’ creativity and craftsmanship.
Photo credits: @juanes_ph
Celebrated in the month of August in the province of Davao, Kadayawan Festival is a celebration of a good harvest. Every 3rd week of the 8th month of the year, Davao City is bursting with excitement as colourful floats and different tribes parade the streets in their native costumes and jewelries- a memorable sights and sound experience.
Photo credits: @cdballano
The Masskara Festival, aptly held in the City of Smile, Bacolod City, is first held in 1980. Takes place on October 1st to 20th, Masskara comes from the word “mass” that means “many people” and “kara”, a Spanish word for “face”. Thus, Masskara means “ many people with smiling faces.” For 20 joyful days, the streets of Bacolod City is transformed into one big party venue, with overflowing beers and dancers wearing gorgeous smiling masks that dances to the pulse of the lively Latin beat in a proud display of joviality, harmony and vigor.
Photo credits: @itsmelheziel
This is a short list of the many festivals this happy country has… All colorful, all with great sounds and all that comes from the joyful heart of a resilient Pinoy. Indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines!