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3rd weekend of January | Kalibo, Aklan

This Sto. Nio festival started it all. One of the oldest religious celebrations
in the country, Ati-Atihan is characterized by a parade filled with facepainted celebrants, indigenous costumes and weapons, tribal dances, and
loud drumbeats.

Tourists who flock to Kalibo for the festivities are free to cover themselves in
black soot and dance on the streets with the drum beats. Known as the The
Filipino Mardi Gras, it is truly an experience not to be missed.

3rd weekend of January | Cebu City
Cebu also has its own version of the festival in honor of the Sto. Nio. If you
find yourself attending the Sinulog Festival, Pit Seor! is a phrase you will
hear a lot. It means Panangpit sa Seor, a Cebuano phrase that means to
plead to the Seor Santo Nio.

It is one of the most attended festivals in the Philippines, attracting millions

of locals and tourists from all over the world. In 2013, it was reported that
the number of participants reached a whopping four million.
Sinulog not only sets the stage for Cebuano talents but also for other
regional acts as contingents from neighboring provinces are showcased
through street dancing, pageantry, and sports. It is also known for hosting
the countrys biggest raves, drawing a growing number of party-goers from
all over the country year after year.

4th weekend of January | Iloilo City
If you happen to know someone from Iloilo, try and ask them about this
Philippine festival. Youll see how their pride for their citys festival is nothing
short of astounding.
Once a year, Iloilo City transforms into one big street party streets closed,
bands in all corners, overflowing food and drinks, and towering boom boxes.
To cap it all off, tribes representing differentbarangays and high schools
perform in one very competitive street dancing contest.

Its no wonder how this citys once simple celebration in honor of the child
Jesus (Sto. Nio) ended up bagging several awards including the Association
of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) title holder for Best Tourism
Event of the Philippines.

February | Baguio City
The word Panagbenga comes from the Kankanaey term that means
season of blooming. With the numerous parades of floral floats and
children dressed as flora and fauna, it definitely lives up to its name,
making Baguio the perfect destination for those who still have a hangover
from the huge festivals in January.

Adding to the usual Baguio tourist sites to visit, the whole length of the
Session Road during Panagbenga becomes a feast for the eyes. Called
Session Road in Bloom, Baguios famous street is closed to vehicular traffic
to make way for flower carts, street dancing, and outdoor cafes.
Now that its a huge event bringing in thousands of tourists each year, its
important to plan ahead (make early restaurant reservations, bring a map,
etc.) if you are attending this Philippine festival.

Holy Week | Boac, Gasan, and Mogpog, Marinduque
This week-long celebration of the life of St. Longinus is what makes
Marinduque one of the top destinations during Holy Week in the Philippines.
Morion is the helmet worn by the centurions while Moriones refers to the
costumed penitents reenacting the search for St. Longinus, hunted by his
fellow centurions for converting to Christianity.

During the festival you will see Marinduqueos dressed up as centurions

(Moriones) looking for Longinus. One person acts as Longinus, hiding from
them while the townspeople play along and allow him to hide in their
houses. Via Crucis or the reenactment of the Passion of Christ also happens
during this Philippine festival.

Last weekend of April | Pasay City, Manila
Aliwan Fiesta is more of a competition than it is a festival. However, it has
undeniably added great value to the growing interest in Philippine festivals.
Although it just started in the early 2000s, it has already gained a strong
fan-base nationwide with more than 5,000 young men and women from all
over the country joining the competition.

For a lot of people who are in Manila, heading to the CCP Complex is the
cheapest way to see quality performances from tribes representing festivals
in their respective provinces. Plus, its always great to see tribes from
Dinagyang and Sinulog give their A-performances to grab the million-peso
grand prize.


15th of May | Lucban, Quezon

One of the Philippines most colorful harvest festival, May 15th marks that
time of the year when people in Lucban decorate their houses with differentcolored produces in an almost competitive manner.

Its not uncommon to

see singakamas (turnip), talong (eggplant), sigarilyas (winged bean) and all
the other vegetables and fruits mentioned in the Bahay Kubo song hanging
on the exteriors of their homes. You can actually bring a basket and pick the
produce from the walls for free.

29th of June | Tacloban City
Pintados is another festival in honor of the Sto. Nio (yes, this is the 4th of
its kind in the list). It just goes to show how Filipinos want to be reminded to
be childlike in their ways and to place hope in their children.

This festival has been growing in popularity because of the contingents

they send to the Aliwan Fiesta every year. They dont fail to amaze. Leyte is
also the home base of other festivals like Alikaraw, Pasaka, and the 2009
Aliwan Fiesta champions, Buyogan.

Kadayawan Festival
3rd week of August | Davao City
Kadayawan comes from the Dabawenyo word madayaw, a friendly
greeting which means good or beautiful. Probably the biggest festival in
Mindanao, Kadayawan has everything all other festivals have: street
dancing, beauty pageants, fireworks displays, floral floats.

It is a celebration of Davaos as well as the rest of Mindanaos abundance;

showcasing flowers, fruits, and other produces that abound the countrys
second largest island. Just two years ago, they even introduced a week-long
street food fiesta in Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue called Kaan sa Dan.

19th of October | Bacolod City
Colorful masks, street dancing, electrical displays and best of all the sweet
smiles of Bacoleas! What more could you ask for?

MassKara is a combination of the words mass which means crowd and

kara which means face. You will see participants wearing smiling masks
signifying a multitude of smiling faces, solidifying Bacolods title as the City
of Smiles.

Like Sinulog, it is also swarmed by the younger party crowd as it is

conveniently scheduled during the semester break.

There are still a lot of Philippine festivals not mentioned in this list. The next
time you book a flight, you might want to consider scheduling it during that
destinations festival dates.