17 Festivals in the Philippines You Should Experience at Least Once in Your Life

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Haven’t attended any festivals in the Philippines yet? You’re missing half of your life! You must witness some of the most fabulous and unique celebrations in the country!

1. Panagbenga Festival

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Get a glimpse of the tradition of the Summer Capital of the Philippines with their month long celebration of flower festival where you can witness street dancing and a parade of flower-coated floats!

When: 1st week of February

Where: Baguio

2. Ati-atihan Festival

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In honor of the Santo Niño, the infant Jesus, Ati-atihan is being celebrated with tribal dance, music, costumes, and weapons.

When: January 14-20

Where: Kalibo, Aklan

3. Lechon Festival

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Probably one of the favorite festivals of the foodies. It’s a porkin’ lechon! This festival is celebrated to honor Saint John the Baptist. Numerous lechons are decorated with different costumes and are paraded along the streets of town.

When: June 24

Where: San Juan, Manila

4. Obando Fertility Rites

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If you are wishing for a child, a partner, or good fortune, try to attend the Obando Fertility Rites. People who wish for a child dance as a form of prayer to a triad of patrons saints (Saint Paschal Baylon, Saint Clare, and Our Lady of Salambao) asking for the spirit of life to enter the wombs of women.

When: May 17-19

Where: Obando, Bulacan

5. Sinulog Festival

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This festival is another celebration that honors Santo Niño where you can see a grand street parade, processions, and dance competitions. Sinulog recalls the Filipino’s acceptance of Christianity.

When: 3rd Sunday of January

Where: Cebu City

6. Pahiyas Festival

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Pahiyas is being celebrated to honor the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador. You’ll be amazed with the decorated houses using leaf-shaped and colorful rice paste called Kiping, and fruits and flowers.  The festival is being done to give thanks for an ample harvest.

When: May 15

Where: Lucban, Quezon

7. Flores de Mayo

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Flowers of May! Don’t tell me you haven’t seen Santacruzan ever in your life? This parade is being done in most of the barangay in our country every May, to portray Queen Helena’s discovery of the Holy Cross. Flores de Mayo is a celebration in honor of the Virgin Mary.

When: Whole month of May

Where: Countrywide

8. Higantes Festival

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I’m sure you’ve heard, about the 10 to 12 feet tall paper mache giants in Angono that are being paraded around to honor their patron saint, San Clemente.

When: November 23

Where: Angono, Rizal

9. Feast of the Black Nazarene

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Many devotees follow the procession of the Black Nazarene and try to wipe their handkerchiefs on the surface of the Nazarene, believing it can heal their pain and suffering. Devotees follow the procession for up to 20 hours.

When: January 9

Where: Manila, Philippines

10. Masskara Festival

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Masskara Festival, or the Festival of Smiles, is a reminder that Bacolod will survive with a smile no matter how rough times can get.

When: 3rd week of October

Where: Bacolod City

11. Kadayawan Festival

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Kadayawan, or “madayaw” for Dabawenyo, means valuable, good, or beautiful. And that’s what exactly this festival is being celebrated for. It is to celebrate all the good things they receive and experience: plentiful harvest, wealth of culture, gifts of nature.

When: 3rd week of August

Where: Davao City

12. Pintados Festival

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This fascinating festival where residents paint their bodies and prepare for the street dancing and parade, is being celebrated to honor the body-painting traditions of the ancient tattooed warriors in the Philippines.

When: June 29

Where: Tacloban

13. Carabao Festival

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In honor of Pulilan’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, carabaos are decorated with colorful garlands and are asked to kneel in front of the church. Guess what? They cooperate! They really kneel!

When: May 14 – 15

Where: Pulilan, Bulacan

14. Moriones Festival

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A re-enactment of the story of Saint Longinus, a blind Roman Soldier that was healed when the blood of Jesus dropped on his eye. Men and women dress in costumes to depict Roman soldiers during the Passion of the Christ.

When: Holy Week

Where: Marinduque

15. Sandugo Festival

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This feast that lasts for a month consists of a holy mass, a beauty pageant, and a motorcade. This commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi through blood compact or sandugo.

When: 3rd/4th of Sunday of July

Where: Tagbilaran City, Bohol

16. Dinagyang Festival

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A religious and cultural festival that features Ati-atihan Street Dancing, Kasadyahan Street Dancing, and Miss Dinagyang.

When: 4th Sunday of January

Where: Iloilo City

17. Feast of Saint John the Baptist

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This feast is celebrated with giant water-fights. The residents splash each other with ylang-ylang-scented water to represent baptism.

When: June 24

Where: San Juan, Manila

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