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The Splendid Philippine Festivals

Updated on September 26, 2012

A celebration of harvest or showcase of pride about history, landmarks or favorite product. Philippine Festivals are truly exquisite, unique and splendid

The colorful kipings that adorns houses in Lucban's Pahiyas Festival
The colorful kipings that adorns houses in Lucban's Pahiyas Festival
The staple product of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The staple product of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The Bangusan Party, a street party filled with merrymaking and music, is considered to be one of the largest in the world
The Bangusan Party, a street party filled with merrymaking and music, is considered to be one of the largest in the world
The Panagbenga street dancers flashing their colorful costumes with grace.
The Panagbenga street dancers flashing their colorful costumes with grace.
The main attraction of Panagbenga Festival is the float parade . Different flowers are used to adorn floats ala Rose Parade of the US.
The main attraction of Panagbenga Festival is the float parade . Different flowers are used to adorn floats ala Rose Parade of the US.

Filipinos are indeed engrossed with finding ways and time to celebrate the good things in life.

(Author's Note: This Hub is a certified HubNugget and will focus on Pahiyas Festival of Quezon, Strawberry Festival of La Trinidad, Dagupan City's Bangus Festival, Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City, Pintados de Passi Festival of Iloilo, Marinduque's Moriones Festival and Butanding Festival of Donsol, Sorsogon). Regionalistic in nature, Filipinos are fragmented when their turf's pride is at stake, they will never succumb in their exhortations about the goodness of their place. This competitive features of Filipinos about showing off their respective towns and cities by means of festivals is boon as it brings out the best in the Philippines.

The festivals across the country are a showcase of rich culture and heritage. You’ll get to see well-choreographed street dancers donned with multicolored costumes, indigenous yet creative props and exciting moves to celebrate a bountiful harvest, or just showing off the pride of each town and city across the country (which can be a product, a landmark, history etc.) The dancing will never be complete without the background music provided by the drummers and singing, a talent which Filipinos are really good at hehehe. You’ll get to see the novelties, products and souvenirs that are painstakingly made by resourceful, innovative and truly hardworking local residents. You’ll get to taste the delicacies and even exotic foods that are rich in flavor that will satisfy meticulous and curious bellies, hehehe.

Here are some of the dazzling and mesmerizing festivals celebrated all across the archipelago:

Pahiyas Festival

Held every May in Lucban, Quezon, this festival displays colorful, vibrant and lavish house decors called “Kipings” and various dyed leaves that comes in different colors, shapes and sizes. A “Kiping” is actually a tortilla that can be served as a yummy dessert and as a colorful decoration. The house all over this town is oozing with lots of locals’ dishes and delicacies like the Lechon and Longganisa, for the visitors to savor and enjoy.

Strawberry Festival

The Strawberry capital of the Philippines, the town of La Trinidad, Benguet is home to the wonderful Strawberry Festival. The highlight of this celebration is a giant cake that is baked by local residents and later distributed and eaten by the spectators. This celebration also features products made from strawberries (wine, jam etc.) and cut flowers.

Dagupan Bangus Festival

Dagupan City became an instant force in staging festivals especially when it breaks The Guinness Book of Records for The World's Longest Barbecue Grill of Peru in May 3, 2003. Dubbed as "Kalutan ed Dagupan," the barbecue measured at 1,007.56 meters, breaking the previous record of Peru’s 613 meters in 1999.

Dagupan City (the bailiwick of the writer of this article, that's me, generalhowitzer a proud true blue Dagupeño) the nerve center of education, banking, health, and trade and commerce in Region 1 (Northern Luzon Region) is not to be outdone when it comes to staging of festivals. The City’s Bangus Festival in terms of magnitude and excitement is fast catching up with the premier festivals across the Philippines like the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, Cebu, Panagbenga in Baguio City, Benguet, Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo Aklan, and Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon.

Dagupan City doesn’t only features its very own Bangus Festival but also hosts the much-awaited and much-sought after, “Festivals of the North” a competition where other festivals street dancers in the Northern Luzon are invited to take part. The Bangus Festival is held to celebrate the city’s fishing culture and its world famous and Philippines best tasting “Bangus” (milkfish). Aside from these two top activities, an array of music, song, dance, sports and other fun filled activities are staged, an extravaganza that will surely give spectators delight and good time. The city also boasts the 101 Ways to Cook Bangus (milkfish) showcasing the mouthwatering local Filipino recipes here using milkfish as the main ingredient.

The climax of this exciting conclave of numerous activities and audiences is the Bangusan Street Party where thousands of local residents’ barbecue grills are put side by side to grill their favorite fish as local famous bands amuses the very thick crowd with their electrifying music.

Panagbenga Festival

One of the main attractions North of Manila is Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival, one of the most watched and famous in the country. Dubbed as the “City of Smiles” and also “The City of Pines,” Baguio City boasts of colorful street dancers which are lavished with awesome costumes, invited drum and lyre bands, a float festival that showcases a mosaic of flowers, flower petals, various leaves and even twigs forming awesome objects.

Pintados de Passi Festival

In every month of April in Passi, Ilioilo a festival known as Pintados de Passi is celebrated. Local productions will dance and charm their way to impress local and foreign tourists with their tribe competition. The festival is also marked by the truly entertaining and fun-filled activities.

Participants in the Moriones Festival flashing their colorful costumes...
Participants in the Moriones Festival flashing their colorful costumes...

Moriones Festival

Staged in the island of Marinduque during the Holy Week. This festival features a reenactment of the story of the one-eyed Roman, Longinus who was converted to a Christian because of a miracle that brings back his vision.

The Butanding Festival! A "butandng" or a whale shark float is one of the centerpiece of the festival.
The Butanding Festival! A "butandng" or a whale shark float is one of the centerpiece of the festival.

Butanding Festival

Held every April in Donsol, Sorsogon, locals celebrated “Butanding Festival to give due respect and credit to the mammoths “Butandings” (whale sharks). Since its worldwide exposure to media in 2004 thanks to Time Magazine for mentioning Donsol, Sorsogon as the Best Animal Encounter in Asia, this town rise to fame instantly and became one of the most visited tourists destination in the country. Now Donsol is one of the best whale-watching site all over the world that paved the way for the local residents to earn extra income. The festival is also staged with a well-coordinated and dynamic street dancing and one of a kind eco-trips for whale watching, or should I say shark watching because this colossal animal is actually a specie of shark.

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