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Philippine Festivals You Shouldn't Missed

Updated on January 1, 2018

Did I hear you say Philippine travel? With all the islands, islets, caves, beaches, foods and whatever that is on your bucket list, you might want to squeeze these festivities on your to-do list. Not only you would have fun but these will give you a better understanding of the culture, the people and the province of which you are visiting.

Some of these festivals starts as early as January while some are celebrated in the middle of the year. Add that extra fun and excitement on your visit with any of these Philippine festivities.

Look at those happy faces!
Look at those happy faces! | Source

Masskara Festival

Also known as "The Festival Of Smiles."

And there's something interesting how this festival started. The Masskara festival was first celebrated when the province of Bacolod was facing tough times in the year 1980.

What made the people of Bacolod sad? A big tragedy happened at that time as the Don Juan vessel collided with Tacloban City tanker and sank. Thus, resulted many lost love ones at a total of 700 in number.

Now, the "Masskara Festival" is celebrated every year on the month of October's 3rd weekend. Let's just say that it symbolizes how the people of the province had pulled themselves up from the gloomy days. And to add to that, the province of Bacolod is also known as the "City Of Smiles."

The "Ati-atihan Festival"
The "Ati-atihan Festival" | Source

Ati-atihan Festival

Also called as the "Mother of all Philippine Festivals."

Ati-atihan Festival is celebrated on Aklan and is held every year on the 3rd Sunday of January. Like other festivals, this celebration gets pack of people; both devotees and tourists.

The Ati-atihan festival is celebrated annually to commemorate the 1,000 native of the province who attended the first Catholic Mass. This natives are the aeta or ati. And that's also how the Aklan got its capital Kalibo, which means sangka libo on the Aklanon language.

Sinulog Festival
Sinulog Festival | Source

Sinulog festival

A celebration held in Cebu City Philippines that last for 9 days. This festival is celebrated every year on the month of January's 3rd Sunday and is held to celebrate the acceptance of Cebuano people of Roman Catholicism.

Participants on the parade wears brightly colored clothes while they dance to the rhythm of trumpets and drums.

Interesting fact, the forward-backward step of the Sinulog dance pertains to waters current movement, which means sulog in Cebuano.

The Morions, in their helmets and tunics.
The Morions, in their helmets and tunics. | Source

Moriones Festival

A festival that occurs every Holy Week on the province of Marinduque and Mindoro. This is a festival that starts on March until April where the man and women (usually men) that joins the festival wear costumes replicating the Roman soldiers.

The costumed masked soldiers would then march or walk on the streets, searching for the Longinus. (The Roman centurion, Saint Longinus was blind on one-eye.)

Photo above of the Moryonan or Moriones festival is taken from barangay Lucio Laurel, of Gloria in Oriental Mindoro. In those days where the Morions roam the streets, kids find them scary and some would hide if a Morion is spotted coming.


Panagbenga Festival

Philippines Summer capital, the Baguio City as it celebrate the "Flower Festival."

If you love flowers, marching bands, and street dancers, you may want to feast your eyes on the floral and float parade. All floats are made of real flowers of the city and the celebration last for a month, starting on the month of February.

And did you know that the festival's name "panagbenga " means "season of blooming"? The "Flower Festival" started on the year 1990 after an earthquake had devastated the city of Baguio.

Philippine Colorful Festivals


Pahiyas Festival

Celebrated yearly, and is also known as "The Farmer's Festival." The province of Lucban, Quezon held this colorful festival by decorating their houses with either vegetables, fruits, and handicrafts, depending on their source of living.

Also it is believe that the homes on the processions route will be blessed for the coming year. The festival is observed annually on the 15th of May and is celebrated in honor of the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador.


Flores De Mayo

Literally means, "Flowers Of May," this Catholic festival is held every year in honor of the Virgin Mary on the month of May and is also considered as the "Queen Of All Filipino Festivals."

And on the last day of the Flores De Mayo, the "Santa Cruzan" is held in honor of Constantine and Reyna Elena (Queen Elena) in search of the Holy Cross. Santa Cruzan is observed in many cities and provinces in the Philippines where young beauties are being selected to participate in the Santa Cruzan parade.

Kawayanan (Bamboo) Festival
Kawayanan (Bamboo) Festival | Source

Kawayanan Festival

From the root word "kawayan" pertaining to the "bamboo" tree. This festival is held yearly on the month of October 1st on the town of Gloria, Oriental Mindoro. The celebration is done by street dancing in colorful bamboo-made costumes.

One memory I have with this festival is the contest held in which each town would make a hut made of bamboo to join the contest. The hut would then be displayed alongside the street of Gloria where the festival is being held until the day of the winner selection.


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    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks Vinaya. :)

    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks. And I would like to see both the Flower Festival and Masskara festival since I had seen the other ones. Would be such an adventure! :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      7 years ago from Nepal

      There is so much to learn from this. I'm always eager to read about cultures and tradition of people I have never met, the land I have never visited. Thanks for sharing this cultural essay.

    • pinkhawk profile image


      7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      I'm excited to witness these great festivals! ^_^... thanks for posting, very nice! ^_^


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