Are you a tourist who enjoys learning about new cultures and traditions? If that’s the case, you’re in for a treat! In this article, we’ll look at the top 20 festivals in the Philippines that you must attend. These festivities will leave an indelible impact on you, with everything from colorful parades to energetic street dancing and delectable cuisine.
Top 20 Festivals in the Philippines
Philippines culture and history are vast. Experience Philippine culture at one of its numerous festivals. Each Philippine festival has its own rituals, aesthetic, and cuisine. We review the top 20 Philippine festivals to help you choose your vacation dates.
(20) Maskara Festival (Sagay City)
The Maskara Festival honors Sagay City’s resourcefulness and originality. In the month of October, revelers don masks and dance in the streets to live music. The festival also serves as an exhibition of the local artistic and cultural scene.
(19) Hudyaka Festival (Bogo City)
The Hudyaka Festival commemorates Bogo City’s founding anniversary. It takes place every September and includes street dancing, music, and bright costumes. The festival also highlights the city’s agricultural and fishing industries.
(18) Shariff Kabunsuan Festival (Cotabato City)
The Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is a celebration of Cotabato City’s Muslim heritage. It is held every December and features street dancing, music, and colorful costumes. The festival also highlights the city’s rich history and cultural diversity.
(17) Lanzones Festival (Camiguin)
Celebrating Camiguin’s plentiful lanzones harvest is the purpose of the annual Lanzones Festival. A lanzones procession is held every year during the third week of October, along with a street dance and musical performance. The event highlights the island’s magnificent sights.
(16) Babaylan Festival (Bago City)
An annual week-long festival, the Babaylan Festival takes place in Bago City every October. It is a festival honoring the native culture of the city, complete with music, dance, and colorful costumes. There is an emphasis on babaylans, or traditional healers, throughout the celebration as well.
(15) Kuraldal Festival (Sasmuan, Pampanga)
There is a religious celebration in May called the Kuraldal Festival that takes place in Sasmuan, Pampanga. In honor of San Roque, the patron saint of the city, this event reenacts some of the saint’s supposed healing miracles. Traditional dances and music from the area will also be performed at the festival.
(14) Parada ng Lechon (Balayan, Batangas)
Every year on June 24, Balayan, Batangas hosts the unique celebration known as the Parada ng Lechon. A parade of roasted pigs, or lechons, is part of the celebration of St. John the Baptist, the town’s patron saint. Also, this festival showcases the local community’s culinary skills.
(13) Panagatan Festival (Oton, Iloilo)
Every year, the fishing community in Oton, Iloilo, is recognized during the Panagatan Festival. A boat parade, street dancing, and live music take place every April. Throughout the festival, local seafood specialties are also highlighted.
(12) Dinagyang Festival (Iloilo City)
Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival commemorates Malay settlers’ arrival. Every fourth Sunday in January, it features street dancing, music, and colorful costumes. The festival is also a religious celebration in honor of Santo Niño.
(11) Sandugo Festival (Tagbilaran City)
The Sandugo Festival is a celebration of the blood compact between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Bohol chieftain Datu Sikatuna. Street dancing, music, and a blood compact reenactment take place in Tagbilaran City every July.
(10) Kali-Kalihan Festival (Lamitan City)
Each year in June, the city of Lamitan hosts a week-long festival known as the Kali-Kalihan Festival. It’s a party honoring the city’s abundant coconut crop with lots of dancing, music, and fancy dress.
(9) Tuna Festival (General Santos City)
General Santos City hosts an annual Tuna Festival to honor its thriving tuna business. Tuna floats, street dancers, and live music highlight this annual event, which takes place in September. Seafood from the area is featured at the festival.
(8) Higantes Festival (Angono, Rizal)
The Higantes Festival is a celebration of the town of Angono’s patron saint, San Clemente. It takes place on November 23rd and features giant paper mache puppets known as higantes. The festival is a vibrant display of street dancing, music, and food.
(7) MassKara Festival (Bacolod City)
The city of Bacolod, Philippines, celebrates for an entire month every October with the MassKara Festival. It’s a party honoring the fortitude of the Bacolodans in the face of adversity. In the streets, revelers dance to live music and wear elaborate masks for the celebration.
(6) Pahiyas Festival (Lucban, Quezon)
The Pahiyas Festival is a celebration of the abundant harvest in the town of Lucban, Quezon. It is a colorful display of fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts held every May 15th. Kiping, a leaf-shaped rice wafer, decorates walls.
(5) Kadayawan Festival (Davao City)
Every August, Davao City hosts the Kadayawan Festival, a week-long festival. It serves to commemorate the region’s bountiful harvest of fruits and flowers. Street dancing, music, and vibrant costumes are all part of the celebration.
(4) Moriones Festival (Marinduque)
During the week leading up to Easter, Marinduque hosts the Moriones Festival. The celebration recreates the life of Longinus, a Roman soldier who became a Christian after seeing Jesus’ suffering on the cross. It has individuals dressed like Roman soldiers, complete with masks and helmets.
(3) Panagbenga Festival (Baguio City)
The Panagbenga Festival, also known as the Flower Festival, lasts a month in Baguio City. It is held every February and is a celebration of the city’s flower blooming. The festival includes a grand flower parade, street dancing, and music.
(2) Ati-Atihan Festival (Aklan)
Every third Sunday in January, the province of Aklan celebrates for a whole week with the Ati-Atihan Festival. The celebration celebrates Ati people and Santo Nio de Kalibo. Dancers and musicians perform in the streets while revelers dress in garish outfits.
(1) Sinulog Festival (Cebu City)
Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival is popular on the third Sunday of January. This celebration is dedicated to the Holy Infant Jesus, or Sto. Nio. There will be street dance, parades, and religious processions throughout the week-long festival.
Read the following articles to know more about the SINULOG Festival of Cebu:
SINULOG Celebration: Vestiges of the Past
SINULOG Festival Myths Debunked
SINULOG Festival Guide: What to Do Before, During and After the Festivity
SINULOG Festival: How to Avoid Getting Scammed
Philippines is a nation with a wealth of cultural practices and customs. The festivals of the Philippines provide a window into the strength, imagination, and faith of its people. Participating in these celebrations is a wonderful way to learn about the rich culture of the Philippines and meet the kind locals who live there. Each celebration is completely unique, with its own set of customs, aesthetic, and culinary offerings for guests to enjoy. Festivals in the Philippines leave an indelible mark on those who attend them, whether they are a celebration of faith, culture, or the fruits of the crop.
Read Also: Laguna: Land of Filipino’s Top Festivals That You Should Never Miss!