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Types Of Philippine Festivals

Ivan Josh P. Pangan

1. Sinulog Festival

When: Third week/Sunday of January

Place: Cebu City

- Sinulog Festival is annually celebrated for cultural and religious

purposes. This event is celebrated in other parts of the country
where the local government arranges the festival. The event will
consist of a street party, dancing, and performing locals in
traditional costumes. The Catholic Santo Niño is the centre of
this celebration, but the Sinulog dance ritual also commemorates
the Filipinos’ pagan past, along with their acceptance of
2. Ati-Atihan

When: Third week/Sunday of January

Place: Kalibo, Aklan

- Another celebration to honour the Santo Niño, Ati-Atihan is where

people go to the streets parading their traditional costumes and
weapons, and painting their bodies black. Participants march and
dance in the town, matched with loud drumbeats. This festival will
definitely make you dance your heart out while enjoying a true Filipino
3. Dinagyang Festival

When: Fourth weekend of January

Place: Ilo-Ilo City

- Dinagyang Festival is one of the largest festivals in the country. It’s

when Iloilo takes the street festivals to the next level. The city
converts all its streets into a massive open-air festival and everyone is
invited. Mouthwatering local dishes are overflowing whilst there are
bands playing in every alley you turn to. Every barangay and school will
come together and have an extravagant dance competition.
4. Panagbenga Festival

When: February

Place: Baguio City

- One of longest festivals in the Philippines, Panagbenga is celebrated

throughout the month of February. This month highlights the season of
blooming flowers, at the same time, this is also to commemorate our
rise from the disastrous 1990 earthquake in Luzon. Marvellous floats,
designed with various types of flowers, conquer the streets of Baguio
City. Tourists can expect street dancing by dancers wearing flower-
inspired costumes. Expect it to be even colder in Baguio when you visit
as this festival is celebrated in February.
5. Moriones Festival

When: Holy Week/March or April

Place: Marinduque
- This is a festival that lasts for a week in Marinduque. Moriones is the
celebration of the life of St. Longinus whose eye was healed by the blood
of Christ. Since most Filipinos don’t work during the Holy Week and this
event follows the schedule of the Holy Week, a lot of locals stay in
Marinduque to celebrate the festival. Morion refers to the helmet of the
people dressed as Roman soldiers, while Moriones refers to the people
who dress as these Roman soldiers. These costumed Moriones roam the
streets for seven days, scaring children and making noise to reenact the
search for Longinus, the centurion who pierced Jesus on the cross with a

6. Pahiyas Festival

When: Every May 15th of the year

Place: Lucban, Quezon

- May 15 is when the locals of Lucban decorate their houses
extravagantly with vibrant and lively colours. Vegetables are hung as
decorations because this festival celebrates the season of harvesting.
People are allowed to bring their own basket and pick fresh vegetables
from the walls, with no charge – happy fiesta and shopping at the same

7. Pintados-Kasadayan Festival

When: Every June 29th of the year

Place: Tacloban City

- Pintados-Kasadayan Festival is another religious celebration in

the name of the Santo Niño held in Tacloban City. It showcases
the rich culture and colourful history of the province of Leyte.
The dancers paint their faces and bodies with vibrant colours of
blue and green to depict Leyte’s ancestral people. Some dancers
are also painted with designs that look like armour to represent
the warriors that lived in Leyte long ago. The folk dances they
perform portray the many traditions people of Leyte practised
before the Spanish era. Among these is the worship of idols,
indigenous music, and epic stories, to name a few. The
term, pintados, is derived from what the tattoed native warriors
of Leyte were once called, while kasadayan means merriment in
the Visayan tongue.

8. Sirong Festival

When: Every August 15th of the year

Place: Surigao Del Sur

- Sirong Festival is another cultural and religious celebration.

Various towns claim that it originated in their municipalities in
Surigao del Sur. Most of these towns were founded during the
pre-Spanish occupation and were attacked by the Moros. Sirong
Festival features a war dance between the Muslims and the
Christians. It marks the Christianisation of the early
Cantilangnons. Whoever wins the best dance in the festival
brings home a cash prize.

9. Masskara Festival

When: Month of October

Place: Bacolod City

- A festival that is celebrated from the city of smiles – Bacolod City.

Mass (crowd) kara (face) Festival is filled with people wearing
colourful smiling masks designed with feathers, flowers, and native
beads. The festival allows tourists to enjoy 20 days of beer drinking,
street dancing, and merrymaking. Every street is filled with locals
wearing their smiling masks and festive costumes while dancing
around and spreading the happy atmosphere throughout the city.
During the festival, locals are encouraged to forget the economic
struggle brought about by the dead season of the sugar harvest. They
also see the festival as their way of escapism and obscurantism. The
sugar harvest is important to the people of Bacolod since Negros
Occidental, where Bacolod is found, is known as the Sugar Bowl of the

10. Giant Lentern Festival

When: The weekend before Christmas Eve

Place: San Fernando

- San Fernando organises the biggest festival in the country. It

features a competition of giant lantern making, which is why it
has been called the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”. This is
also to celebrate the Christmas season, where participants
produce up to fifteen-foot diameter lanterns. It is a rule that each
lantern should be made out of locally available materials. These
lanterns are showcased in a parade in each barrio before the
midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This list is not even half of the
notable festivals in the Philippines. There are plenty more to
discover but the ones mentioned above should give you a great
start. Make sure to go on the right date and month so as not to
miss any of these awesome festivals.