Philippine Festivals

We, Filipinos, just love celebrations and revelry, it’s embedded in our culture.  With the number of  festivals in the country all year round, one doesn’t run out of reasons to explore and get a taste of the diverse magnificence that the Philippines has to offer.  These Philippine Festivals are attracting a good volume of foreign and  local  tourists every year, thus helping local tourism and giving the economy a big boost.

More tourists, more  business, more fun in the Philippines!

What’s your town’s festival?

January

  • Feast of the Black Nazarene (Jan. 9, Manila)
  • Sinulog Festival (Jan. 15 or every 2nd Sunday of Jan., Cebu City)
  • Ati-Atihan Festival (3rd week of Jan., Kalibo, Aklan)
  • Dinagyang Festival (4th week of Jan., Ilo-Ilo)

Sinulog Festival, Cebu
Photo Credits: ABS CBN

February

  • Paraw Regatta (every 3rd Sunday of Feb., Ilo-Ilo and Guimaras)
  • Taytay Hamaka Festival (Feb. 10-16, Taytay Rizal)
  • The Tinagba Festival (Feb. 11, Iriga City, Camarines Sur)
  • International Bamboo Organ Festival (Las Pinas)
  • Baguio Flower Festival / Panagbenga (Baguio City)
  • Ollalion Festival (Feb. 14, Tabuk, Kalinga)
  • Babaylanes Festival (Feb. 16, Bago City, Negros Occidental)
  • Kalilangan Festival (Feb. 20-27, General Santos City)
  • Kaamulan Festival (2nd week of Feb. up to March 10, Malaybalay, Bukidnon)
  • Panagbenga Festival, Baguio
    Photo Credits: Inquirer News Info

March

  • Island Garden City of Samal Festival (1st week of March, Samal Island)
  • Anibina Bulawanon Festival (culminates on March 8, Compostela Valley)
  • Holy Week (March-April, nationwide)
  • Moriones Festival (Holy Week, Marinduque)
  • Centurion Festival (Holy Week, Gen. Luna, Quezon)
  • Ang Pagtaltal (Good Friday, Jordan, Guimaras)
  • Pangalap Ritual (Good Friday, Nueva Valencia)
  • Witches Festival (Holy Week, Siquijor)

April

  • Moriones Festival
  • Centurion Festival
  • Turumba (Pakil, Laguna)
  • Lami-Lamihan Festival (April 14-16, Basilan)
  • Kadaugan sa Mactan (April 27, Cebu)

May

  • Flores de Mayo (entire month, Catholic-wide event)
  • Pasalamat Festival (May 1, La Carlota, Negros Occidental)
  • Magayon Festival (May 1, Albay Province)
  • Pista y Dayat Festival (May 1, Pangasinan)
  • Boa-Boahan (May 2, Nabua, Camarines Sur)
  • Carabo-Carozza Race Festival (May 3, Pavia, IloIlo)
  • Lanahan Ritual (May 1-3, Digos, Davao del Sur)
  • Balanghai Festival (Butuan)
  • Tapusan Festival (whole month, Alitagtag, Batangas)
  • Barangay Boat Festival (May 11, Aparri, Cagayan)
  • Carabao Festival (May 15, Pulilan, Bulacan)
  • Pahiyas Festival (Lucban and Sariaya, Quezon)
  • Obando Festival (May 17-19, Obando, Bulacan)
  • Pahoy-Pahoy Festival (May 19-25, Calbiga, Samar)

June

  • Naliyagan Festival (2nd week, Agusan del Norte)
  • Pagdayao festival (June 11-12, Tacloban Leyte)
  • Araw ng Cotabato (June 12-20, Cotabato)
  • Parada ng mga Lechone (June 24, Balayan, Batangas)
  • Hibok-Hibok Festival (June 24, Camiguin)
  • Daet Pineapple Festival (3rd week, Daet, Camarines Norte)
  • Tacloban Festival (last week, Tacloban, Leyte)
  • Piat Sambali Festival (last week, Piat, Cagayan)

July

  • Sagayan Festival, Tubod (1st week – Lanao del Norte)
  • Pagoda Festival (July 4-7 – Bocaue, Bulacan)
  • Sublian sa Batangas (July 23 – Batangas City)
  • Sinulog and Kinabayo Festival (July 24-25 – Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte)
  • Sinulog de Tanjay Festival (last week – Tanjay, Negros Oriental)
  • Kahimoan Abayan Festival (last week – Butuan City, Agusan del Norte)
  • Sandugo Festival (last week – Bohol)

August

  • Pangapog Festival (August 1-7 – Samal Island)
  • Palu-Palo Festival (Aug. 4-5 – Basco, Batanes)
  • Marang Festival (Aug. 5 – Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte)
  • Mercedes Fishtival (Aug. 6-11 – Mercedes, Camarines Norte)
  • Pangasinan Bamboo Festival (August 12 – Calasiao and Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan)
  • Pasaka Festival (Aug. 14 – Tanuan, Leyte)
  • Lubi-Lubi Festival (Aug. 15 – Calubian, Leyte)
  • Kalibongan Festival (Aug. 17-18 – Kidapawan, Cotabato)
  • Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival (3rd week – Davao  City)
  • Gigantes (Aug. 19 – Lucban, Quezon)
  • Buyongan Festival (Aug. 19 – Abuyog, Leyte)
  • Bankaton (Aug. 20 – Lavezares, Northern Samar)
  • Kagayhaan Festival (Aug. 26-28 – Cagayan de Oro City)

Kadayawan sa Dabaw’s Indak-indak sa Kadalanan, Davao City
Photo Credits: Mindanews

September

  • Aurora Festival (last Sunday of August to 1st week of September – Tanjay, Negros Oriental)
  • Hin-Ay Festival (Sept. 1-29 – Irosin, Sorsogon)
  • Bicol Food Festival (Sept. 1-30 – Naga City)
  • Sarakiki Festival (Sept. 1-8 – Calbayog City)
  • T’boli Tribal Festival (3rd week – South Cotabato)
  • Penafracia Fiesta (3rd Sunday – Naga City)
  • Dalit Festival (Sept. 25 – Tangub City)
  • Djanggo Festival (Sept. 28-29 – Nassiping, Gattaran, Cagayan
  • Banigan-Kawayan Festival (Sept. 29 -Basey, Samar)
  • Linapit Food  Sharing Festival (Sept. 30 – Gueday, Besno)

October

  • Halaran (1st week – Roxas City)
  • Universal Children’s Festival (1st week – Dapitan City)
  • Masskara Festival (2nd week – Bacolod City)
  • Ibalong Festival (2nd week – Legaspi City)
  • Zamboanga Hermoza Festival (Oct. 10-12 – Zamboanga City)
  • Kasanggayan Festival (Oct. 10-17 – Sorsogon, Sorsogon)
  • Feast of La Naval Manila (Oct. 11 –  Quezon City)
  • Inug-og Festival (Oct. 15 – Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental)
  • Calbayog Grand Karakol (Oct. 16 – Calbayog City)
  • Sagingan Festival (Oct. 16-17 – Tubod, Lanao del Norte)
  • Megayon Festival (3rd week – Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur)
  • Lanzones Festival (4th week – Mambajao, Camiguin Island)
  • Catadungan Festival (Oct. 24 – Virac, Catanduanes)
  • Lanzones Festival, Camiguin
    Photo Credits: ABS CBN

November

  • Pintaflores (Nov. 3-5 – San Carlos City)
  • Kalag-Kalag Festival (Nov. 13 – Cebu City)
  • Sanduguan Festival (Nov. 15 – Calapan, Oriental Mindoro)
  • Feast of San Clemente/Gigantes (Nov. 22-23 – Angono, Rizal)
  • P’yagsawitan Festival (3rd week, Maragusan, Davao Province)
  • Kawayanan Festival (3rd week, Pagadian)
  • Santa Ipon Festival (Nov. 25-Dec. 25 – Santa, Ilocos Sur)
  • Day-Ang Di Onga Festival (Nov. 30 – Baguio City)
  • Binabayani Festival (last week – Olongapo, Zambales)

December

  • Paskuhan sa Barangay (entire month – Parian, Cebu City)
  • San Fernando Giant Lantern Festival (entire month – San Fernando, Pampanga)
  • Kamundagan Festival (entire month – Naga City)
  • Subayan Keg Subanon (Dec. 1-8 – Ozamis City)
  • Pasko sa Tanjay Festival (Dec. 1-9 – Tanjay, Negros Oriental)
  • Fiesta de Agoo (Dec. 5-8 – Agoo Basilica)
  • Sinadya (Dec. 5-8 – Roxas City)
  • Hanging of the Green (2nd week – Zamboanga City)
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8 – Puerto Princesa)
  • Pagdiwata (Dec. 8 – Palawan)
  • Dad-Iw Day-eng Chants (Dec. 8 – Bakod, Benguet)
  • Karisyohan Han Pasko Ha Palo (Dec. 10-Jan. 6 – Palo, Leyte)
  • Philippine International Lantern Parade (Dec. 14 – Roxas Blvd. and Quirino Grandstand)
  • Christmas Among the Tribes (Dec. 16 – Quirino)
  • Simballay Festival (3rd week – Nabunturan, Davao Province)
  • Shariff Kabunsuan (Dec. 15-19 – Cotabato City)
  • Pastores Bikol (Dec. 18 – Legaspi City)
  • Maytinis Festival (Dec. 24 – Kawit, Cavite)
  • Salubong (Dec. 29 – Plaridel, Bulacan)

Which Philippine Festival have you gone to?

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Kawasan Falls, Cebu

My friends and I made a quick trip to Cebu once again last month for yet another adventure and this time, we chose to trek our way to a majestic tourist destination in the middle of a jungle — The KAWASAN FALLS.

Kawasan3Nestled in Badian, Cebu, the Kawasan Falls was, more or less, a 3-hour drive from the heart of Cebu City where we were billeted.

The short hike towards Kawasan Falls was mostly through a narrow paved road along the river. Rightfully so, the river was our guide.

The pristine, clear water was so inviting; such a huge respite from the midday heat we had to endure before the jungle swallowed us whole. Suddenly it was a medley of turquoise and greens around us.

Kawasan Falls is a feast of natural spring water cascading down the mountains of Barangay Matutinao in Badian.

From the entrance, we had to trudge uphill for about 1.5 km to get to the first waterfall. It was the biggest and the most crowded of all the waterfalls in the area. Despite that I would’ve preferred a more serene setting, I couldn’t complain, especially after putting on my life vest and started floating, to my delight.

KawasanThat was the first time in my life that I got to absolutely enjoy being in a body of water as deep as I couldn’t feel anything below me anymore. I later learned that it was 10-20 ft. deep near the riverbanks and approximately 45 ft. deep in the middle. Holy macaroni! For someone who can’t swim, it was pure horror.

It freaked me out upon realizing I was swimming in deep waters so, for the life of me, I struggled to waddle my way through the nearest rocks where I desperately clung for safety. But there were spectators and fellow tourists who were so encouraging to coax me into the water again, persuading me to just trust the vest with my life. They even taught me how to wear the vest properly (I didn’t know I had to fasten the belts from between my fat thighs to secure it.) Thank God for friendly people, they’re aplenty in Kawasan!

We rode the balsa (raft) for P300, and I have to say it was the best decision we ever did on that trip. (Whoever among my friends Carol, ate Carina, Abby, Luchie, and Marvin paid for it is heaven-sent!)

kawasan6

Kawasan

Kawasan

If you ever go to Kawasan, be sure to ride the balsa. That would easily be the highlight of your adventures there!

Important: The water cascading from the 45-ft. high cliff is so powerful, make sure your swimwear is not prone to wardrobe malfunction once you get under the waterfalls. One tourist had the misfortune of getting stripped down by the cascading water while on the balsa. You don’t want that to happen.

And don’t forget to bring your GoPro camera or your smartphone sealed in a waterproof holder so you can merrily snap away photos of your adventures.

kawasan9

kawasan8

Tips to maximize your Kawasan Experience:

1. Swim across the river. There are ropes for you to grab onto so you wouldn’t get swept away by the strong current. My friend Mars and I did just that, wearing our precious life vests, and it felt like a major feat for us non-swimmers, lol! One of our friends, Abby, boldly did too…without a life vest! (Don’t do the Abby way if you’re not a good swimmer. She swims like a shark.)

2. Hire a local tour guide and explore the smaller waterfalls in the area. (Yes, it pays to have one, so hire one!)

3. Bring food. Although there are food vendors and a restaurant in the area, it would be a good call to feast on your group’s baon in one of the tables there while marvelling on the majestic view of the falls. Promise, less hassle.

4. Rent life vests along the way, or buy trinkets and other souvenir items as you navigate your way to the falls for about 15 to 20 minutes from the highway.

5. There are waterproof phone holders being sold along the trail. They come in handy if you plan on taking photos in the water. Buy one!

6. Assign someone to watch over your things. It’s a no-brainer to NOT leave your things unattended but sometimes we, mortals, forget. It pays to be cautious.

7. Again, ride the balsa. Thank me later.

kawasan4

Kawasan2

Credits to my #DavaoSisterhood friends:

  • Photos — Carina Manansala and Abby Fuentes
  • Hosts — Luchie Calalo and Rheb
  • Trip leader and major financier — Carol Yao
  • Instagramer, my swimming buddy and hairdresser — Marvin Gil
  • Sabit — me 😛