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The 10 Most Popular Festivals in the Philippines

Festivals are incredible in the Philippines and this is one of the reasons why It’s More Fun to visit
every single island. Often including elaborate costumes, parades and processions, and demonstrating the
integration of historical traditions from the indigenous as well as Spanish and Mexican influences that
characterize modern Philippines.

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo


This is a quick summary of the 10 most popular festivals in the Philippines, but nothing compares to finding
out more and going to take part in one yourself.

Feast of Black Nazarine

The procession of Black Nazarene in Manila (photo courtesy of denvie balidoy)


Considered as the largest annual religious procession in the Philippines, the Feast of Black
Nazarine celebrates an over 200 year old statue of a black Christ figure, said to bring good luck to those who
participate or come to pay honor. The procession of barefoot men and women takes place in Quaipo, Manila
on January 9th and Good Friday.
Sinulog Festival

A woman during the Sinulog Festival (photo by George Parrilla)


Every third Sunday of January, Cebu City celebrates Santo Niño with Sinulog Festival. During the highlight of
the festival, the streets are filled with energetic street dancers performing the traditional Sinulog dance
wearing an intricate and colorful costumes.

Kadayawan Festival
Kadayawan Street Dancers
Kadayawan takes place in Davao and is a celebrated during the month of August with various events
including ethnic dance demonstrations and competitions as well as a trade fair and exhibit. It’s a harvest
celebration and is one of the most cheerful festivals in the Philippines.
Pahiyas Festival

Lucban Pahiyas Festival


On May 15 every year, Lucban in Quezon celebrates Pahiyas Festival in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the
patron saint of farmers. Fresh fruits and vegetables are set out on houses and buildings as decorations. The
decorations are judged and the best is given awards and prizes.

Ati-Atihan Festival

Ati-Atihan Festival (photo by Wikipedia)


Another January festival, Ati-Atihan is the annual tribute to the baby Jesus in Kalibo, Aklan. A celebratory
display of costumes, weapons, music, and dance is meant to celebrate the Santo Niño. The festival has
inspired many other Philippine Festivals including the Sinulog Festival of Cebu and Dinagyang of Iloilo, both
adaptations of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival.
Dinagyang Festival

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City


On the fourth Sunday every January in Iloilo City, Dinagyang Festival is another celebration of Jesus that
includes a huge feast and a mascot called Dagoy who represents the traditional Aeta people of the
islands. The Dinagyang is divided into three Major events: Ati-Ati Street Dancing, Kasadyahan Street Dancing
and Miss Dinagyang.

Masskara Festival
Incredible costumes and days of celebrations are typical of Masskara festival in Bacolod City. It’s a giant
masquerade party and one of the most fun and most widely known festivals of the Philippines. It’s held in the
third week of October, on or around Oct 19th. The festival features a street dance competition where people
from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin
musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina.

Masskara Festival Performer


Major activities include the MassKara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and buglecorps competitions,
food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events
organized ad-hoc every year.

Panagbenga Festival

Panagbenga Flower Festival


Also known as the Flower Festival, this beautiful and celebratory event embodies many of the best things
about the Philippines. Celebrating people dressed in beautiful, colorful, elaborate flower themed costumes.
Baguio City turns into one big party during February each year for Panagbenga Festival.

Moriones Festival

Marinduque Moriones Festival


Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday is celebrated in Marinduque with intricate Roman soldier costumes
called Moriones. The wearers are both celebrated and a symbol of the self-cleansing of this time of year.
They play tricks and cause trouble and their real identities are unknown. A huge search for Longino is
undertaken on Easter Sunday and is sacrificed after being caught a third time. The drama is is engaging and
the crowd is involved, making this one of the most unique festivals in the country.
Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival (by IvanLakwatsero.com)


In Angono in Rizal, the Higantes Festival is another incredible example of the devotion and dedication that
Filipinos put into their festivals. The Higantes, or giants, are huge paper mache people that can be as tall as
12 feet high and about five feet in diameter. It’s held on November 23rd and celebrates the patron saint of
fishermen, San Clemente.
These are the 10 Most Popular Festivals in the Philippines. But there are more that you can learn about and
attend if you want to experience the fun and drama of festivals in the Philippines.