Festivals and events in the Philippines
The Philippines has 81 provinces, many municipalities, towns and cities, and thousands of barangays. Each one has its own festival, in honor of either a saint, a religious occasion, seasonal change, harvest, or the place itself. Most of the festivals have Hispanic influences. Because of the huge number of festivals, the country is dubbed the "Fiesta Islands". Filipinos are happy people with a joie de vivre, who are satisfied with life, and love to laugh and share humor. Most festivals reflect this, and are vibrant and energetic. Of them all, Christmas is the biggest, running from September to January, perhaps the longest Christmas celebration in the world.
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Most of the festivals in honor of Santo Nino (Sto. Nino), the Infant Jesus, and festivals commemorating the end of Christmas are held in January.
- Bulaklakan Festival in Muntinlupa City, on January 1. Bulaklak(an) literally means flower in Tagalog. This is a parade of flowers and costumes.
- Feast of Three Kings in Gasan, Marinduque, on the first Sunday of January of the year. The Feast of Three Kings or Epiphany, known as Araw ng tatlong hari in Tagalog, is a festival celebrated during the first Sunday of January, the Epiphany which commemorates the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ to the gentiles by the magi; Melchor who brought Gold, Gaspar who brought Frankincense, and Balthazar who brought myrrh as a gift to the infant Jesus. A folk play is en-acted in Gasan, Marinduque based on the story of the Epiphany. The festival also commemorates the end of Christmas in the Philippines.
- Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan, during the third week of January. In honor of the Sto. Nino or the Infant Jesus, this festival is celebrated. It was first celebrated as a pagan festival in honor of Anitos or Pagan gods of the native people before the Spanish arrived. Today it is celebrated in honor of the Sto. Nino. People cover their bodies or faces with soots to look like Atis or Aetas (native people) and dance streetdances with a holy image of the Sto. Nino. Masses, Novenas and Rosary processions are done also.
- Bailes De Luces in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on January 5. Dances of lights in Spanish. Luces or Light in Spanish symbolizes hope. The festival highlights the use of lights in festival presentations. Street dances are done to commemorate the festival, it is celebrated in thanking the past year's blessings and success as well as a hope for a better new year.
- Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, on January 9. The festival is a day long feast, celebrated through a procession of the Black Nazarene in the streets of Metro Manila. The Black Nazarene is a wooden statue of Jesus of Nazarene, it is called Black Nazarene because of the statue's color which is black, the statue is over 400 years old and is stored in the Basilica of Black Nazarene or popularly known as Quiapo Church. Devotees flock to streets barefooted and push against each other to get to the statue in belief it would give blessings and miracles.
- Lingayen Gulf Festival in Lingayen, Pangasinan, on January 9. Festival commemorating the liberation of Lingayen from the Japanese invasion by Gen. Douglas McCarthur of US Pacific command on January 9, 1945.
- Araw ng Koronadal(Day of Koronadal)/Hinugyaw Festival
in Koronadal on January 10. A feast celebrating the diverse cultures of Koronadal for decades.
- Binanog Festival in Lambunao, Iloilo, on January 10-16. Binanog Festival is celebrated in honor of the Infant Jesus, ethnic dances are done in the beat of drums to commemorate this feast.
- Coconut Festival and fair in San Pablo, Laguna, on January 10-13. A grande Mardi-gras that San Pablo commemorates in honor of their crop; coconuts.
- Sinulog Festival(Kabankalan) in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, on January 10-16. The Sinulog of Kabankalan is known to be lively and colorful, people dress in colorful costumes and dance in streets in honor of Señor Santo Niño.
- Makato Sto. Nino Festival in Makato, Aklan, on January 15. The celebration dates back to the pre-Spanish times, celebrated in honor and for giving thanks to the Sto. Nino. It is similar to Kalibo's Ati-atihan festival.
- Pasungay Festival in San Joaquin, Iloilo, on the third Saturday of January. Traditions date back in olden times when people witnessed two bulls fighting, it then became an attraction and an entertainment. Catch "Bull Derby", when the where the best bulls of the barangays compete against each other. Pasungay comes from the Hiligaynon word Sungay meaning horn, indicating the horns of the bulls.
- Kahimunan Festival in Libertad, Butuan City on January 16. See Butuan's local version of Cebu's Sinulog Festival. Just like Sinulog, spectacular and lively dances are held.
- Pangisdaan Festival in Barangay Tangos, Navotas, on January 16. The People of Brgy. Tangos, celebrates this feast in honor of their fishing industry. Street dancing and float competitions are the main attractions of this festival. "Pangisidaan" literally means "Fishery" in Tagalog.
- Kinaradto Festival in Buenavista, Guimaras, on January 16. Celebrate the rich culture of the oldest municipality of the province of Guimaras, the whole celebration is celebrated by songs, dances and musicals showcasing the cultures Buenavista has been influenced. The celebration is also celebrated in honor of the Sto. Nino. "Kinaradto" literally mean Going to.
- Batan Ati-Ati Malakara Festival in Batan, Aklan, on January 16. Join in the thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest and a good new year as well as honoring the Sto. Nino in Batan. Paper Mache prepared costumes are worn by participants and street dances are performed, before the festival commences a Holy Mass is held.
- Fireworks display and contest in Arevalo, Iloilo City, on January 16. Don't miss this festival when in Iloilo, the skies of the district of Arevalo light up with sparkling and spectacular fireworks.
- Caracol Festival in Makati City, Metro Manila, on January 16. Caracol Festival displays the campaign for protecting and conserving our ecology, if you're an advocate for the environment don't miss this.
- Bansudani Festival/Feast of the Divine Savior in Bansud, Mindoro Oriental, on January 17. A thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, the festival features dances and cultural presentations.
- Sad-Sad sa Kalye in Janiuay, Iloilo City on January 19. "Sad-Sad sa Kalye" showcases the beliefs, dreams, views of the people of Janiuay based on their cultural heritage, historical experiences and traditions. "Sad-Sad" is a native word for Dance, while "Kalya"(Calle) is a Spanish word for Street, just as its title says; the festival is celebrated through street-dancing.
- Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, on the 3rd Sunday of January
- What: One of the most important, biggest and popular festivals of the Philippines, it is celebrated in honor of Señor Santo Niño . Processions of Santo Niños take place and dances are done along with constant beating of the drums.
- Pandot sa Bacolod in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, on January 20. The Bacoleños (people of Bacolod) celebrate this festival through dramatizing the life of a Catholic during the Spanish colonial times.
- Binuligay Festival in Jamindan, Capiz on January 20. Join in the cultural presentation of Capiz and go experience fiesta with their people. "Binuligay" literally means Helping each other.
- Atlavas Sto. Nino Festival in Atlavas, Aklan on January 21-22. This festival celebrates not only in the honor of the Sto. Nino but also the mark of the day when the Filipino-American war ended in Atlavas. It is also celebrated as an annual Thanksgiving festival.
- Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City on January 22-24. A spectacular festival in honor of the Sto. Nino, also one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines, streets are filled up with people as dancers dance and as music plays and as colors and sound of the festival brighten up the atmosphere.
- Boracay International Fun Board Cup in Boracay, Malay, Aklan, on January 22-27. The country's biggest windsurfing event, a must catch when staying in Boracay. Peopl from around the world flock and compete in this event.
- Feast of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in La Carlota City, on January 24. In honor of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, this festival is celebrated, processions, cultural presentations and traditional games are held.
- Ibajay Ati-Ati Municipal and Devotional Festival in Ibajay, Aklan, on January 24-25. Celebrated in honor of the Sto. Nino, features the transferring of the holy image of the patron of Ibajay from Ibajay Cathedral to St. Peter Parish Church where it was discovered.
- Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, on January 24-30. Rituals are performed by the black soot "Ati" in honor of the Sto. Nino. Procession of the holy image on a boat is held where it is brought to the sea and then back.
- Sana-Aw Festival in Jordan, Guimaras, on January 28. A festival in honor of artisans and enduring workers which is done through dramatization through dance-drama.
- Hinirugyaw Festival in Calinog, Iloilo on January 30-February 6. A 9-day celebration in honor of the Sto. Nino, games, a food fest and competitions are held during this festival.
- Sto. Nino Festivak in Malolos, Bulacan on January 30. Featuring week longs exhibits and procession of a hundred caros of drivers Sto. Nino images, this festival is in honor of the Sto. Nino.
- Balot sa Puti Festival in Pateros on January 31. A town fiesta.
- Halamanan Festival in Guiguinto, Bulacan on January 23. It's celebrate the beauty and importantance of plants in the entire municipality.
- Salakyan Festival in Miag-ao, Iloilo, on February 1-6. A week long cultural presentation of Miag-ao shown through street dances, ballroom dancing, food fairs, beauty pageants etc.
- Pabirik Festival in Paracale, Camarines Norte on February 1-2
- Bicol Arts Festival in Legazpi City on February 1- February 28
- Festival of Hearts in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental on February 1- February 14
- Lavandero Festival in Mandaluyong on February 1- February 6
- Suroy sa Surigao in Jaro, Iloilo, on February 2
- Pamulinawen in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, on February 2-10
- International Bamboo Organ Festival in Las Piñas on February 3- February 11
- Guling-Guling Festival in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, on February 5
- Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, on February 6
- Fiesta Tsinoy in Legazpi City on February 6
- Tinapay Festival in Cuenca, Batangas on February 7- February 13
- Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Omni Aviation Complex, Clark Field, Pampanga, on February 9-12
- Fistahan in Davao City on February 9- February 15
- Chinese New Year, a nationwide festival that follows the lunar calendar
- Bulang-Bulang Festival in San Enrique, Negros Occidental on February 9
- Pabalhas sa Tablas in Candoni, Negros Occidental on February 11
- Tiburin Horse Race in Libertad, Pasay City, Metro Manila, on February 12
- Panagbenga festival in Baguio, on February 2 & March 4. It includes music, Panagbenga festival dance, food, shopping, street dancing.
- Kaamulan in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, on March 3 - 7. Expect the Bukidnon to go tribal from the first to the second week of March, when the streets of Malaybalay take on that familiar fiesta theme. Banners, banderitas, and beer will be standard, as well as the sweet, haunting sound of native music. An early morning pamuhat ritual kicks off the festivities, to be followed by an ethnic food fest, trade fairs, and a lot of native dancing.
- Arya Abra in Abra on March 7-10. It celebrates the founding of Abra Province with a variety of events, including raft and horse races.
- Sandugo in Tagbilaran, Bohol on March 16. A re-enactment of the Blood Compact between Spain's Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, which helped forge friendly relations between the two countries.
- Araw ng Dabaw in Davao City on March 10-16. The celebration of Davao's Foundation Day as a chartered city.
- Pintados de Pasi on March 14-16 depicts the history of the Passi City and how it got its name.
- Homonhon Landing in Southeastern Samar on March 16. A pageant by the seashore re-enacting the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan.
- Mt. Manunggal in Central Cebu on March 16-17. A mountain trek, which Darks the anniversary of the tragic death of President Ramon Magsaysay, whose plane crashed on the mountain.
- Sinigayan Festival in Sagas, Negros Occidental on March 19. Named after the native seashell (sigay). Shell craft art is featured during the festival.
- First Mass in the Philippines in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte on March 31. It features a street pageant by the different municipalities.
- Moriones in Marinduque on Easter Sunday. The island of Marinduque prides itself in being the "Lenten Capital of the Philippines", and it is easy to understand why. Come the seven days of Holy Week, the people of the island take part in the age-old ritual of the "Moriones". Colorful warrior costumes are worn topped with finely carved masks portraying the violent Roman soldiers of Christ's time. All these are done to show the story of the conversion of Longuinus, the centurion who stabbed Jesus' side - and his subsequent beheading.
- Lenten Festival of Herbal Preparation on Easter Saturday. Secret rites of herbalists from the Visayas and Mindanao, who gather in San Antonio, Siquijor, for the ceremony known as Tang Alap, the combining of medicinal herbs.
- Semana Santa in Iguig, Cagayan, during Holy Week. Pilgrims flock to the 11-hectare Calvary Hills to meditate on the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
- Agoo Semana Santa in Agoo, La Union. Features a parade of carriages and a Penitential Procession of women, dressed in black.
- Salubong in Angono, Rizal. Celebrates the reunion of the Risen Christ with the Virgin Mary.
Magayon Festival in Province of Albay is a month-long festival which celebrates the beauty of the province in honor of the iconic Mayon Volcano.
Tabak Festival in Tabaco City, Albay, on June 24. Tabak or bolo is the primary product of the city. Celebrated in honor of the patron saint of the city, Saint John the Baptist San Juan Bautista.
- Kadayawan sa Davao in Davao City in the 3rd week of August. Kadayawan is the celebration of a bountiful harvest and also celebrates the existence of the indigenous people (IP) in the city. Activities include street dancing (Sayaw sa Da'n) and floral float parade (Pamulak sa Kadalanan), among others. Visit the festival website for more info. 
- Ibalong Festival in Legazpi City, Albay, in August. A non-religious festival that celebrates the Bicolano epic story, Ibalong.
- Karagumoy Festival in Bacacay, Albay, on August 29-30. It is a festival that features the local handicraft made of leaves from a specie of pandan locally known as Karagumoy. The festival is celebrated in honor of the town's patron saint, Saint Rose of Lima.
- Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City, Bicol Region, every 3rd Sunday of September. It is a religious festival celebrated in honor of the patron saint of Bicol, Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
- Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival in Ciudad Latina de Asia, Ciudad de Las Flores, Orgullo de Mindanao Zamboanga City, on October 12. The Islamic influenced province of Zamboanga which is known because of its colorful vintas, exotic rare fruits and exotic beautiful flowers stands out its Christianization and their hispanic ways. Zamboanga City also known as the "City of Flowers" and "Asia's Latin City" rich culture influenced the lives of the people, but not as much as their devotion to Our Lady of Pilar, or the Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza. Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival or the popularly known as Fiesta Pilar, is held in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pilar at the legendary Fort Pila. The people of Zamboanga fervently believe that the lady has served as their unifying cultural and historical symbol. In commemoration of her feast day, Zamboanga displays its devotion and enthusiasm with a nine-night procession, fireworks, an ethnic parade, a cultural show, a regatta, and the Miss Zamboanga parade. This festival runs from October 1 to 12.
- Awuyon Festival in Baganga, Davao Oriental, during the last week of October.
- SumBingTik Festival in Cainta, Rizal on December 1. A festival about the town's local delicacies, namely Suman (rice cakes), bibingka and latik.