Philippines Travel Guide: Must-see festivals in the country
Attending a local festival is one of the things to do in the Philippines as it is a fun and exciting way to learn more about the people and their culture. Luckily, this tropical country is home to some of the most impressive and vibrant festivals in the world. For those of you who will be travelling to this Southeast Asian country in the first quarter of the year, our Philippines travel guide features festivals you and your family can experience during your vacation!
Armed with vibrant smiles, elaborate costumes and colourful parades, take your Philippines travel adventure up a notch as you experience one or two of these festivals happening in the next few months!
In honour of the Santo Nino, the Ati-atihan Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January in Kalibo, Aklan. During this celebration, street dancers cover themselves with black ink and parade the streets along with a festive tribal dance and music.
Where: Kalibo, Aklan
When: Every third week of January
Photo Courtesy: Sinulog
Cebu is the Philippines’ most densely populated island known primarily for its white sand beaches and the stunning underwater world. But aside from these, Cebu is considered to be one of the places to visit in the Philippines because it is also home to the famous Sinulog Festival, which transforms the city into one big party place. Local and foreign tourists can celebrate this fun and colourful festival by watching the festive celebration from inside the arena or joining the fun on the streets!
Where: Cebu City
When: Every third Sunday of January
Photo Courtesy: Philippine Country
The next featured festival for today’s Philippines travel guide is a local festival from the city of Iloilo.
Considered to be one of the country’s most religious and cultural festival, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City is a festive celebration that mirrors the city’s heritage, history and the people’s devotion. Aside from the street dancing competition, various activities such as fireworks display, fluvial parades, the Miss Iloilo Dinagyang Pageant and music festival can keep spectators entertained during the whole celebration.
Where: Iloilo City
When: Every fourth weekend of January
Photo Courtesy: The Panagbenga Festival
Baguio City, a 5-6 hour drive from Manila is the Philippines’ Summer Capital. It is here where the Panagbenga Festival takes place every February.
Panagbenga means “season of blooming” and every February is the month where the flowers in Baguio City are in full bloom. The unique festival starts off with a parade of representatives from the city’s 20 districts, wearing colourful costumes while parading in a festive music. There’s also a kite-flying challenge, fireworks display, landscaping competition and the grand dancing and floats parade – the festival’s best attractions!
Where: Baguio City
Photo Courtesy: Philippine Country
The holy week celebration in the Philippines is usually a quiet one. But in Marinduque, an island province in the Southwestern Tagalog Region of the Philippines makes the holy week celebration even more special. In the week-long celebration, expect to see a re-enactment of the life and death of Longinus – who was miraculously healed when a drop of Jesus Christ’s blood went to his eye. Locals also dress-up as Romans wearing colourful costumes for their theatrical performance on the beheading of Longinus. Before you leave Marinduque, make sure to try the famous arrowroot cookies!
When: Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday)
Philippines Travel Tip: Whether you’re visiting Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu, Baguio or Marinduque, make it a point to try each of the city’s local food for a complete Philippines travel experience!
Wherever you are in the country, never miss out the chance to try the best food in the Philippines! Read through other Philippines travel guide for a little more insight on what to see and do in Manila and other parts of the Philippines.
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