6 Philippine Festivals to Witness This Summer Season
Since the summer season is just around the bend, many people are now starting to plan their beach getaways. While a trip to the many beautiful islands of the Philippines remains a must-do, one should also not forget to experience the jovial vibe of festivals celebrated all over the country during the summer months.
Ushering the season where the fun starts under the sun, these festivals which celebrate our rich and colorful culture and history should add more than a splice of joyful spirit to your summer to remember.
1. Moriones Festival (Marinduque Province)
Morions roam the streets of Marinduque every Holy Week
Photo courtesy of Nomadic Experiences
Every Holy Week, the island of Marinduque is transformed into a land marauded by masked and garbed Romans. Aside from re-enacting the story of the Passion of the Christ, a side plot involving morion-faced and costumed penitents hunting the elusive Longinus, adds a new interesting facet of theatrics to the festivity.
In each town, a local portraying the role of Jesus Christ is paraded carrying a heavy wooden cross while being whipped by the Morions. It is said that the preparation – both physically and mentally, of the one playing the role of Christ takes almost a year. The highlight includes the re-enactment of the suffering of Jesus on his way to the cavalry and the capture and beheading of Longinus.
Morions will march the streets of Marinduque this Holy Week (April 13-16, 2017)
2. Pahiyas Festival (Lucena, Quezon)
The exteriors of homes in Lucban come Pahiyas festival resembles a market basket filled with fruits and vegetables
Photo courtesy of Chareze Stamatelaky
One of the most popular festivals in the country, the Pahiyas is celebrated to honor the patron saint of the farmers – San Isidro Labrador. Starting as a traditional celebration expressing gratitude for a bountiful harvest season, it is now highlighted by meticulously decorated houses ornamented with colorful rice wafers or “Kiping”, flowers and fruits. The exceptional kick of a visual feast of Pahiyas is taken to a higher level of merriment by the locals who welcome every visitors to enter their homes to enjoy a sumptuous banquet.
The Pahiyas Festival takes place every 15th of May
3. Panaad sa Negros (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental)
A colorful spectacle dominates the weeklong Panaad Festival in Bacolod City
Photo courtesy of Panaad sa Negros Festival Facebook page
The Panaad, which translates to ‘promise’ or ‘vow’ in Hiligaynon, lives up to the deeply rooted culture of Filipinos of being grateful for the abundance of life. Participated by the province’s thirteen cities and nineteen municipalities, the Panaad festival becomes one big showcase of the best of Negros Occidental’s culture, history, local produce and booming tourism attractions.
The 24th Panaad sa Negros Festival will take place from April 22-30, 2017
4. Carabao Festival (Angono, Rizal)
Carabaos takes time off from the farm and instead strut their hops in the streets during the festival
Photo courtesy of GMA News
The farmer’s best friend, the water buffalos, don’t go uncelebrated in the towns of Pulilan in Bulacan, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija and Angono in Rizal. Coinciding with the feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, this two-day festivity is highlighted by a vibrant street dancing competition and a parade of carabaos ornamented by colorful decoration while pulling giant floats decorated by flowers, fruits and vegetables.
The Carabaos take the starring role for two days every May 15 and 16 of the year
*Another Carabao festival is celebrated in the town of Pavia, Iloilo every first week of May*
5. Bangus Festival (Pangasinan)
The Bangus Festival reaches fever pitch on Aril 30 when various contingents participates in one grand street dancing parade
Photo courtesy of focusweekly.net
Come the month of April, a familiar food staple in most coastal towns in the country, the bangus – is celebrated in the city of Dagupan, Pangasinan. The province’s Bonuan bangus, which is known for its unique taste, is grilled by the thousands and lined up for festival revelers to taste. First celebrated in 2002, the bangus festival also boasted a series of other fun happenings such as the bangus eating contest, gilon-gilon street dancing competition, bangusan street party and the pigar-pigar festival which also honors another native cuisine of the province.
Bangus Festival will take place from April 6-30, 2017
6. Lami-Lamihan Festival (Lamitan, Basilan)
Celebrating the rich culture of the Yakan people through a showcase of traditional music, dances, crafts and the arts; the Lami-Lamihan Festival is held from the 2nd week until the 3rd week of April. Other spectacles of this festival include a street parade participated by locals garbed in well decorated clothes and a horse race.
Lami-Lamihan happens every 2nd – 3rd week of April
These are just six of the many festivals happening all over the Philippines in the summer months of March, April and May. If you think we ought to include a more fascinating, grander and interesting festival happening in your hometown, please let us know in the comment section.