Sunday, 1 January 2012

Philippine Festivals

A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival. Among many religions, a feast is a set of celebrations in honour of God or gods. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. However, the term "feast" has also entered common secular parlance as a synonym for any large or elaborate meal. When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival rather than a film or art festival.
Filipinos love to have fun, and it is obvious in the way they celebrate fiestas or festivals. Fiestas or any community celebration usually feature music, dancing, and food feasts, and they are considered special opportunities for people to extend hospitality and friendship to one another.  This is part and bundle of Filipino culture through good times and bad times, the fiesta must go on. Each city and barrio has at least one local festival of its own, usually on the feast of its patron saint, so that there is always a fiesta going on somewhere in the country. Among all festivals Christmas is the biggest, widest and longest celebrated in the Philippines, which starts from September and lasts till January perhaps the longest Christmas celebration in the world. The Filipinos are happy and often in joie de vivre (Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life) type of people, they are satisfied with life and love to laugh and tend to love people with humor which most festivals represent, most festivals are vibrant and energetic and most of which styles are of Hispanic-influence, because of numerous and endless countable festivals the country is often dubbed as, "The Fiesta Islands". So my friend let us start to learn what are these  FESTIVALS in the Philippines this is a whole year event of Filipinos.

JANUARY

FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
January 9
Quiapo Church, Manila 

 The feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 is considered one of the most spectacular religious events that take place in the Philippine history. Every year thousands of devotees from all walks of life come to the district of Quiapo to take part in the procession as a way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their “panata” (vow) to Lord. The Black Nazarene is the patron saint of Quiapo, a small but well-known part of Manila, a hub of trade and commerce because of the Quiapo market and the many stores located there. The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows a “black” Jesus Christ carrying a cross. 

The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787. The image of the Black Nazarene is brought out in procession on its feast day and Good Friday. The statue was brought to Manila by a Spanish priest in 1607 aboard a ship. The ship caught fire, burning the image and thus came to be known as the Black Nazarene. Though the image was burnt, the people decided to preserve and honor it. Since then, miraculous things have been reported to those who touch the image. The celebration starts as the huge door of Quiapo Church opens and the image of the Black Nazarene is within sight. The ocean of devotees start to yell “Viva Señor” while some wave white towel high in the air along with the scripture of the Black Nazarene. The statue is placed in a gilded carriage for the procession.

As the procession starts, procession participants garbed in maroon tops grab two long ropes and pull it to make the carriage move. Many will attempt to touch the image while some throw their handkerchiefs and towels in the air. People who join in the procession walk barefooted as a sign of humility. The devotion to the Black Nazarene is long time practice of the Filipino Catholics and they believe that through their faith with Jesus Christ, there will be peace and harmony among families, long life and good health among people, deliverance from all calamities and disasters, and prosperity, joy and love among nations.




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BINIRAY 
January 9
Romblon 


One of the Philippines' colorful festivals is the Biniray Festival which is annually held in the town of Romblon, Romblon. The town's fiesta is observed in conjunction with the festival's celebration which consists of several days. The festival is held in honor of Señor Santo Niño. Biniray Festival is one unique festival with an atmosphere filled with music, dancing and festive activities which feature the rich culture of the Filipino people and that of the Romblon citizens' strong Christian faith. One of the highlights of the festival is the flotilla of vessels which commemorate the Spanish galleons' attempts to take away the Santo Niño, the patron saint of the town, during the Spanish occupation. 

Waves and strong winds prevented the invaders from accomplishing their purpose. Believers said that this happened according to God's will. The fluvial procession circles Romblon Bay seven times in a reenactment of the Spaniards attempts. The image of Santo Niño is then carried around town in a carriage filled with beautiful flowers and is accompanied by the people in different costumes with paints on their faces and bodies.





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ATI-ATIHAN
Kalibo, Aklan
Third Week

Ati-atihan means "to be like aetas"or "make believe ati's." Aetas were the primary settlers in the islands according to history books. They too are the earliest settlers of Panay Island where the province of Aklan is. The festival consists of tribal dance, music, accompanied by indigenous costumes and weapons, and parade along the street. Christians, and non-Christians observe this day with religious processions.



The Ati-Atihan Festival honors the 13th century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the indigenous Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Sto. Niño.
 The constant, rhythmic pounding of drums get to you, and before you know it you are on the street, shuffling your feet, shaking your head, waving your hands and joining thousands of soot-blacked, gaily-costumed revelers in an ancient ritual of mindless happiness. A familiar battle cry reaches your ears, and amidst all this bewilderment you remember where you are: Kalibo, Aklan. "Viva, Sto. Niño!" The Ati-Atihan celebration is boomed in many parts of the country.


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DARO SINULOG FESTIVAL
Dumaguete Negros
Third Week


Daro Sinulog of Dumaguete Negros Oriental, which is a moving pageantry depicting the Holy Child’s conversion of pagan tribes. A street dancing and showdown competition participated in by the different puroks of Barangay Daro, in honor of Senor Santo Nino.

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CEBU SINULOG FESTIVAL
Cebu City
third sunday of January





The word Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb sulog which roughly means "like water current movement;" it describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. The dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of drums. The dance is categorized into Sinulog-base, Free-Interpretation. Candle vendors at the Basilica continue to perform the traditional version of the dance when lighting a candle for the customer, usually accompanied by songs in the native language.
The Sinulog dance steps are believed to originate from Rajah Humabon's adviser, Baladhay. It was during Humabon's grief when Baladhay was driven sick. Humabon ordered his native tribe to bring Baladhay into a room where the Santo Niño was enthroned, along with the other pagan gods of the native Cebuanos. After a few days passed, Baladhay was heard shouting and was found dancing with utmost alertness. Baladhay was questioned as to why was he awake and shouting. Pointing to the image of the Santo Niño, Baladhay explained that he had found on top of him a small child trying to wake him and tickling him with the midrib of the coconut.
 Greatly astonished, he scared the child away by shouting. The little child got up and started making fun of Baladhay. In turn, Baladhay danced with the little child and explained that he was dancing the movements of the river. To this day, the two-steps forward, one-step backward movement is still used by Santo Niño devotees who believe that it was the Santo Niño's choice to have Baladhay dance. The Sinulog celebration lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog Grand Parade. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession is held at dawn with a statue of the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City, decked with hundreds of flowers and candles.
The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing (that is, the acceptance of Roman Catholicism) of Cebu is performed. In the afternoon, a more solemn procession takes place along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowd participating in the event. The festival features a street parade with participants in bright coloured costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a "Sinulog sa Kabataan" performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the parade. Recently, the festival has been promoted as a tourist attraction, with a contest featuring contingents from various parts of the country. The Sinulog Contest is usually held in the Cebu City Sports Complex.









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CARACOL SA MAKATI
Makati City, Manila
Last Sunday in January





Caracol Festival is not a held in commemoration of patron saints, but aims to instill in the minds of the new generation the importance of preserving and conserving Philippine’s ecology and natural resources. This makes the Caracol Festival a effective campaign for an environmental awareness in a form of celebration. It is celebrated every third Sunday of January in Makati’s central business district is close to becoming a lot like a MGM grand extravaganza. But underneath the glitter and spectacle, the festival is in a way unique among Philippine fiestas since it honors Mother Nature and urges for preservation of her bountiful gifts. Unlike other traditional festivals that have begun centuries ago, the Caracol sa Makati was recently conceived. It started as a Fiesta Island program of the Department of Tourism in 1989 until on January 21, 1991, when the city government of Makati made it as its official city festival. Caracol is a Spanish word for snail. The city of Makati has viewed the  shell of a snail as symbol of protection from the harshness of life and adapted the idea for its annual festival.

The Caracol Festival is held as a tribal competition among hundreds of students from participating Makati public schools. Representing different divisions and levels, each group consists of 30 to 50 performers. Since the theme is about protecting nature and preserving Mother Earth, participants dress-up as colorful flowers, exotic plants, insects, aquatic creatures and forest animals. Judging categories include originality of costumes, choreography and overall performance. The main events are the street dancing contest and best in costume competition. participants are in loincloths and floral headdresses, bodies covered in body paint and gold dust and children in elaborate costumes. The first part of the parade consisted of various business organizations sponsoring the event. After the parade of sponsors, one by one the tribes burst into the street. Each group went through a series of chants and ethnic to modern dance steps.  


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VIGAN TOWN FIESTA
Vigan City
Fourth Week


A week long of fiesta of Vigan characterized by carnivals, parades, musical extravaganzas, beauty and popularity contests, and nightly cultural shows, culminating with the celebration of the "conversion" of St. Paul the apostle, the town's patron saint, on January 25.  The celebrations usually start on the 16th of the month. It is started with a novena to St. Paul. From here onwards until January 25, the town is alive with different activities ranging from singing contests, concerts, dance competitions, to a colorful float parade. Some of these joyous activities are held usually in the town plaza, Plaza Burgos. One of the highlights of the festival is the Longganiza Street Dance Competition. Participants compete with each other if who could show the most unique interpretation of a tribute to the longaniza-making industry of Vigan. The town mayor once said that the longganiza reflects the town people's passion for hardwork and unique ability to endure life’s struggle. It is their lifetime identity as Biguenos. The festival ends with a mass held in the church and the spectacle of the festive parade begins.




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APRIBADA
Donsol, Sorsogon
4th week of January



The Apribada Festival is celebrated on the 4th week of January in the Town of Bonsol, Sorsogon  in celebration for the prosperity of the Whale shark and the blessing it brings to the town. It features art exhibits, trade fairs, and many others.





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DINAGYANG
Iloilo City
Fourth Weekend




Merry mayhem breaks loose in Iloilo City, when Ilonggos leave everything behind to join in the fiesta of the year. All shyness are dropped: boring everyday clothes are exchanged for "Ati" warrior costumes and black body paint. Shields and "weapons" are held amidst the pounding rhythm of drums, the costumed Ilonggos put their best feet forward in celebration of Dinagyang!

 
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan. It is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis. Dinagyang began after Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez of a local Roman Catholic parish introduced the devotion to Santo Niño in November 1967. In 1968, a replica of the original image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo by Fr. Sulpicio Enderez as a gift to the Parish of San Jose. The faithful, led by members of Confradia del Santo Niño de Cebu, Iloilo Chapter, worked to give the image a fitting reception starting at the Iloilo Airport and parading down the streets of Iloilo.

In the beginning, the observance of the feast was confined to the parish. The Confradia patterned the celebration on the Ati-atihan of Ibajay, Aklan, where natives dance in the streets, their bodies covered with soot and ashes, to simulate the Atis dancing to celebrate the sale of Panay. It was these tribal groups who were the prototype of the present festival. In 1977, the Marcos government ordered the various regions of the Philippines to come up with festivals or celebrations that could boost tourism and development. The City of Iloilo readily identified the Iloilo Ati-atihan as its project. At the same time the local parish could no longer handle the growing challenges of the festival. The Dinagyang is divided into three Major events: Ati-Ati Street Dancing, Kasadyahan Street Dancing and Miss Dinagyang.



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FEBRUARY

FEAST OF OUR LADY OF CANDLES
Jaro, Ilo-ilo


The largest and the most wealthy religious pageantry in Western Visayas.

The annual fiesta of the district of Jaro, Iloilo City is a grand event scheduled every 2nd of February. People from all over Iloilo would visit the Jaro Cathedral to honor Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of Candles), the patron saint of Jaro. The church is the famous Parish of Our Lady of Candles, also known as the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Jaro and the site of a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary, which was canonically crowned by the late Pope John Paul II during his visit in 1982.

The image is the only religious icon in the country to have been personally crowned by a Pope. Typical of fiestas in the country, the households in Jaro have prepared a bountiful feast for anyone who visits them.The highlight of the fiesta is a grand parade lead by the young women of the elite Jaro families and followed by the blessed Mother Mary in her several personas.  The Jaro Fiesta is also known for its multi-million Cock Derby, which attracts cock fighting enthusiasts from all over the country.




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FESTIVAL OF HEARTS
Tanjay City


 Tanjay City, Negros Occidental, one of the young city in the country culminates its annual Festival of Hearts that offers a truly captivating two -week celebration of romance, love and affection. The grand celebration falls on the Valentines Day as it features Harana (Serenade), Baile ng Bayan (Town Fiesta filled with dance til you drop motif), Mass Wedding/Renewal of Vows and the coronation of the Miss Valentines winner. This celebration is truly a Festival to look for since you'll be able to feel the love in the air and the tender loving care seems to be contagious.


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PAMULAWEN
Laoag City
February 7 to 10

The Pamulinawen Festival  is held in Laoag City, every year in early February. Laoag City is the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte. Pamulinawen is the name of a woman made popular in the classic Ilocano song titled... Pamulinawen. The Pamulinawen Festival celebrates the city's founding as well as the feast day of its patron saint, William of Maleval, who died on February 10 way back in the year 1157 AD.  The festival's highlight is a parade and a street-dance competition. The Civic-Military Parade featuring a parade of soldiers in gala uniform as well as a marching band complete with majorettes to entertain the crowd. The Dulang Food Festival and Agro-Industrial Fair, originally known as the Pinakbet and Bawang Festival, the Dulang Festival was established in the year 2000. Showcasing Laoagueño food from the scrumptious to the exotic, the festival features basi, or sugarcane wine; tinudok, or barbecued food; and the Silyasi, a big clay pot full of food. It also once featured one of the country's longest longganisas (sausage), measuring more than two kilometers. Street Pageant Sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the KANNAWIDA Foundation, the Street Pageant is the highlight of the fiesta, showcasing cultural dances, dramas, and even floats. Drum and Lyre Competition features the talents of high school bands from all across Laoag. 
Competition winners not only win a cash prize, but also recognition from the local government and their peers. Kalesa Festival In this event, traditional kalesas are lavishly decorated by the contestants and paraded around the city to entertain the crowd. After the parade, the kalesas are displayed at the Provincial Capitol's outdoor stage. Mountain Bike Race  this is also an event for sporty types a mountain bike race organized by the City Hall Bikers. Open to both residents and visitors, the bike race starts at the Laoag City Hall.



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SAN FERNANDO FESTIVAL 
La Union
Februray 7 to 10

The city celebrates the feast of its patron saint, Saint William the Hermit, on February 10 with much merrymaking that lasts for about a month. There are various religious activities being held like National Bible celebration, thanksgiving mass, Parish Pastoral Night and a Fiesta Mass. Other highlights include sports activities (boxing, mountain bike/BMX race kicked off), social and cultural activities (acrobatic shows, disabled persons program, field demonstration of schools, dog show, bingo socials, band concert, and more), grand civic and military parade, agricultural trade fair and beauty and talent searches. Musical extravaganzas, trade fairs and pageants featuring show business and celebrity personalities.




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TINAGBA FESTIVAL    
Bicol
Feruary 11

 A tradition of the first harvest offering coinciding on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Derived from the early rituals of the ancient Bicolanos offering their harvest to their own gods as a form of thanksgiving and to seek favor for a  more bountiful harvest throughout the year.  A long parade of colorfully and grandiosely decorated bull and carabao carts, carrying newly harvested crops, ending with a mass before the Emerald Grotto at Calvary Hills.  Here all the offerings are blessed, then distributed to indigent families.



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INTERNATIONAL BAMBOO ORGAN
Las Pinas

A 10 day cultural event which features international classical performers and utilizes the ancient bamboo organ. The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church, the parish church of Las Piñas City in the Philippines, is a nineteenth-century pipe organ made almost entirely from bamboo. The organ is declared a National Cultural Treasure of the country. Since 1992, Prof. Armando V. Salarza has been the titular organist of the Bamboo Organ. He is also the Artistic Director of the International Bamboo Organ Festival, the longest-running international music festival held in the Philippines. The church and the surrounding buildings were restored to their 19th-century state by Architects Francisco Mañosa and partner Ludwig Alvarez in time for the return of the church organ after its restoration in Germany in 1975. The site is a popular excursion location for Filipinos and foreign visitors alike.


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TAWO – TAWO
Bayawan City
February 17


In the past, Bayawan has always been known as the "Rice Granary of Negros South". Her vast plains have seen glorious days of prolific rice harvest. Giant, paper mache scarecrows highlight their roles as guardians of Bayawan City crops. Today, Bayawan City is known as the Agricultural Capital of the province of Negros Oriental. As an agricultural city, a better production yield is always anticipated, and the presence of the "Tawo-Tawo" or scarecrow had always been a great help to the farmers for several decades. This farmer's creation (others call it ingenuity) has resulted to achieve bountiful yield during harvest -- for the "Tawo-Tawo" had been known to be an effective great scare to drive away the pesky little birds -- the natives call "Maya" that feed on the ripening golden rice grains. Thus, the birth of the "Tawo-Tawo Festival".


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DIA DE ZAMBOANGA
February 26
Zamboanga City



A celebration of cultural and religious harmony between Christians and Muslims in this most cosmopolitan of Philippine cities. Marks the date when Zamboanga became a city.  Dia de Zamboanga is a festival with a unique combination of ethnic diversity. This festival is organized by and for Muslims and Christians. The activities during this event include cultural offerings, exhibits, and regattas as well as religious ceremonies whereby the old Muslim and Spanish traditions of the city are expressed. The celebration underscores the real historical importance of Zamboanga in its political history as Zamboanga was founded when the first cornerstone for the Fort Pilar was laid on June 1, 1635  making Zamboanga as the third oldest city in the whole Archipelago, after Cebu and Manila.

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PANAGBENGA
Baguio City
Fourth Week

 The Panagbenga Festival is held yearly during the month of February. The celebrations are held for over a month and peak periods are the weekends. The Panagbenga Festival showcases the many floral floats and native dances. The fragrant smells that could be presently teasing olfactory senses are probably less from the now-dried flowers from Valentine's Day than air floating all the way from Baguio City. At this time of year, the City of Pines is almost surely in flower fury over Panagbenga festival, the city's biggest festival. Panagbenga is a kankanaey term for "a season of blooming." It is also known as the Baguio Flower Festival, a homage to the beautiful flowers the city is famous for as well as a celebration of Baguio's re-establishment. 

Since February 1995, it has been held to help Baguio forget the 1990 earthquake that distressed much of the city. Panagbenga festival will have spectators enjoying a multiple floral and float parades over two days. The Baguio Flower Festival Association (BFFA) will have a street dancing parade and band exhibition. The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation (BFFF), meanwhile, will hold a parade. So where should spectators be stationed to not miss any of the float and floral parades? Session Road and Burnham Park. A search for the Mr. and Ms. Baguio Flower Festival, FM Panagbenga Pop Fiesta,


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SANTIAGO CITY ARTS MONTH
Santiago City
February 1 – 28

 Folk traditions in music, dance and play and a painting contest featuring home grown talents. A week-long festival showcasing the region’s arts and culture, crafts and agro-industrial products coming from the six (6) provinces and three (3) cities of Bicol. It coincides with the celebration of the National Arts Month every February. 



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SAMBALILO
Paranaque City
February 1 – 28


The term Sambalilo originated from the Spanish word "sombrero," which means hat. It really signifies the costume of hardworking Parañaqueños during the era of salt-making, when they would don large hats to shield them from the sun as they worked on the salt beds. Parañaque and Metro Manila celebrates cityhood with dance contests.







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 SUMAN Festival
Town of Baler in Aurora Province
Third Week

 The biggest and grandest of all feasts in Aurora is a parade of floats uniquely designed. Main streets and homes are decked with suman, a native delicacy. A weeklong celebration marked by trade exhibits, fairs and competitions capped by the Search for Ms. Aurora. Suman(súmahn) is the filipino steamed rice cake. it comes in as many different forms as there are provinces, but the basic recipe is waxy (sweet) rice wrapped in leaves, then cooked.Suman is the ritual gift of HAGISAN. It is cooked with great enthusiasm by Tayabenses because Hagisan is an opportunity to share their prosperity. Bundles of suman are gaily tied in the pabitin, which is made out of a special kind of bamboo called bagakay.



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KALILANGAN
General Santos City
Fourth Week

General Santos City celebrates the Kalilangan every month of February. "Kalilangan" means festival, festivity or jubilation. It is a social gathering marked by exchanging of amenities among traditional leaders, elders, allies and subordinates in varying tones. In a broader perspective, Kalilangan projects a positive and dynamic meaning for it engulfs the artistic, humane and altruistic aspects of social interaction that takes place in any occasion or celebration. Kalilangan is a noble tradition. It is a complete work of art nourished and nurtured by rich cultural heritage that has withstand the test of time from generation to generation. It is also a pageantry of unique and colorful ethnic rites, rituals and traditions like marriage celebrations, religious ceremonies, anniversaries, funerals, enthronement of royal dignitaries, thanksgiving and other forms of social, political and economic activities. 


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ITIK-ITIK
Pasig City
last Sunday
The Itik-Itik Festival is held every last Sunday of February in Brgy. Kalawaan. Men, women and children take part in the activities and merrymaking which features the "itik" or native duck. The celebration includes street dancing, duck cooking contest, outrigger boat race and fluvial procession. However, the significant event is not only limited to these colorful activities, sumptuous food, revelry and fun, but it also draws people closer to God and to one another. It is a rich showcase of Filipino culture and tradition usually celebrated on the Feast of the barangay beloved patroness, St. Martha.



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SIBUG - SIBUG FESTIVAL
Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
February 17 to 26

Sibug – Sibug Festival is celebrated during their foundation day on the province of Sibugay on February 26, with colorful Ethnic Street dancing with rituals illustrating good harvest, wedding and healing rituals. During the festival, it endorses it’s number one product which is the oyster or talaba in tagalong which has been known to be the biggest, juiciest, and meatiest oysters in the country. In this two week celebration, in the town of Ipil, “Talaba Longest Grill” has been the main attraction of the visitors and viewers. In this manner, Zamboanga can promote their oysters to the world. Zamboanga Sibugay recently achieved a world record for the Worlds Longest Talaba Grill with five to 12 inches-long oysters or talaba as the main feature. Because of this, the province of Sibugay earned a title as the Talaba Capital of the Philippines.



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MARCH

KAAMULAN
Malaybalay, Bukidnon
March 3 - 7
Kaamulan Festival is an ethnic cultural festival held annually in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon from the second half of February to March 10, the anniversary date of the foundation of Bukidnon as a province in 1917. It is held to celebrate the culture and tradition of the seven ethnic tribal groups Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon—that originally inhabit the province.  It is the only ethnic festival in the Philippines.


Kaamulan comes from the Binukid word “amul” meaning to gather.  Kaamulan is gathering for a purpose—a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these together. Kaamulan started as a festival on May 15, 1974, during the fiesta celebration of the then municipality of Malaybalay. A town official thought of inviting some indigenous people to town and made them perform a few dance steps at Plaza Rizal to enliven the fiesta celebration. The celebration however proved very popular and together with national coverage the Kaamulan festival has become the regional festival of Northern Mindanao, as declared by the Regional Development Council of Region 10 on September 16, 1977. Kaamulan was formerly held on the first week of September but in 1996, it was transferred to the present date to synchronize it with the foundation celebration of the province.
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 ARYA ABRA
Abra Province
March 7-10

ARYA! ABRA FESTIVAL, a week-long celebration that coincides with the founding anniversary of the Province of Abra, will be held from March 6-10. This year the Arya Abra Festival will feature the One-Town-One-Product program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to promote the products of the province. All the towns are expected to come up with their own booth where they would display their products in the trade fair. Other activities include the usual karambola, horse race, the Tingguian Festival, youth day, farmers day and veterans day celebrations. This festival is a celebration of ABRA identity. ARYA ABRA which means "Onward Abra!", was originally coined by Governor Vicente P. Valera as his battle cry when he first sat as governor of the province. It later evolved into the ARYA ABRA Festival in celebration of ABRA Foundation day.

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 SANDUGO
Tagbilaran, Bohol
Month-long (movable)

Highlighted is the re-enactment of the Blood Compact between Spain's Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sik|tuna, which helped forge friendly relations between the two countries. The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration that takes place every year in Tagbilaran City on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. This festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. This 16th Century peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact or "sandugo". A month-long festival with a holy mass, diana, motorcade and program sponsored by the City Government of Tagbilaran. Among the major activities during the month is the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, and the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition which is usually held on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of July, and organized by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc. (BSFI).


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ARAW NG DABAW
Davao City
March 10-16


Who should control Davao, the Japanese or Filipinos?
This may sound a silly question today, but this was the hottest issue that raged in Davao in the 1930's that eventually led to the creation of Davao City. During this period, the then undivided province of Davao, which had a capital town with the same name, was the biggest producer of abaca in the world. Abaca as well as coconut plantations sprawled all over Davao Gulf, with the Japanese practically controlling the entire industry. Despite laws restricting foreign ownership of land, the Japanese managed to become the largest plantation owners in Davao. They were able to achieve this by using dummies to buy land for them, by marrying local women, particularly with datu lineage, and by renting land from local landowners. By the 1930's, Davao was completely under the control of the Japanese. Their economic clout made them politically influential. They had their own schools, hospitals and road networks. The biggest concentration of the Japanese was in Guianga Municipal District, centered around Mintal. 
Their population continued to grow, reaching 17, 900 by 1939. As Japan was a growing world power, having defeated Russia in 1904 and annexed Korea in 1910 and Manchuria in 1931, fears were raised as to the real intentions of the Japanese in the country. During the 1934 Constitutional Convention, Davao delegate Pantaleon Pelayo Sr. denounced the control of Davao by the Japanese and their unlimited acquisition of land. The presence of the Japanese in Davao had now become a national problem. On March 16, 1936 Davao Assemblyman Romualdo C. Quimpo filed Bill No. 609 or Commonwealth Act No. 51, An Act Creating the City of Davao. The City of Davao was to be formed by combining the capital town of Davao and the municipal district of Guianga. This made Davao City the largest city in the world with a territory of 2,244 square kilometers or 244,400 hectares. As the creation of Davao City was intended to break the control of the Japanese, the Act stipulated that its officials would be appointed by the President of the Philippines, instead of being elected. It was believed that in elections, Japanese-supported candidates would win, thus entrenching Japanese power in Davao. On October 16, 1936, the bill was signed into law by President Manuel L. Quezon. The following year, on March, 1937, Executive Proclamation No. 132 was issued that formally organized the City of Davao.
The celebration of Davao's Foundation Day as a chartered city.


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PINTADOS DE PASI
Passi City
March 14-16

Some festivals in the province of Iloilo have either come back from near extinction or have evolved. And because of this, efforts have been undertaken by the community to breathe life into these cultural presentations that form part of a larger program of the tourism initiatives of the province to fully claim the title as the festival capital of the region, and to promote Ilonggo culture through the revival and preservation of traditional music and dances. The Pintados de Pasi Festival, in Passi City, central of Iloilo province, is perhaps one of the best known and established festivals of the Visayan region that have evolved through the years. It has played a big part in the lives of most Passinhons. It is the most popular spectator cultural event and the most popular for the community that has a large following. Theatrical-like street dancing performances are a celebrated part of the Pintados festivity that is characterized by heavy and aggressive body movements. Here, performers adorned in traditional body tattoo with elaborate geometrical designs in their body, including their arms, legs and torso dramatizes stories in which the towns’ ancestral beings laid down every feature of the area, especially, their way of life.

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HOMONHON LANDING
Southeastern Samar
March 16

Reenactment of the discovery of the Philippines in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. Finally, on March 16, the activities will start with the offering of the Holy Mass and will be followed by a re-enactment of Magellan Landing and the commemorative program. Eastern Samar had been a significant backdrop of the country’s rich colonial history through the island of Homonhon, where Ferdinand Magellan first set foot on Philippine soil in 1521 on his way to conquer the Philippines for the western world. In his account, Pigafetta, the chronicler aboard Magellan’s ship, describes the island of Humumu, now Homonhon, as so: "We found two fountains of very clear water, we called it the `Waters of Good Signs,’ having found the first sign of gold in the said island. There also can be found much white coral and tall trees that bear fruits smaller than an almond and look like pines. There were also many palm trees, some of the good kind, some of the bad. Thereabouts are many neighboring islands. Hence, we called them the St. Lazarus Archipelago because we stayed there on the day and feast of St. Lazarus."


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SINIGAYAN
Sagay, Negros Occidental
March 19

Sinigayan is a convivial celebration of the Sagaynon heritage by the gentle, joyful and hardworking people of Sagay. The word is derived from 'sigay', the name of a hardy, bright-shelled mollusk that abounds in the sandy shores of Sagay. The super-abundance of sigay in the coastal waters of the place in the old days betrayed the presence of marine riches that attracted settlers form other parts of Negros and from Cebu. This abundance caused the settlements to prosoer into villages then barrios. Thirty years or so ago, Sagay's marine resource was reduced to scarcity by destructive and wasteful methods of fishing and over-harvesting. Saved from becoming totally depleted and sufficiently restored through the timely intervention of Sagay local government, the resources today provides small fishermen a sustainable source of livelihood. In addition to being a way of preserving the City's heritage, the Sinigayan is also an affirmation by the Sagaynons of the desire to remain united in their pursuit of a common vision and aspiration as a city. With its people unite, Sagay City will continue to be progressive, peaceful and a happy place for all Sagaynons to live in.
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FIRST MASS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte
March 31

The first mass in the Philippines was on Easter Sunday March 31, 1521 in an island named Mazaua by eyewitnesses Antonio Pigafetta, Ginés de Mafra, Francisco Albo, the Genoese pilot, and Martín de Ayamonte, at a location today universally—and mistakenly—believed to be Limasawa, a town islet to the tip of Southern Leyte province, and is said to be the birthplace of Roman Catholicism in the country. The historical event, viewed largely in its religious context in the Philippines but more comprehensively in its global context as a fleeting episode of the 1,081-day circumnavigation of the world, came to pass when Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his Armada de Molucca of three sailing ships, landed in the western port of the island of Mazaua.



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MORIONES
Marinduque
Easter Sunday

The Moriones is an annual festival held on Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. The "Moriones" are men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpreted by local folks. The Moriones or Moryonan tradition has inspired the creation of other festivals in the Philippines where cultural practices or folk history is turned into street festivals.Colorful festivals celebrated on the island of Marinduque and the Philippines. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. Morions roam the streets in town from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday scaring the kids, or engaging in antics or surprises to draw attention. This is a folk-religious festival that re-enacts the story of Saint Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye. 

The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. The towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog in the island of Marinduque become one gigantic stage. The observances form part of the Lenten celebrations of Marinduque. The various towns also hold the unique tradition of the pabasa or the recitation of Christ's passion in verse. Then at three o'clock on Good Friday afternoon, the Santo Sepulcro is observed, whereby old women exchange verses based on the Bible as they stand in wake of the dead Christ. One of the highlights of this festival is the Via Crucis. A re-enactment of the suffering of Christ on his way to the calvary. Men inflict suffering upon themselves by whipping their backs, carrying a wooden cross and sometimes even crucifixion. They see this act as their form of atonement for their sins. This weeklong celebration starts on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday. 


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LENTEN FESTIVAL OF HERBAL PREPARATION
San Antonio, Siquijor
Easter Saturday

Secret rites of herbalists from the Visayas and Mindanao, who gather in San Antonio, Siquijor, for the ceremony know as Tang Alap, the combining of medicinal herbs. Herbal Preparation is done during Holy Thursday and Good Friday Herbalist from all over the Philippines meet in the town of San Antonio where medical potions are prepared utilizing ancient traditional methods.It is believed by many that during the time between Good Friday and Easter there are many evil entities not of this world wandering around. The concoctions prepared on Black Saturday are said to not only possess restorative medicinal powers but also are able to ward off evil spirits & sorcery.


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SEMANA SANTA
Iguig, Cagayan
HoIy Week

Observance of the passion and death of Jesus Christ through larger-than-life-size concrete 14 Stations of the Cross spread on an 11-hectare rolling terrain.


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SEMANA SANTA SA BANTAYAN
Bantayan Cebu

The Bantayan Island is located at the northern coast of Cebu. The name Bantayan has been derived from the watchtowers that got built in the 17th century at this island. The Samanta Santa sa Bantayan also known as “Pasko sa Kasakit” is observed with great pomp and vigor on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The chief highlight of this event is the procession. It is one of the most important events of the Bantayan Island. Preparations for this events starts much ahead of its time and the people who organize this event makes the best of their efforts to make this event a success in all ways possible. A large number of people assemble at the Bantayan Island to catch up with the activities associated with this event. It is one of the much-awaited events of this island and also of Cebu.

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AGOO SEMANA SANTA
Agoo, La Union



The Holy Week celebration, particularly Good Friday, is a display of devoutness and traditional pomp. The Good Friday procession is the highlight of the Semana Santa, a devotion manifesting the fervor and faith of Agoo folks. There are about 30 carozas beautifully adorned, all lined up at the Plaza dela Virgen, a remarkable tradition dating from the Spanish times and the Penitential Procession of Women in honor of the Mother of Christ, all dressed in black. 
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SALUBONG
Angono, Rizal

The salubong dramatizes the meeting of the Virgin and the Risen Christ. This year’s Easter presentation in Angono, Rizal  begun with a procession of andas bearing images of key personalities present during the Resurrection of Christ. The andas were carried over the shoulders of devotees.  A stage was set in an open plaza. A curious dance of the tinyenta (female lieutenant dressed in a sky blue gown) who waved a short flag started the Easter presentation. This was then followed by the kapitana (female captain dressed in a colorful, ruffle-riched gown) declaiming a very long poem in rich Tagalog about the fulfillment of Christ’s promise.  
Upon reaching the climax of the poem, birds of colored paper and bamboo swoop down from the corners of the four-posted structure called galilea to open a heart hanging at the center that conceals the girl dressed as a little angel. We were impressed by the little angel (girl) not only for spending hours suspended by rope inside the hollow heart but also for singing the Latin Antiphon “Regina Coeli Laetare” (Queen of Heaven, Rejoice). The angel is then lowered towards the image of Mary below. She then slowly removed the black veil from the Virgin to signify that Her Son had already risen from the dead. The salubong in Angono ended with the released of multi-colored balloons and another dance of exaltation from the kapitana.

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APRIL

CUTUD LENTEN RITES
San Fernando, Pampanga
16-18 April

Prayer of a different meaning during the Lenten season, when villagers of San Pedro, Cutud, engage in the act of self-flagellation. This ancient ritual is executed in the morning of Good Friday during the Holy Week. Backs, arms, and legs are cut and then struck with burillo beats. Every year on Good Friday or the Friday before Easter a dozen or so penitents - mostly men but with the occasional woman - are taken to a rice field in the barrio of San Pedro Cutud, 3km (2 miles) from the proper of City of San Fernando, Pampanga and nailed to a cross using two-inch (5 cm) stainless steel nails that have been soaked in alcohol to disinfect them. The penitents are taken down when they feel cleansed of their sin. Other penitents flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope.
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KALILANG
Marawi City
April 10-1 5
 The charter anniversary celebration of Marawi City. A celebration of Muslim culture, including songs, dances, crafts and food.Dansalan derived from the word ‘dansal’ which means ‘destination point’ was the city’s original name. It was given a charter as a city in 1940 pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 592. It was renamed “Marawi” through Congressional Amendment of the Charter in 1956 sponsored by Senator Domocao Alonto. Again, on April 15, 1980, it was declared the “Islamic City of Marawi” under City Council Resolution No. 19-A giving credence and recognition that 92 percent of its population are Muslims.

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KADAUGAN SA MACTAN
Lapu lapu City
April 27

On April 27, 2011, Lapu-Lapu City will once again celebrate the “Kadaugan sa Mactan.” The event is a reenactment of the historic Battle of Mactan between Ferdinand Magellan and Cebu’s very own hero, Lapu-Lapu. The week-long celebration will begin on April 27, with the reenactment of the epic battle. Decorated canoes will be featured in a fluvial procession to represent the arrival of Magellan’s ships. A reenactment of Magellan’s planting of a cross and the famous baptism of natives will follow. It is usual for the organizers to invite celebrities to portray the roles of Lapu-Lapu, Magellan, and Reyna Bulakna.

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TANDUYONG
San Jose City
4th Sunday

San Jose City is popularly known as the “Onion Capital of the Philippines” is located in the Province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. It is situated 160 km north of Manila, the country’s capital. That is about 4 hours drive. It is the northernmost city of the province and part of the “Central Plains” of Luzon with a population of more than 122,000 people. Every year, on the fourth Sunday of April, the people of San Jose dance through the main street in a colorful, enchanting celebration of the blessing of the harvest. On festival day, the streets are filled with contingents of dancers outfitted in striking, multi-hued native costumes. Exotic rhythms of improvised musical instruments fill the air as the dancers gyrate and sway to the beat of life. Special activities included are: beauty contest, tourism and trade fair, awarding ceremony and cultural shows.


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BANKARERA
Penablanca, Cagayan
April 21

A boat rowing race held on the Pinacanauan river in Callao Caves
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CASSAVA
Camotes Islands, Cebu.
Last week of April

Camote Cassava Festival is a showcasing of their cassavas and their delicacies which a yearly celebration of  a bountiful harvest where farmers display their various based products and shared technical experiences in producing and processing cassava products. This festival celebration falls on 2nd week of  June and located in Tudela Camotes Island. This island Camotes is the one who produce sweet potatoes and cassava for their source of  income. This is also called an offshore to its province of  Cebu. This is one of the most beautiful places for tourism and most famous among other islands. Camotes is comes  from the word  kamote in cebuano dialect and translate in English which is sweet potato. Highlights many uses of this root crop. Features cooking contests.

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BINIRAYAN
San Jose, Antique
late April

The Binirayan festival ("Binirayan" literally means "where they sailed to") is an event celebrated in the province of Antique in the Philippines. The festival was conceived by Governor Evelio B. Javier, and first celebrated on January 11–13, 1974. In 1975, the festival was moved to April 25–27, but in the succeeding years was celebrated in December to coincide with the Christmas celebration in the province. In 1981, with the assumption of Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar, it was moved back to April. The festival was not celebrated in 1980, 1984–1987 , and 1995 due to political crises. Consequently, the dates of the festival, which has become one of the major festivals in the West Visayan region has suffered inconsistency with the every change of leadership of the province. In 2002, however, the provincial board of Antique passed a resolution fixing the date of the celebration in April, and when the management of the festival was given to Binirayan Foundation, Inc. the dates were set on the third weekend of April. The Binirayan Festival commemorates the legend of the arrival of the ten Bornean datus on the island of Aninipay now known as Panay. ( the legend of Maragtas.) As Governor Evelio B. Javier, the Father of Binirayan Festival, reminded the Antiqueños during the earlier celebrations, "let us gather the strands and memories of our past, as we look back with pride, that we may look ahead with confidence to Antique tomorrow."
Binirayan Festival's permanent theme is "Retracing our roots, Celebrating our greatness."
The festival opens with a fluvial parade from the pantalan (port) to Malandog Beach in Hamtic, believed to be the original settlement of the Bornean datu. In Malandog is a historical marker commemorating this legendary event. There are beauty pageants, cultural shows, streetdancing, parades, and arts and crafts local products exhibits. In 2006, the Binirayan Foundation introduced the Komedya Antiqueña as a sub-festival to promote the komedya as traditional folk theater.

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MAY

PASALAMAT LA CARLOTA
La Carlota City
1st Sunday


Pasalamat Festival in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental, Philippines is based on the tradition of giving thanks to gods of elements after a bountiful harvest by the ancient of Buglas. The city takes on a festive atmosphere during the weeklong celebration, which culminates with a Mardi Gras like parade of floats and caricatures. Dancers flirtatiously move to the rhythm created by the drumbeaters using carabao leather drums and percussion instruments made out of indigenous materials. La Carlota City in the southwestern part of central Negros Island lies at the foot of sacred Mt. Kanla-on, the highest peak in Central Visayas. Home to one of the oldest and most prominent sugar mills in the province, producer of the fierce fighting cocks, a dreamland for nature lovers and a birthplace of the three world boxing champions. The rich cultural heritage of La Carlota is manifested through the celebration of the Pasalamat Festival, which falls every last week of April nearest to Labor Day.The festival was first staged on May 1, 1980, after a series of calamities fall in Negros Occidental, particularly in La Carlota. The fire gutted the commercial district of the city, the Don Juan tragedy, the labor problem that triggered the workers of Central Azucarera de La Carlota to go on strike and eventually paralyzed the sugar company, and some other uncertain conditions prevailing in the early 80’s. Conceptualized by the late Mayor Luis “Nonoy” Jalandoni Jr ., who himself composed the “Sambita” the original Pasalamat Beat, the festival started in just a simple merry making and street dancing to mark the end of the milling and harvest season to thank the Divine Almighty for His blessings.
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TAPUSAN
Alitagtag, Batangas

Tapusan honors the Holy Cross on the last day of May. Floral offerings are laid at the foot of the cross during the afternoon ceremonies in the town church. The observance peaks on the 31st of May with a colorful procession during which the cross is mounted on a gaily decorated float, together with other floats swathed with lights, silken fabrics and freshly cut blooms to honor the various Marian images.

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BOHOL fiesta.
Bohol Island


In Bohol, every town and barangay (village or neighborhood) has its own Fiesta in celebration of the patron saint. Once a year, the entire town is decorated for the annual feast, in which there will be plenty of free food and drinks for all. Preparations for the fiesta already start long before, preparing the decoration, and saving for food, and fattening the pigs -- because no fiesta can be complete without lechon baboy, roasted pig, and plenty of beer and tuba to match. Everybody is welcome, no invitations required. Fiestas can take place in any part of the year, but especially the month of May is the month of fiestas. Not a single day will pass without a fiesta somewhere on the island. It is at that time that most Boholanos return home, coming from Manila, or from the other places where they have settled, both within and outside the Philippines, to celebrate the fiesta in their native place in their native place. Often loaded with gifts for relatives, the famous Balikbayan boxes. Even those who can't come will at least try to send such a box back home for the fiesta. Every year, Tagbilaran, the capital city also has the kick-off, and starts the Fiesta month on the first of May, with its own fiesta, in celebration of the city patron Saint Joseph the Worker. The whole city is then decorated, and all public life will come to a total standstill, to make place for a day of merry making. These are the May fiestas of Bohol..May 1 Tagbilaran City Saint Joseph the Worker, May 3 Dao - Tagbilaran City     Santa Cruz,  May 4  Alburquerque  Santa Monica, May 4  Mabini  Santa Monica, May 4     Sagbayan  San Agustin, May 8     San Miguel Saint Michael, May 10  Calape  Saint Vincent Ferrer, May 15  Bilar     Saint Isidore the Farmer, May 15  Trinidad  Saint Isidore, May 15  Tubigon  San Isidro Labrador, May 15  San Isidro  Saint Isidore, May 19     Candijay  Saint Joseph, May 29     Talibon  Blessed Trinity.
Celebrations throughout the province, I where sumptuous feasts are prepared. All Boholanos are expected to return home for the fiesta.
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PISTA'Y DAYAT
Lingayen, Pangasinan
May 1


Another important festival that I will surely miss is Pista’y Dayat where in thousands of beach lovers flocked to the beaches of Lingayen Gulf for the annual celebration of Pista’y Dayat (sea festival) which started the first day of May. Pista’y Dayat Festival (Sea festival) is traditionally a thanksgiving festival observed every April in Lingayen, Pangasinan. It celebrates the bountiful harvest and abundant fishing from the sea. The events feature mass offering on beautiful beaches and fluvial parade. Local menfolk are looking forward to the search for the fairest lass in the Gulf, also known as the Mutya ng Dagat.
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ALINSANGAN BOA-BOAHAN
Nabua, Camarines Sur
May 2

A fertility festival of pagan origin.

Nabua celebrates its fiesta with the Boa-Boahan Festival every May 2. The highlight of the festival is the reenactment of the traditional "Boa Feast", a 13th century rite where ancient Bicolanos offered chains of coconut embryos called boa to their deities, in the belief that this would make their life more prosperous throughout the year. The feast is enlivened with a display of colorful costumes.
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CARABAO CARROZA RACE
Pavia, Iloilo
May 3

The race features the fastest water buffalos (carabaos) in the area pulling bamboo carts.

Pavia’s Carabao Carroza Festival is know as one of the oldest carabao festival in Iloilo. The festival is held on first week of May. The Carrozza Parade is one of the highlights of the festival where the carabaos are paraded around with beautifully decorated Carrozza with the town muses in it. The main event is of course the “Carabao Carroza” race. Afterwards, the people of Pavia will get to enjoy the feasts prepared in homes. There’s no streetdancing competition as commonly found in most festivals. But there’s enough activity to keep the people entertained. It was my first time to witness the Carabao Carroza festival. However, the transport strike slightly ruined the festive mood since it was difficult to catch a jeepney in a scorching heat. One gets to have mixed feelings while watching this race. What with big carabao behemoths, thundering through the grassy racetrack, with the handler on top of the carabao, towing an empty carroza.
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RODEO PILIPINO
Masbate City
May 6-9

The highlight of Masbate's Livestock Week focusing on the importance of cattle raising to the island's economy.

The Rodeo Masbateño Festival is an annual event which takes place in Masbate City which showcases skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer since 1993 in the province of Masbate, which is traditionally considered the “Cattle Country of the Philippines.” The festival opens with a lively parade of horseback riders. There are also livestock shows, a carnival, and a trade fair featuring local products, as well as animal health seminars. The highlight of the event is the rodeo competition itself. Men and women dress up in cowboy outfits to perform stunts like lassoing on foot and on horseback, livestock wrestling, casting down, load carrying, bull riding and whipping, the two-person carambola, and other activities related to the handling of livestock. These events draw people from the rest of the Philippines and around the world as well as locals. International cowboys and bull riders also participate in the competitions.
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PAHIYAS
Lucban, Laguna
May 15

Honors San lsidro, the patron saint of farmers. Beautiful decorations, made of edible rice dough, are placed on the exteriors of houses representing various agricultural products.
Pahiyas Festival is an annual must-see event in the town of Lucban Quezon. It is celebrated every 15th of May to give thanks to San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isidore) for the town's abundant harvest with a grand display of colorful rice wafers (kiping), vegetables, fruits, and handicrafts adorning every house in the town. It is also believed that celebrating would ensure another bountiful harvest.


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MAGAYON
Mt. Mayon Volcano in Albay, Bicol Region
May 1-31

Pays tribute to the beauty and power of regal Mt. Mayon Volcano in Albay, Bicol Region.

The magayon Festival, literelly the "beautiful featival, is the province of albay's annual month long celebration of its rich culture, history, crafts and cuisine. The festival is inspired by the legend of Daragang Magayon (Bikol for beautiful maiden) which tells of the perfect coned mayon Volcano came to be
Magayon fest also coincide with the province's founding anniversary on april 3. Locals and guest will enjoy hundreds of activities lined up from april 1 to 30.
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PINEAPPLE
Daet, Camarines Norte
May 1-31

The Pineapple Festival (or "Pinyasan" as it is called by the locals) is considered to be the most colorful festival in Camarines Norte. The festival started in 1992, and is about the province's prime agricultural product, which is the "Queen of Formosa" pineapple. Noted for its sweetness and flavor, this kind of pineapple is produced only in Camarines Norte, thereby making it a specialty in the province. The festival goes on for about 10 days, and several events are held in the municipality. The festival aims to promote the culture of Daet and its citizens.

In honor of Daet's main crop, the Queen Formosa Pineapple, reputed to be the sweetest variety.
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FLORES DE MAYO / SANTACRUZAN
Nationwide

A parade of the town's loveliest ladies, representing the search and discovery of Christ's Cross by Queen Helena and Constantine.

Flores de Mayo (English: "Flowers of May") is a Catholic festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. Lasting for a month, it is held in honor of the Virgin Mary. The Santacruzan refers to the pageant on the last day of Flores de Mayo, held in honour of Reyna Elena and Constantine finding the True Cross in Jerusalem. The name is derived from Flores, the Spanish word for "flowers". Also known as "Flores de María" ("Flowers of Mary") or "Álay" (Filipino for "offering"), the term refers to the festival as a whole. It was believed that "Flores" (short term for Flores de Mayo) originated in 1865 from the town of Malolos, Bulacan, when the young girls would make a floral offering to the Virgin Mary in the parish church.
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HUNDRED ISLANDS
Lucap, Pangasinan
May 11-12


Thanksgiving festival for the blessings of the unique, natural island formations.
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MANGGAHAN SA GUIMARAS
Guimaras
May 15-22

Celebrates the founding of province and its famous golden mangoes.

Manggahan Festival in Guimaras showcases not only the island’s famous mangoes but also their culture and local tourist attraction sites. People from different regions of Philippines and Foreign tourists wants a piece of the mangoes. Various activities and events liven up the week-long celebration of the mango festival. Expect some local celebrities to partake in the celebration with their live concerts. Not to forget the “All you can eat mango” that everyone looks forward to every year. But you have to be there early since supply of mangoes runs out. The highlight of the festival would be the Tribe dance competition. Just a tip, vendors usually sell the mangoes at really low price at closing time of the festival.
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BOLIBONG KINGKING
Loboc, Bohol
May 23-24

A music and dance festival of folklore and traditions.

“Bolibong Kingking!”—sounds like some hollow barrels being struck hard on their covers and metal utensils being clashed together. Exactly. Bolibong Kingking Festival is a local religious musical fair in Loboc, Bohol where drums and gongs are played in rhythm. But the drum and gong musical is not just a crowd attraction during the fiesta. It actually reminds Lobocanos of their faith, history, traditions, and folklore each year they celebrate the occasion. The colorful Bolibong Kingking Festival is held on May 23-24 annually. Drums and gongs playing is accompanied by a symbolic dance ritual mirroring the people’s belief in their patron called Our Lady of Guadalupe.
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PANAGYAMAN
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
May 19-24

Commemorates the establishment of civil government in the province.

Anniversary of the establishment of the civil government of Nueva Vizcaya. Activities include street parades,street dancing, cultural shows, float parades and contest, sports events by municipality, agro-industrial fairs. Events in the festivities include various sporting events such as mountaineering and mountain bike challenge, agro-tourism fairs, a regional Flores de Mayo, Santacruzan, beauty pageants, a rodeo competition, street dancing and a culture and arts night with Tourism Secretary Gordon as guest of honor. A float parade portraying the history of the province will be held onThursday, May 24. The province, carved out of Isabela, was founded in 1839 by Spanish missionaries and named Nueva Vizcaya (New Vizcayne) after the Spanish town of the same name. Among its tourist attractions are cave networks with awesome stalactite formations, old churches, enchanting rivers and waterfalls, mountain ranges and tribal settlements of Bugkalots and ilongots.
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ANTIPOLO PILGRIMAGE
Month long of May

Thousands of devotees venerate the miraculous sightings of the Virgin of Antipolo image.

It is during the month of May when Filipino devotees to the Blessed Virgin from different parts of the country throng on the hills of Antipolo to make a pilgrimage at the shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buenviaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage). The folk song “Tayo na sa Antipolo” vividly captures the festive air of this season in this rural town some decades ago. 'Tayo na sa Antipolo' 'at doo'y maligo tayo' 'sa batis na kung tawagin' 'ay Hi-hi-hinulugang Taktak' 'at doo'y kumain' 'ng mangga' 'kasuy at balimbing' 'kaya't magmadali ka at' 'tayo ay sumama sa Antipolo.'



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BANGKERO
Pagsanjan
Last Sunday of May

A flotilla of decorated boats (bancas). Features the skills of the Pagsanjan boatmen.

The "PAGSANJAN BANGKERO FESTIVAL", is fast becoming popular with its colorful and impressive line-up of events on land and on the river. These include a vibrant variety of competitions like the traditional boat race (regatta), land and fluvial float parades bundled with street dancing, drum and lyre band, trade fairs, cookfest, concert, sports events and triathlon olympics, "Palarong Bangkero", Cultural Night with the Festival of Folk Dances", and the annual search for "Ginoong Bangkero" and "Lakan at Binibining Pagsanjan". The five-day celebration is inspired by Pagsanjan beloved and miraculous Patroness Our Lady of Guadalupe and dedicated to all the "Bangkeros" of Pagsanjan. "Bangkero" is the tagalog word for the desterous and skilled "Boatman". They are the natural navigators and tour guides who expertly paddle, and bodily lift a "banca" or "canoe" upstream against the strong current between the gorge and canyon walls, and then maneuver downstream through the rapids and rocks at breathtaking speed; which makes it truly an exciting two-hour boatride experience of a lifetime, beginning from either the Bumbungan River or the Balanac River going towards the magnificent and globally famous Pagsanjan Falls.
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Sibit-Sibit
Olongagapo city

The Sibit-Sibit festival is a word derived from the old saga of ‘Ulo ng Apo’ which means the small paddle boat used for fishing as Olongapo was ultimately born from being one of the ancient fishing villages of the country. Sibit-Sibit festival is an annual event held in city of Olongapo to interpret the rich and colorful history of the city. During olden fiestas, fishermen held banca races using Sibit-Sibit driven by human strength in order to win races. Today, the traditional Sibit-Sibit festival is transformed into a colorful festival. Holding Sibit-Sibit festival is bringing together Olongapo’s past, its progressing present and the promising future. The festival started as a Barangay event of Barretto. It was held yearly but later was shelved for various reasons. The event was revived by the city Government under the leadership of Mayor James J. Gordon Jr. in 2006.The Sibit-Sibit festival has organizers for the freebies and prices in the activities. For now, there are four permanent  organizers, Barretto Beach Boulevard Business Association (BBBA), Olongapo Business Club, Inc. (OBC), Olongapo City Tourism (OCT) and Subic Bay Resorts Association (SUBRA). There are many activities in Sibit-Sibit festival the aqua sports activities, club activities, entertainment sprees and talents showdowns. Aqua sports activities are the banca races have four kinds: single rowing, double rowing, motorized banca race and motorized exhibition game. The venue of banca races is in the Driftwood. Club activities are more on teamwork. Fun run is usually held in Barretto area, table tennis is usually held in Playa Papagayo and beach football is usually held in Blue Rock Resort. Entertainment sprees are Mardi Gras, summer goddess bikini open and Ms. Sibit-Sibit are part of entertainment sprees. Talent showdowns are bangkang buhangin sculpting competition and Sibit-Sibit painting that usually held in Arizona International Hotel. Chess tournament that usually held in Barretto covered court. Bulilit dance competition, summer dance craze and Sibit-Sibit singing contest that usually held in SMB (San Miguel Beer) stage area. The Olongapeños celebrate the Sibit-Sibit festival annually and must have more activities like aqua sports activities, club activities, entertainment sprees and talent showdowns to enjoy it once in a year to maximize contenders in every activity and to gain more active residents. The festival activities aim to develop the spirit of sportsmanship.
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JUNE

MUDPACK FESTIVAL
Murcia, Negros Occidental
24 June

Of the days of 23rd and 24th of June every year, Mudpack Festival is celebrated in Murcia Negros Occidental, occuring the feast of Saint John the Baptist and the start of the monsoon season. A symbolic celebration when the time man is closer to the nature. People in all walks of life gather together during the festivity in Mambukal in committing themselves for the conservation of the environment. It is a feast of ecological concern, and merrymaking ajoined. Oneness with nature is the underlying theme behind Murcia's annual mud-moving spectacle. Highlighted  with lively street dancing parade with the participant wearing nothing but mudpacks (well, almost...). It's a safe way to mix our ecological concerns with good, clean, cloddy fun - just be sure to shower afterwards!
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PARADA NG LECHON
Balayan, Batangas
24 June

A different sight and flavor are introduced in June with a festival in Balayan, Batangas, commonly known as the "Parada Ng Lechon". These luscious roasted pork form the highlight of the occasion, decorated out in their platforms with all kinds of décor. Since the festival corresponds with the feast of St. John the Baptist, be prepared to get wet as people observe the feast by repeating the ritual of baptism - pouring water. The Parada ng Lechon (roasted pig parade) a festival you must see in Balayan Batangas. The celebration is held annually on June 24, and the feast day of San Juan (Saint John the Baptist). Lechon is one of Batangas delicacy, and even in other provinces in the Philippines. It’s a main dish most batagueños have for celebrations or fiestas. According to the old villager, lechon was served before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines. The dish became a symbol of Batangas tradition to serve lechon during celebrations.  The pig is placed on a spit, charcoal placed on the side of the pig, in a roasting pit. The pig is baked, while wiping the skin with brush made of leaves with water and the pigs own oil or fat. This procedure makes the skin crispy, and roasting it for at least 5 hours. Now it’s time to dress the lechon. The dress will depend on the theme the social organization has chosen for the annual event. After dressing the pig, clear plastic is wrapped around the pig to prevent the lechon to get wet during the parade. When the lechons are ready, they are brought to the church of Immaculate Conception. Participating lechons or roasted pigs will line up the church patio while a mass is being celebrated and blessed in honor of St. John the Baptist.
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TACLOBAN PINTADOS FESTIVAL
Tacloban City
29 June

Back during pre-Hispanic years, tattoos denoted courage among the natives of Tacloban. These days they symbolize a cultural revival, and a wild, wild fiesta called the Pintados. Join the town residents as they decorate themselves out in body paint, imitating the warriors of old while dancing to the frantic beat of drums.
The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making event lasting a whole month, highlights of which include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the 17th Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the "Pagrayhak'' Grand Parade. These festivals are said to have began from the feast day of Señor Santo Niño, held every June 29th. The Leyteños celebrate a religious festival in a unique and colorful way. Since the Visayans are experienced in the art of body tattooing, men and women are fond of tattooing themselves. The Pintados Festival displays the rich cultural heritage, incorporating native music and dances, of the people of Leyte and Samar. The Leyte Kasadya-an Festival of Festivals, meanwhile, showcases the unique culture and colorful history of the Province of Leyte. Started by former Leyte Governor Remedios Loreto-Petilla, the celebration was first held on May 12, 1996. The festivities weren't always held every June 29th; the first three years saw different dates. It was only in 1999 that it was fixed to June 29, the Feast of the Señor Santo Niño de Leyte. "Kasadyaan'' in the Visayan tongue means merriment and jollity. Various municipal festivals of Leyte gather together in the original capital of Tacloban City for the celebration. There, lively dance-drama parade of many colors takes place. There is an important role that the festival plays, and it is strengthening the Leyteños' sense of pride. Every municipality mounts a storyline all their own to portray with pride their local folklore and legends.
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BUKLOG
Dipolog City, Mindanao
June 1-6

Festival features stationary dancing by native Subanons on three meterstructures.

The Buklog proper is the grand ceremony preceded by extensive consultations among the tribal (Datu/Timuay/Bai) and religious (Balyan) leaders from different Subanen communities. A tribal convention participated in by concerned Subanen members is also necessary for the final decision on dates and venue of the festival. The construction of a BUKLOGAN is based on the metaphysics of the number eight (8), regarded by Subanens as the most significant number to convey stability, security and strength. The different parts of the entire structural set up are also systematically arranged in octaves.    The ideal Buklogan has eight main posts made of hard round timber and has an eight-feet equidistance in between posts, covering a total ground area of 256 square feet. With the height of 16 feet, the flooring lattice support is made up of 32 pliable round sticks with eight pieces laid equidistant in between posts.  This year's grand Buklog Festival in Mandih was made possible through the support of the Provincial Government under Governor Rolando E. Yebes. Every Subanen (and even non-Subanen for that matter) can only wish for a sustainability of this significant religious-cultural tradition in the future.
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BARAGATAN
Puerto Princesa City
June 17-23

Celebration of the founding anniversary of the civil government of Palawan.

Baragatan Festival and grand Celebration of the Founding of the Civil Government of Palawan. From the Cuyuno word "bagat" which means convergence of people coming together from various municipalities bringing their songs, dances and music and present all these aspects of life through cultural presentation, trade shows, exhibitions, float parade and street dancing.

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 PILI
Sorsogon
June 20-29

Street dancing showcasing the growth stages of Bicol's indigenous Pilinut.
Sorsogon City’s premier annual festival is the Pili Festival which also coincides with the City’s traditional patronal fiesta, June 28-29, in honor of its patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul.

The Festival showcases the Pili Tree, which is indigenous to Sorsogon, and known hereabouts as “The Majestic Tree” because of its many industrial, commercial, and nutritional uses – from its roots, trunk, branches, leaves, sap and fruit. Appropriately costumed young people dance down the streets of the City during the Festival, demonstrating in dance, the many uses of this remarkable tree.  The Pili Tree is particularly well-known for its nuts, which are much sought after by confectioneries in different parts of the world. It is reputedly better in quality than almonds or macadamia nuts. The pulp that coats the hard shell that, in turn, encases the Pili nut, can also be eaten, as is, by either dipping it in patis, the native fish sauce, or in sugar, after softening it in warm water. It is also served as dips for meat or fish, or even as dressing or icing for pastries or fruit preparations and other desserts. During the Pili street dance, which highlights the weeklong Festival, the costumed dancers move to the rhythmic, hypnotic beat of native percussion instruments.
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TAONG-PUTIK
Aliaga
June 24

Devotees of St. John the Baptist cover their bodies with mud, vines, banana and coconut leaves.

In Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, in Barangay Bibiclat, hundreds of devotees of the village's patron saint, John the Baptist, transform themselves into "mud people" -- literally "taong putik."  The locals call  the ritual Pagsa-San Juan. Outsiders call it the Taong Putik Festival, an event  -- an experience -- that has recently  caught  the attention and interest of the tourism sector. Nobody knows exactly when the Taong Putik Festival started. One legend says the image of the patron saint which was brought to Bibiclat by early Ilocano settlers, helped in driving away poisonous snakes from the village. The name "Bibiclat" came from the Ilocano word "biclat" meaning snake.  Another legend says that when Japanese soldiers during World War II were about to execute all the men in the village in retaliation for the death of 13 fellow soldiers, it rained so hard that the male villagers had to be herded into the church to seek shelter. After a while, the Japanese soldiers had a change of mind and set their captives free. The residents attributed this to a miracle of Saint John the Baptist, and  vowed to pay homage to him on his feast day by wearing costumes patterned after his attire -- this time, using native materials.
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ARAW NG MAYNILA
Manila
June 24

Celebrates the founding of Manila with parades and sports events and the Manila Film Festival.
Araw ng Maynila celebrates a historic event in the annals of this great city. On this day, in 1571, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded the City of Manila and declared it the capital of Spain’s domain in the Philippines. Attempts by Limahong and other foreign intruders to take away the city from the Spaniards failed because the native inhabitants supported the Spaniards in preserving the Philippines for the Spanish Crown. For this, the Spanish ruler bestowed on Manila the title of “Most Distinguished and Ever Loyal City.” Manila already had a storied past even before the Spaniards came. Namayan, now the district of Santa Ana, was ruled by Lakan Tagkan and Lady Masilag. Lakan Tagkan’s descendants ruled a vast area in ancient Manila. Then, the Muslims came. Rajah Avi-jir-koya (Soliman I) founded a new Kingdom along the bay and called it “Manila” in honor of his beloved daughter. A century later, the Spaniards conquered the city. To pre-colonial Filipinos, Manila was “Madiangbayan,” the center of their government. To the Spaniards, Manila was “Intramuros” (Walled City). As the city grew, it acquired other distinguished titles. To travellers, Manila was “Ciudad del Feliz Romero” (City of Happy Travellers). During the American era, Manila was the “Carnival City” and the “Venice of the Orient.” To the residents of Manila today, Manila is the “City of Our Affections.” To all, Manila is the “Crown Jewel of the Pearl of the Orient.” Manila is also the “City of Festivals.” The Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, Tondo has its Feast of Sto. Niño; Pandacan, its Buling-Buling Festival; Malate, its Feast of the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios; Sampaloc, its Birhen ng Loreto. The coastal and riverine towns of Manila have their annual Caracol (Fluvial Parades) culminating at the back of Malacañang. Manila is Philippine history. The 1571 Battle at Bangkusay, the 1567-88 Magat Salamat Rebellion, the 1603, 1639-40, and 1662-63 Chinese Rebellions, the 1762-64 British invasion, the 1896 Revolution, the 1899-1902 Filipino-American War, the 1945 Battle for Manila were bloody conflicts that were fought on the soil of Manila. These conflicts determined to a great extent the fate and future not only of Manila but also of the entire country.
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SUBLIAN SA BATANGAS
Batangas City
June 26

Celebrates the Foundation Day of Batangas City.

A subli is presented during a feast, as ceremonial worship dance in honor to the Holy Cross. The image of the Holy Cross was found during the Spanish rule in the town of Alitagtag. It is the patron saint of ancient town of Bauan. The dance is indigenous to the province of Batangas. The subli is made up of lengthy prayers, songs and dances in predetermined arrangement. The dancers are made up of one, two or eight couples. The male dancers shuffle in intense fashion and hit the ground using a bamboo stick, while the female, dance with a sophisticated wrist and finger movement. The parade usually starts in morning on the 23rd of July after the floral offering. It is commonly participated by the city government employees, non-government organization, schools and socio-civic organization. Participants come in native attire with adorned subli hats to symbolize Batangueño attributes and customs. The best bit of the event is the Foundation Day and the Sublian sa Kalye (in the street), where partakers will march and dance the subli on the streets. There are around a thousand students who join and perform a street dancing subli. The parade usually takes at least an hour or more to complete. One interesting program during the celebration is the Lupakan (making of a snack called nilupak) at Awitan (singing) held at the People’s Quadrangle. Here you can catch a glimpse of how the native snack nilupak is made. And at the same time have a taste of the delectable snack.
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JULY

SANDUGO FESTIVAL
Tagbilaran City
1-2 July

The Spanish colonization of the Philippines began with a blood-sealed peace treaty on the shores of Bohol. This historic event is considered today with an all-out fiesta at the island's capital city. Check out the Sandugo street dancing parade featuring ten colorfully-dressed groups dancing to the beat of drums. There's also a traditional Filipino carnival, a martial arts festival, and Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, among the dozen of other exciting activities.
The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration that takes place every year in Tagbilaran City on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. This festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. This 16th Century peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact or "sandugo". The Sandugo Festival is held every July. The Tagbilaran City Charter Day on July 1 kicks-off the month-long festival with a holy mass, diana, motorcade and program sponsored by the City Government of Tagbilaran. Among the major activities during the month is the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, and the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition which is usually held on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of July, and organized by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc. (BSFI).
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KINABAYO
Dapitan City
25 July

An exotic and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, particularly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan. They were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and modernism has made this annual revelry a popular attraction which brings thousands of visitors to the city.
Kinabayo Festival which is celebrated every July 25 in Dapitan City Zamboanga del Norte Philippines celebrate a mysterious and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, mainly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan. They were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and modernism has made this annual celebration a popular attraction which brings thousands of tourists to the Dapitan City.  St. James, the Greater is the patron saint of Dapitan City. Earlier on into the Spanish rule, Dapitan was still flooded by Moro pirates. The Jesuit priests fatefully set up St. James, to protect the Dapitanons from an attack of invaders. It was believed that in the fifth century, an apparition of St. James, atop a horse carrying a sword, guided the Spansih Christians into victory over the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga. Three centuries later, St. James still plays a significant part in the Dapitanons’ lives. For the past three years the Kinabayo Festival of Dapitan has been celebrated by city folk centering on his feast day, July 25. On that day a magnificent re-enactment of the Battle of Covadonga is unfurled before the city folk and tourists. It is 45 days of celebration that can only be rivaled by Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-Atihan.
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FEAST OF OUR LADY OF PIAT
Cagayan
July 1-2

A major religious event highlighted by the procession of the Marian.

The Feast of Our Lady of Piat is annually celebrated on the 2nd of July in Tuguegarao, Cagayan, to honor Cagayan's patroness. The highlight of the event is the procession featuring the image of the Virgin Mary, more popularly known in the province as Our Lady Piat. Our Lady of Piat is known by several names. She was named "Queen of Heaven and Earth" on 20 June 1954 in a ceremony led by Papal Delegate Egidio Vagnozzi. She is also called "Yena Tam Ngamin" (Mother of us all) by the Ibanag and "Apo Baket" (Grand Matriarch) by the native Ilocanos of Piat, Cagayan.  The image of Our Lady of Piat is one of the oldest Marian images in the Philippines. In his book Historia de Cagayan, Father Julian Malumbres claims that the image was made by a Portuguese sculptor in Macau, China in 1600. Dominican priests brought the image to Manila in 1604. From Manila, the image traveled hundreds of kilometers to Piat before it was transported to Tuguegarao. It was returned to Piat years later. Our Lady of Piat now rests at the Basilica Minore de Piat in Piat, Cagayan (about 45 minutes away from Tuguegarao City). It was declared a shrine on 22 June 1999 by the Vatican. Thousands of Marian devotees flock to the Basilica each year hoping to witness a miracle or become a receiver of it. Some of the miracles attributed to the image are. A native/Indio was crossing a river near Ermita when a crocodile caught him. He recited the prayer for the Lady of Piat and the crocodile let him loose. He proceeded to the church afterwards and thanked the Lady of Piat for saving him. Between 1716 and 1733, a great draught dried up the esteros of Malaueg. The people asked the Lady of Piat for rain and she gave it to them. Devotees said that this kind of miracle has happened not only once but several times. A little boy became insane after he fell from the roof of their house. His mother brought him to the Lady of Piat, lighted candles, and heard mass for him. He soon recovered his sanity.
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SAGAYAN
Tubod, Lanao del Norte
July 3-4

The festival has its origin in a war dance that connotes masculinity. Unique in the fact that it has no religious connotation.

A cultural event using as its base a Maranao dance performed during the Araw ng Lanao del Norte Celebration Participated by all the municipalities of the province. Sagayan depicts a war dance among the Maranaos. Datu Bantugan is the legendary hero of the Darangen, Maranao epic. His name connotes Brilliance, Fame, and Honor one who makes history, the pride of Bumbaran, Maramanay and Simban are among  the several names attributed to Bantugan,which means “ Crown of the Ayonan”. The kingdom of Bumbaran was ruled by Ayonan sa Bumbaran the elder brother of Paramata Bantogan and their  sister Arcata Lawanen. Arcata Lawanen was abducted by Ayonan Dimasangkay , a ruler of Sagorongan- a- Ragat and became captive of that kingdom. Paramata Bantogan searched  for his sister and a fairy messenger ( twin sister of Arcata Lawanen ) came to inform him of her location. In disguise, Paramata Bantogan went to Sagorongan-a- Ragat to rescue his sister. News broke about his presence in the kingdom. Paramata Bantogan performs the ritual for battle then the fight ensued. Re-enforcement arrived thereafter. The two warning groups were pacified and reconciled by Bai-A-Labi. She succeeded so peace reigned in the two lands thereafter.
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PAGODA
Pasig River, Metro Manila
First Sunday of July

The Holy Cross of Wawa is paraded in a specially built river boat (pagoda), accompanied by other vessels in a river procession along the Pasig River,





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CORDILLERA DAY
Cordillera Administrative Region
July 15

Cultural activities celebrating the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The beating of the gangsa for Cordillera Day – the 30th year of Macliing Dulag’s martyrdom – marked the continued fight of the indigenous peoples for land and self-determination, all the way to congress. The celebrations were held, side-by-side the meeting de avance of the Katribu partylist, which aims to get congressional seats for the indigenous peoples.




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PINTA FLORES
San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
July 1

Participants with floral-painted bodies dance through the streets.
Pintaflores is coined from the words Pintados, the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and the "flores", the Spanish word for flowers that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers. It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil that depict the people's thanksgiving of merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the Pintados tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express gratitude to man and his environment. The Human flower formation is another impressive part of the dance ritual that products the ingenuity and skills of the choreographers and dancers. To give emphasis to body painting as a ritual of Pintaflores, the festival also features the Body-painting contest that provides expression to the true artistry of the people of San Carlos City.
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TINALAK
Koronadal, Cotabato Province

The prestigious annual event, T'nalak Festival (Tinalak) is a day of festivity to commemorate the foundation anniversary of South Cotabato. This is celebrated middle of July in the provincial capital of Koronadal City. The festival is named after the festival icon t'nalak, a colorful abaca cloth created and woven by the women of the province's T'boli tribe which is considered to symbolize the blending of culture, strength and unity of the various ethnic groups living in the province. It is a showcase of T'boli culture through the display of their tribal arts and crafts and ethnic costumes, a street dancing parade, trade fair and sports events. Usually, the celebration kicks off with the Dayana Civic Parade highlighted by a float and cheer dance competition. It closes with the T'nalak Parade or Madal Bel'. Dancers from around the province, dressed in native costumes of B'laan, T'boli and other tribal groups in Mindanao, perform on the streets of the city. The T’nalak is an intricately woven tapestry of intense and striking colors. The hues of intertwined abaca fabric depict the vivid spirit of the people whom this unique and artistic weaving has invariably come to represent. This symbol of woven dreams is a fundamental part of South Cotabato culture, a culture steeped in mystique. The T’nalak Festival is an annual celebration that commemorates the Foundation Anniversary of the dynamic South Cotabato province amidst the dual presence of tradition and progress. Much like the choreographed contrast of this unique tapestry, the T’nalak Festival is a mix of varied events that likewise characterize the South Cotabato people and their vibrant spirit, a people, whose distinct culture and multi-ethnicity contribute to the image of this emerging province – a province that is steadfast in weaving its wealth towards advancement, and a province undoubtedly beyond compare. From colorful street dancing, pulsating street parties and innovative trade expos the T’nalak Festival has it all.
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SIMBALAY
Nabunturan
Highlighted by Mansaka Tribal dances.

Compostela Valley – Part of the weeklong 17th Simbalay Festival of the Municipality of Nabunturan is the Tribal Day on the second day (December 12). Highlight of the day 2 activity is the “Kasalan ng Tribo” or Tribal Wedding. The festivity is inspired “PYANSANDOG NA INANG, PAGSINAWITAY AN PASALAMAT SANG MAGBABAYA: YANI YANG SIMBALAY” which pays tribute to indigenous peoples culture in the way they offer thanksgiving for all the blessings received.
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AUGUST

KADAYAWAN SA DABAW
Davao City
20-24 August

Davao's annual festival, Kadayawan Sa Dabaw assures another weekend of trumpet blast and fun - tribal style. Watch as the festivities reach a glorious peak on Saturday morning: that's when the Kadayawan parade is held, featuring colorful, orchid-bedecked floats and more than a dozen "ethnic" groups dancing to the beat of wooden drums.
It is a celebration of Good Harvest! This globally famous festival is a weeklong celebration and thanksgiving for nature’s bountiful harvest. Kadayawan Festival is being celebrated every 3rd Week of August. A celebration of the plentiful harvests of fruits and orchids during the season. Kadayawan is derived from the prehistoric word “madayaw,” a warm and friendly greeting also used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable, “Kadayawan” in Mandaya means anything that brings fortune, a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Ethnic tribes around Mt. Apo usually gathered during the harvest-time when they had a bountiful harvest to give thanks to their gods particularly the all-powerful Bathala (supreme God). According to legend, the occasion is noticeable by happiness, singing, and dancing, as well as offerings to their divine protectors. The festival is celebrated in the month of August with floats of fresh flowers and fruits, and indak-indak sa kadalanan or street dancing in colorful costumes. A variety of tribes parade the streets with their tribal costumes and jewelry. The city of Davao comes alive every year in August when it holds it yearly harvest festival. The streets are adorned with local fruit & vegetables while people hold street dances with abandon for four days. The harbour is the venue for native & power boat races. Everybody fights for seats to watch the Horse Fighting wherein stallions fight each other over the rights to mate with a mare. The crowd is sometimes tracked by the horses if they get too close. The last day the street is full of costumed dancers dancing to the local beat & decorated floats with glamorous Mindanao girls as eye candy. It's a time of fun & abandon. The festivity is not complete without the Bya'Neng ng Kadayawan or the Miss Kadayawan beauty contest. There is also the horsefight, a tribal animal show similar to the bullfight in Spain.
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ADLAW HONG BUTUAN
Butuan City
August 2
Charter Day celebration of Butuan City.
The Adlaw Hong Butuan is a yearly event in Butuan that celebrates its Charter Day. The Adlaw Hong Festival pays tribute to Butuan’s administrative status as a city. It therefore honors Butuan’s municipal officials, citizens and past leaders who have contributed their loyalty and efforts to the city. Adlaw Hong Butuan presents the city’s modern culture through its street parties, beauty pageants and motorcades. There is also a parade of performers and colorful floats to as the highlight of the event. Adlaw Hong Butuan is celebrated on the second day of August.

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PALO-PALO
Northern Province, Batanes
August 4-5

Cultural presentation of the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the Philippines most remote Northern Province, Batanes.

During the feast of San Jose de Ivana, male dancers representing moros and cristianos fight each other in dance palo-palo, named after the wooden sticks used as weapons. Two groups of male dancers in distinctly differently colored costumes and holding in each hand a fighting stick, standing in two files. They dance to a series of band music with varying beats, using thin sticks to the rhythm to simulate a fight.  It is an all-male ritualized, stylized war dance performed during the annual town fiesta celebration in honor of a patron saint. It is accompanied by band music, It represents the armed struggle of Christians and Muslims, and is now endangered by the influx of modern entertainment such as movies and modern dances. Palo-palo is a folk art traditionally performed once a year during the celebration of a fiesta in honor of a patron saint. Each town and village used to have its own groups of players which are selected and trained for the dance each year by a dance master. They perform only once on the day of the fiesta and are disbanded after the celebration. A town or village band is also organized to play the traditional music called foo by the dance. Usually a month-long rehearsal is needed before the performance day, and it is performed in the town or village square with the towns folk and visitors as audience. It is one of a number of folk dances performed usually in the afternoon of the fiesta day. The costumes are usually colored red for one line and blue for the other, red being used by those representing Muslims and blue for the Christians. The tradition probably began at the inception of Christianization in the last decades of the 18th century or early 19th century, by Spanish missionaries. It may have been derived from the moro-moro theater of the rest of Christian Philippines. During its most popular time, every town and village performed it. This was in the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. But as American and modern entertainment developed, many villages have given it up, but it is still being performed annually in the towns of Basco, Mahatao, Ivana and Sabtang.
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KAADLAWAN HAN SAMAR
Catbalogan, Samar
August 11

Marking the celebration of Samar's provincehood.

The festival is held every August 11 in Catbalogan Samar. Samar Day is celebrated with socio-cultural activities. It was on this day when a royal decree was issued by Queen Isabella II of Spain approving the re-creation of Samar as a military province.





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KALIBONGAN
Kidapawan City
August 14

A gathering of tribal groups featuring horse fighting and a blood compact ceremony in Kidapawan City.

The Kalibongan is a Manobo term which means “Grand Festival” that is being celebrated annually in the southern Philippine province of North Cotabato, particularly in Kidapawan City. Manobo is one of more than a dozen indigenous tribes in Mindanao. The Manobos, Bagobos, and other highland tribes from different parts of the province go down to Kidapawan to show off and proudly display their tradition and cultural heritage. Traditional horse fighting stands out as among the most awaited event in the Kalibongan festival. Although horse fighting is now outlawed in many countries, the Manobos continue this tradition because of its cultural importance. Horse fighting still thrives in countries like Indonesia, China and South Korea. Brutal and inhumane, these spectacles can be anything from featured events in annual feasts and thanksgiving festivals to scrappy events put together by locals for the purposes of an afternoon's gambling and entertainment, or to honor a special guest. Many horse fighting takes place in city stadiums or abandoned playing fields in remote villages and provinces. In more highly populated areas they may also be conducted at a local racetrack.
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KIDAPAWAN FRUIT
2nd weak

Featuring cultural shows and a variety of exhibits.

The past Timpupo Festivals had always been huge successes since they highlighted the abundance and variety of fruits Kidapawan has to offer. The celebration was festive that numerous people participated in the different series of activities like street dancing competition, fruit float parade, giant fruit competition in paper mache, on-the-spot fruit arrangement, “pinaka” fruit, fruit fair exhibit and fruit galore. Foreign visitors and local tourists savored the exotic fruit that are grown in the city. Timpupo Fruit Festival is well-known for its “eat-all-you-can” event called the Fruit Galore, where participants can truly enjoy feasting on variety of fruits such as durian, mangosteen, banana, rambutan, lanzones, and a lot more, on a 3 to 10 kilometer stretch in the city highway, Quezon Boulevard. At the sound of the siren, people had mouthful of fruits, and the tables full of tons of fruits are emptied in an hour.

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LUBI-LUBI
Calubian, Leyte
August 15

Festivities in Calubian, Leyte, which focus on the various uses of coconut and its by-products.
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BUYOGAN
Abuyog, Leyte
August 19

The Buyogan Festival in the town of Abuyog, Leyte is celebrated in conjunction with the time leading to the town's fiesta. Bees (buyog) depicts origin of town's name in colorful dances. t the onset of the month of August, the town is filled with excitement as the Buyogan festival is again to be held and the Buyogan Dance Group will once again show the spectacle of the town's festival in different competitions around the country. The term "Buyogan" is derived from the town's name Abuyog. Legend tells that the town got its name when the Spaniards, during the 1500s, landed in the town and asked for its name. One inhabitant of the town thought that the Spaniards were asking for the name of the swarm of bees flying around. The man answered "Ah! Buyog" - buyog, the Waray-waray term for bees. The rest is history.
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SEPTEMBER

BONOK-BONOK FESTIVAL 
Surigao City
9 September

Behind Surigao's talented culture is its original tribal background. The Surigaonons go back to their roots this month as they celebrate their heritage with a loud, noisy street dancing parade.

A day-long festival highlighting the annual city fiesta celebration. The main feature is the Bonok-bonok, an ethnic Mamanua (IPES) dance performed by the natives during thanks giving, worship and wedding ceremonies. The introduction to the celebration of the Maradjao-Karajao Festival is the Bulawanon Barangay "Bulawanon" means beautification. Before the Bonok-bonok festivity held, preliminary contest between the 22 barangays of Surigao City and 9 coastal barangays is ongoing to highlight the month-long festivity that livens up to the household of each respective family of Surigao City. Other activities are street dancing participated by different private government groups using creative costumes, huge floats and entertaining chanting "Viva Señor San Nicolas! Viva Maradjao Karajao!".  Surigao is more importantly home to one of the country's most colorful tribes, the Mamanwas. Known for their creative patterns, brass jewelry and indigenous crafts, the Mamanwas fill the streets dancing during the Bonok Bonok Maradjao Karadjao festival on September 9. Celebrated on the occasion of the feast of San Nicolas de Tolentino, the Bonok Bonok shows the natives' gratitude to their animistic gods for a bountiful harvest and good health. A collection of antique archaeological diggings like burial coffins jars and antique Chinese kitchen wares discovered in Panhutungan, Placer is on public display at the Surigaonon Heritage Mini-Museum situated at the Boulevard in Surigao City.
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PEÑAFRANCIA VIVA LA VIRGEN
Naga City
16 September (third saturday of september)

The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol Philippines. All roads and routes will lead to Naga City in Camarines Sur where six million Bicolanos from here and abroad will flock to that progressive city to pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. Bicolanos from all walks of life will be in Naga City to meet their relatives and partidarios, share food, drinks, and prayers with them, and most of all, to pay homage and make thanksgiving to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina. Viva la Virgen, they will shout to high heavens. The feast day is headed by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its destination, the devotees shout "Viva la Virgen" (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a procession to the cathedral. Millions of Bicolanos will once again show to the whole Christian world their strong faith and loyalty to their Heavenly Mother. amongst triumphant sounding shouts of Viva la Virgen , Bicolanos and pilgrims, with lighted candles in their hands, will kneel on the ground and bow their heads in prayer as the colorful fluvial procession carrying the Virgin plows through the Bicol River in downtown Naga.

 A multicolored pagoda carrying the images/icons of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro will pass through the Bicol River. Male, sunburned devotees of the Virgin will adhere to the huge pagoda in a heartwarming display of faith and devotion. Actually, the fluvial procession marks the return of the Virgin from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to her home shrine at the Basilica. Upon its arrival, the Virgin will be received in formal religious rites by Roman Catholic dignitaries of the Bicol Region led by Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez. Considered the biggest and most popular religious event in the Philippines, the Peñafrancia fiesta is in fact a one-week affair that starts on the second Friday of September when the miraculous Ina is transferred from her shrine to the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral where a nine-day novena and prayers are held in her honor. Ranking government officials, Cabinet members, ambassadors, governors, mayors, senators, diputados , business/industry leaders, landlords, etc., vie for the distinct honor of sponsoring a nightly novena and prayers at the Naga Cathedral.

A procession, locally called traslacion (is the transferring of the miraculous Image of the Virgin, Our Lady of Peñafrancia and of the Divino Rostro to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City for a Novena and Holy Masses. This begun in 1885.), ushers in the weeklong festivities which include civic and military parades, sports competitions, agro-industrial fairs, cultural shows, and the coronation of Miss Bicolandia beauties. During the traslacion, which passes through the main streets of Naga, the miraculous Ina of the Bicolanos is borne on the rugged, muscular shoulders of barefooted voyadores who form a human barricade to protect the Virgin from the unruly crowd. Call it absolute coincidence or plain superstition, but any Bicolano will swear to high heavens that the presence of a woman, Filipina or foreigner, aboard the merrily decorated pagoda will surely spell disaster. Whether this belief is true or not, only the Bicolanos know. But past events and experiences support their claim. Bicol Region's largest celebration is an annual affair that combines religion with culture and tradition, stuffing it all in a 9-day fiesta of biblical proportions. Stay until sundown for stirring climax: the fluvial parade as it makes its way down the river, surrounded by a sea of glowing candles - a fitting end of this truly spiritual occasion. A Spanish government official from Peñafrancia, Spain, a native of San Martin de Castanar, the Covarrubias family, settled with his family in Cavite in 1712, according to locals. One day, A son, Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, a seminarian studying in the Universidad de Santo Tomas, Manila got very ill. He and his family prayed to Our Iady of Penafrancia whose picture he was clutching to his breast for his recovery and to spare his life. He also made a vow that if cured, he would construct a chapel by the bank of Pasig river in Manila, in gratitude to Her. Miraculously cured, he eventually was ordained a priest not in Manila but in the Ciudad de Nueva Caceres (now known as Naga City) by Bishop Andres Gonzalez. To fulfill his vow, Padre Miguel, the ftrst diocesan priest to be ordained in Naga, did two things: one, he mobilized the natives along the slopes of Mt. Isarog to construct a chapel made of local materials, nipa and bamboo this time by the bank of the Bikol river in Naga, not by the Pasig river as earlier envisioned; two, he ordered a local artisan to carve an image patterned after the picture of Our lady he always had with him. Miracles happened then and there. Among them was the story of a dog killed, its neck slashed in order to take out the poor animal's blood that was used to coat/paint the newly carved image. Dumped into the river, the dead dog began to swim once again alive with hundreds of people witnessing this prodigy. News of many other miracles spread like wildfire so was the devotion to Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia. The letter of Padre Miguel to the Dominican Fathers of Salamanca, Spain in 1712 reported many miracles through the intercession of Our Lady. In the meantime, the devotees grew in number as the devotion spread fast far and wide, even outside the Diocese of Nueva Caceres which before comprised not only the Bikol region but including Tayabas (now Quezon), Marinduque, Laguna up to Palanan, Isabela along the cordillera ranges. Like the biblical "mustard seed" the Penafrancia devotion today is like a "giant tree" whose branches extend to other parts of the world like America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The love story between our lady of Penafrancla we lovingly call "Ina" and us, her children is never ending. The famous Madonna is said to have miraculous powers. On her feast day, pilgrims gather at her shrine to pay her homage for favors received.


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TUNA SA GENSAN
General Santos City
September 3-5

Celebrates the contribution of tuna fish to the General Santos City's livelihood.

General Santos City is the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines.Thus in as early as 1970, the title "Tuna Capital of the Philippines" has become a tag to it. GenSan also accounts for the second largest daily total catch of fish in the country after Navotas City in the National Capital Region. Locals in the city boast that fishes and seafoods do not come fresher than what is found in their locality. The fishing industry in GenSan yields a total daily capacity of 750 metric tons of fish catch alone and employs about 7,800 workers. Which is why General Santos City is home to seven (7) tuna processing plants in the country. The Fishport Complex in Barangay Tambler has a 750 metres (2,460 ft) quay and a 300 metres (980 ft) wharf for 2,000 GT reefer carriers. The fishport is equipped with modern facilities that comply with international standards on fish catch handling. General Santos City is known as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines. Thanksgiving and festivities are being celebrated annually through its "Tuna Festival". Focusing on its main industry. Tuna Float is an event to taste sumptuous tuna treats during the Tuna Culinary Contest.
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SARAKIKI
Calbayog City, Samar
September 1-8

The Filipino passion for cockfighting is celebrated with dancing and costumes which mimic the movements and appearance of the brave birds.

Sarakiki is a Waray word means a movement of a rooster who’s trying to mate with a female chicken or a rooster tries to challenge a fight with another rooster. The word “Sarakiki” refers to the act of praising to gods or spirits, and “Hadang” is a ritual dance of appreciations. Sarakiki-Hadang festival is ones celebrated on the first week of September in Calbayog City in Western Samar. A colorful festival style of expression of rhythmic dance which is believed to cure illness, showing gratitude to gods for good bountiful harvest and guidance when engaging a battle. In the year mid-90’s where the first Sarakiki-Hadang has been performed, and until from that day onward the Sarakiki-Hadang Festival is been celebrated by the people of the Calbayog, aiming to unify everyone as a single community.

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PANAGDADAPUN
Cabarroquis, Quirino
September 8-10

Presentation of 19 cultural groups residing in the province.
the Cagayan Valley's popular festivals to be participated by the best street dancers from this province and from the region's other provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Cagayan including the cities of Cauayan and Santiago. Dubbed as "Panagdadapun", an Ilocano word for which means assembly.
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T'BOLI TRIBAL
South Cotabato
Third week

The culture of this unique tribe is celebrated in South Cotabato.

More than 40 different ethnic groups can be found in the Philippines. There are 18 tribal groups on the island of Mindanao. The most well known is the T'boli Tribe, that lives in the province of South Cotabato, around lake Sebu. Since the arrival of settlers originating from the other islands of the Philippines, they gradually moved to the mountain slopes to live in scattered settlements in the Higlands. This Tribal group is still living in a traditional way., comparable with how their ancestors lived centuries ago. The T'boli distinguish themselves from other Tribal Groups by their colorful clothes, bracelets and earrings, this tribe is famous for their complicated beadwork, wonderful woven fabrics and beautiful brass ornaments. A T'boli legend tells that the T'boli are descendants of the survivors of a great flood. A man named Dwata warned the people of an impending great flood. But the tribe refused to listen, except for two couples, La Bebe and La Lomi, and Tamfeles and La Kagef. Dwata told them to take shelter in a bamboo so huge they could fit inside and in this way survive the flood. The story tells that the first couple are the ancestors of the T'boli and other highland ethnic groups The second couple descended the other Filipino indigenous groups. The T'boli culture is richly connected with and inspired by nature, their dances are a mimick from the action of animals such as monkeys and birds. The T'boli have a rich musical culture with a variety of musical instruments, but the T'boli music and songs are not meant for entertainment only. The Tribal songs are a living contact with their ancestors and a source of ancient wisdom. The T'boli believe that everything has a spirit which must be respected for good fortune. Bad spirits can cause illness and misfortune.
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ARAW NG SIQUIJOR
Siquijor
Third week

Solili street dancing depicts the marriage rituals of the locals in Siquijor.
Araw ng Siquijor is the province’s charter day celebration with week long activities that starts on the 12th of the month. Parade, trade fairs, sports competition, cultural presentations performed by the different schools, search for Ms. Siquijor were the main features of the event which was capped with a SOLILI street dancing, depicting the marriage ritual of the Siquijodnons.
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OCTOBER

ZAMBOANGA HERMOSA FESTIVAL
Zamboanga City
01-12 October

All roads in Mindanao lead to Zamboanga, as the "City of Flowers" celebrates its grand, annual Hermosa Festival. The vintas, those colorful native sea boats, once again make their appearance in a fast-paced, race-till-you-drop regatta. There's also a wealth of cultural and flower shows, art exhibits, and trade fairs. It's an all-out celebration of life - Chavacano style! The Hermosa Festival also known as Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival or popularly known as Fiesta Pilar a month-long festival held each year in the city of Zamboanga, the city center of Zamboanga Peninsula Region in the Philippines. It is one of the Oldest Festival in the Country and the most awaited Event in the Region. The Festival is being held in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish and Chavacano: Nuestra Señora del Pilar), the patroness of Zamboanga City which is held in every 12 October. It is also the patroness of Zaragoza in Spain, the sister city of Zamboanga in Philippines.
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MASSKARA FESTIVAL
Bacolod City
14-21 October

The carnival spirit fills the air as masked participants putting on magnificent costumes dance there way around the city's main street. This annual event reflects Bacolenos' love for fun and jollity. Corresponding with the city's character day celebration, the festival features carnivals.

The Masskara Festival through the years gives the people of Negros, as well as local and foreign visitors, a chance to drink and be merry for 20 days. Originally designed to show the hardships of the people of Negros, the Masskara Festival has become a tool of escapism and a way to generate revenues for big business. It has indeed come a long way, and it is clear that the path turn away from the progressive goal. Bacolod City is known for the popular Masskara Festival which takes place here Oct. 1-20. Local and foreign visitors get a chance to enjoy 20 days of merry making, beer drinking, dining and street dancing. On the weekend nearest to 19 October, the biggest party in Bacalod is scheduled to take place. Bacalod is the capital city of the country's sugar-producing province of Bocalenos. The term Masskara is created from two words: mass, meaning crowd, and the Spanish word cara, for face; thus the double meaning for "mask" and "many faces". It was coined by Ely Santiago, a painter, cartoonist, and cultural artist, who devoted show in his art works the many faces of Negrenses overwhelmed with various crises. Group of masskara dancers A smiling mask, which is the symbol of the fiesta was conceived by the organizers to show the happy spirit of the Negrenses despite experiencing bad times in the sugar industry. The Masskara festival was first envisioned in 1980 to add color and jollity to the Bcolod City's celebration of its Charter Day anniversary, on 19 October. The symbol of the festival - a smiling mask - was adopted by the organizers to dramatize the Negrenses happy spirit, in spite of periodic economic downturns in the sugar industry. Throughout the week, people from all over the Visayas, gather to the town plaza. They join Bacoleños in the non-stop round of festivities. Even if you don't feel like dancing and singing, the pig catching and pole climbing competitions are musts. Some are also trying their luck and testing their skills in mask-making contests, disco king and queen competitions, coconut-milk drinking to name a few. Masks are the order of the day at the Masskara parade, as brightly-costumed men and women dance and strut in the streets. Their beaming faces are be-dimpled, smiling and laughing in molded clay or papier-mâché. Every group is represented: civic associations, commercial establishments, schools, even private and government organizations. They march out in excited crowd wearing their painted masks and elaborate costumes, all vying for prizes in judging that will be held in the afternoon. The festival also benefits Bacolod tourism not only because tourists flock the city during this time to join the merrymaking but also to buy the orchids and ornate handicrafts on sale. The festival instills among the people the culture of escapism and obscurantism, where they have to accept and forget their sufferings caused by the exploitation and oppression of the landlords.

In this city, people are encouraged by the organizers, mostly big business and hacenderos (big landlords), to forget the economic hardships and depression which happen especially during tiempo muerto (dead season, or off sugar harvest-milling season). Bacolod is the capital city of Negros Occidental, known as the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines and is part of Western Visayas in central Philippines. Originally and ironically, the masks reflected the people’s grief over the loss of their numerous loved ones when, in 1979, Negros Navigation’s luxury liner MS Don Juan crashed with a tanker. Five years before, there was a big drop in sugar production. The people of Negros suffered from the excess of sugar in the world market caused by the Caribbean sugar crisis and the introduction of sugar substitute like the High Fructose Corn Syrup in the United States. All these led to the holding of the first Masskara Festival in 1980. Santiago’s original proposal to hold annual parade using masks to capture the crisis in Negros, was changed by the local elite into street dancing and merry-making festival. This rich imagery of masks was used by the hacenderos and local politicians to hide the suffering of the Negrenses. From then on, Masskara Festival became one of the popular attractions in Negros, drawing thousands of people within and outside the country. During this festival every October, the city’s public plaza is brought alive into a huge beer garden. There is also Masskara Street-dancing contests highlighting the whole festival. Masskara Festival was intended as an encouragement to all to fight back and to keep smiling despite the sugar problems, and highlighted that hope still existed. Since then, the smiling masks have become the city's symbol, thus earning its tag as the "City of Smile." This annual festival, which has become one of Philippines best known tourist attraction, has been earning raves both from local and foreign tourists. Masskara Festival has also been judged the most beautiful and colorful festival among the various contingents from other countries.
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LANZONES FESTIVAL
Camiguin
Third week of October

Lanzones Festival in Mambadjao Camiguin is celebrated with a weekend street dancing competition and parties, cultural shows, parade and beauty pageant (coronation of Mutya sa Buahanan) and trade fair that features local handicraft and products. Houses, street poles and even people are ornamented with lanzones during the lanzones festival. Lanzones Festival is held every third week of October and it is a four day grand celebration of the lanzones fruit. The most important livelihood in Camiguin is lanzones. It is when a lot of tourists come to witness the joyous Lanzones festival. Lanzones is one of the major fruit producers in the Philippines. Lanzones is a tropical fruit that grows extravagantly on the north-central coast of Mindanao. Lanzones has a pale brown skin and sweet translucent flesh. It is said that the sweetest lanzones in the Philippines comes from Camiguin. The town of Mambajao in Camiguin celebrated its annual festival called Lanzones Festival together with its harvest in the month of October. Lanzones Festival in Mambadjao Camiguin is celebrated with a weekend street dancing competition and parties, cultural shows, parade and beauty pageant (coronation of Mutya sa Buahanan) and trade fair that features local handicraft and products. Houses, street poles and even people are ornamented with lanzones during the lanzones festival. According to the legend of an unknown beautiful maiden took the fruit’s past bitter flavor to replace it to delicious and sweet taste of the lanzones, thus townsfolk dance in the streets in order to honor and celebrate. It also celebrated by the people in Camiguin as a contribution in making Mindanao as a cultural tourism destination and give thanks for a bountiful harvest for all the agricultural products.
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SIARGAO SURFING CUP
1st week (movable)

A recently inaugurated event held at Cloud 9 Break near General Luna, which has placed the Philippines on the international surfing calendar. One of the best known surfing waves on Siargao and the Philippines, with a worldwide reputation for thick, hollow tubes is "Cloud 9". This right-breaking reef wave is the site of the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte. The wave was discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980s. It was named and made famous by American photographer John S. Callahan, who published the first major feature on Siargao Island in the United States- based Surfer magazine in March 1993, and hundreds of his photos in many other books and magazines since his first visit in 1992. Callahan has put the island on the international map and has drawn thousands of surfers and tourists to Siargao. Cloud 9 also has a reputation for being a relatively cheap destination for surfers with many cheap accommodations and restaurants and bars to choose from. There are several other quality waves on Siargao and nearby islands, but Cloud 9 has received more publicity than any other, indeed in the Philippines as a whole. It is the only wave easily accessible without a boat, leading to overcrowding and the nickname of "Crowd 9" among surfers. Eager foreign and locally owned accommodation and tourist facilities have profited from the magazine publicity and the influx of visitors drawn by the annual Siargao Cup competition in September. Siargao is well known as "The Surfing Capital of the Philippines" with a reputation among surfers within the Philippines and the International scene.
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IBALONG
Legazpi City, Bicol
October 6-12

The festival depicts Bicol's early history and is named after an early hero of the region.
Ibalong is a week-long festivity that is celebrated in Legazpi City. This is a celebration depicting Bicol's early beginnings as portrayed in the "Ibalong" epic that tells of super heroes Handiong, Batlog and Oryol, villains and wild animals that roamed in the ancient times. Revelers parade on the streets wearing masks of these heroes and villains. There are also other festival activities that include tours, trade fairs, exhibits and beauty pageants.
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CATANDUNGAN
Virac
October 22-24

The festival celebrates the founding of the province.

This is celebrated every October commemorating the foundation anniversary of Catanduanes as anindependent province from Albay. Among the featured special events are: surfing competition, pantomina street dance, beauty pageant, agricultural and trade fair, sportsfest, guided tours, and photo exhibits. The focal event of the provincial celebration centers on the international and national Governor’s Surfing Cup which continually attracts surfers around the globe to test their water skills in the powerful waves of Puraran, known in the surfing world as the “Majestics”. Adding color and pageantry to the festivities is the “PantominaCatanduanes” streetdance competition. Pantomina is a dance widely popular in every town of the island. The dance imitates the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen, to the music played for the dance or the song usually sang during the dance performance. Catanduanes version of pantomina shows the ardent pursuit by a lover of his beloved who demurely refuses at first but surrenders in the end.  Bringing the dance to the streets envisions to popularize the dance especially to the youth and insure its continuity as a cultural tradition and to develop a sense of identity and belonging among Catandunganons through dance forms.
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 FIESTANG KULIAT (Tigtigan, Terakan Keng Dalan)
Balibago,Angeles City, Pampanga.
last week of October

The Festival of Kuliat which takes place during October is one of Angels City’s more significant local fiestas and takes its name from the little village that grew to become Angeles City. When founded in 1796 the small collection of houses and farms was named Kuliatafter the vine that grows so prominently in the district. In 1829 Angeles was incorporated when the tiny barrio of Kuliat was designated a municipality and renamed El Pueblo de los Angeles (the town of Angels). This year’s Fiestang Kuliat has a host of activities: exhibits and parades, pageants and concerts. Fiestang Kuliat is a celebration of the resilience and resurgence of the city and its people following the twin disasters of 1991 - the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the subsequent devastation plus the abandonment of Clark Air Field shortly after by the U.S.A.F. The Fiestang Kuliat culminates on the night of 29–30 October with the TIGTIGAN TERAKAN KENG DALAN. This is the local version of a mardi gras with music, fashion shows, dancing, fun, frivolity and beer stalls captivating and entertaining residents and visitors from sunset to sunrise. MacArthur Highway and surrounding streets from after S.R. Lim Street (near PureGold) and Fields Avenue are closed to traffic, so for the sake of your sanity, leave the car at home.
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SAGINGAN
Tubod, Lanao del Node
October 16-19

Sagingan Festival is a feast in honor of San Isidro Labrador held 17th of October every year at Tubod, Lanao del Norte. This festival is a thanksgiving celebration for rich harvest of the banana fruit. Participants in this event wears costumes made of Banana. The Sagingan Festival served not only as a source of entertainment among people but also helped in the promotion of economic activity. Not only did the people enjoyed dancing on the street wearing colorful costumes decorated with banana leaves and banana fruits but their produce were sold to interested buyers as well. The festival features numerous activities included Banana Food Festival, Agro Trade Fair, Best Karomata (wagon) Contest, and the "Pinaka" Contest wherein the biggest among the different varieties of banana in the municipality was awarded. Search for the Mutya ng Sagingan, Street Dancing Competition, Folk Dance Competition, and Sports Competition were also held.
Street pageant, where the dancers wear costumes made from banana plants.
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LEYTE GULF LANDING
Palo, Leyte
October 20
Marks the anniversary of the Allied Forces landing on Red Beach and the famous return of General Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar from 23–26 October 1944, between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in South East Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but was repulsed by the U.S. Navy's 3rd and 7th Fleets. The IJN failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never afterwards sailed to battle in comparable force. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War. The Leyte Landing Memorial is a memorial to the landing of General Douglas MacArthur and his men at Red Beach. It is located in Candahug, a barangay of the municipality of Palo in the province of Leyte, part of the Visayas. Also known as the MacArthur Landing Memorial Park, the memorial consists of larger-than-life bronze statues of the general with other men, including then Philippine president Sergio Osmeña, Jr., standing in a manmade pool. The memorial was erected in tribute to MacArthur’s fulfillment of his promise to return to the Philippines after it was occupied by the Japanese during World War II in the Philippines. The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines ended soon after MacArthur landed at Red Beach on October 20, 1944 with 225,000 troops and 600 ships. The anniversary of this event is commemorated annually at the park with a reenactment of the famous landing, attended by local and foreign dignitaries.
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NOVEMBER
PINTA FLORES FESTIVAL
San Carlos City
3-5 November

This city in the sugar-producing island of Negros Occidental honors its patron saint, San Carlos Borromeo, with a pageant where participants with floral painted bodies dance in rhythmic beat as they wind through the major streets. The festival is inspired by the tattooed Negrenses of pre-colonial times.







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FEAST OF SAN CLEMENTE / HIGANTES
Angono, Rizal
23 November

A fiesta of "gigantic" proportions, this one is highlighted by a grand procession featuring the higantes, ten-feet papier-mâche puppets, surrounded by a crowd of drenched, water-fighting revelers. Better bring your squirt gun if you want to join the f`un. It is a water-logged event that is sure to leave you wet n' wild - and wanting for more. Adding color and gaiety to Angono town fiesta, celebrated early the 23rd of November, are the "Higantes", paper to mache to giants measuring four to five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height. Philippine Rizal Angono's joyous major festival in honor of San Clemente (patron saint of fishermen) whose image, glorious in papal vestment, is carried by male devotees during a procession accompanied by "pahadores” (devotees dressed in colorful local costumes or fishermen’s clothes, wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles, fish nets, traps, etc.) and “higantes" (giant paper mache images). The street event finishes in a fluvial procession in Laguna de Bay amidst revelry that continues until the image is brought back to its sanctuary. The “higante” tradition began last century, when Angono was a Spanish hacienda. The hacienda owners concerned about costs prohibited all celebrations except for one annual fiesta. The townspeople concerned about enjoyment decided to make the best of a bad situation. Using an art form brought from Mexico by Spanish priests, they created larger-than-life caricatures of their Spanish landlords. In typical Filipino fashion, the fiesta become in equal parts, a stunning spectacle and a tricky inside joke. There too was a story that a French man happened to pass by this coastal town of Laguna de Bay as he cruised from Manila Bay.
Captivated by the town being divided by a river, he predicted that someday giants would come out and become famous. True to his words, Angono can show off of two national artists - Carlos "Botong" Francisco in the field of visual arts and Professor Lucio D. San Pedro in the field of music. There are other Angono sons and daughters who are becoming big or giants on their chosen field of endeavor. Paper mache making is an art that is known back during the Spanish Era. The head of the giants is fashioned from a mold made of clay, which is dried under the heat of the sun. With the advent of modernization and technology clay is changed to plaster of Paris and resin. The mold is then pasted with lots of newspapers then split into the middle and sun-dried, after which it is then pasted with the brown paper (the slit being covered) then sun-dried again and painted. The body is made of bamboo, but other materials like yantok (rattan) and thin iron bars can also be used. Yards are yards of clothing materials and accessories complete the costume of the "Higantes". Before, Angono town fiesta features a "Mag-anak" (family) Higantes consists of three figures, the father, the mother and the son. In 1987, Mr. Perdigon Vocalan visualized the idea of having a Higante Festival wherein all the barangays in Angono(13 of them) are to be represented by two to four Higantes symbolizing the industry or the personality of the barangay. This idea materialized with the funding given by the Dept. of Tourism and Provincial Tourism Office thus in a year after a seminar and a workshop in Higante Making , the fiesta was flooded with thirty-nine different Higantes. In that year too, there was a contest among the Higantes, thus one can see them a Higante with a duck on its head and another one a basketful of duck eggs representing a barangay that known for its fried itik and balut-making.
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KANSILAY
Silay
November 5-13
Named after the tree with purple-pink flowers. The festival incorporates the celebration of Cinco de Noviembre, a bloodless revolution in Silay which overthrew the city guards. Kansilay is Silay City's festival about a folktale showing the bravery of beautiful Princess Kansilay who offered her life for justice and freedom. The dance-drama is the highlight of the week-long city fiesta that ends on November 13. The 9-day celebration starts with the celebration of "El Cinco de Noviembre", a one-day bloodless revolution in Silay which caused the surrender of the Spanish civil guards. Commemorative rites in remembrance of "El Cinco de Noviembre" open the 9-day festival. Special events include a food festival, quiz contest, Ilonggo poetry reading, agro-industrial trade fair, and a street dance-drama competition named after a forest tree with purplish pink flowers, the "Kansilay."
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HELUBONG
Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
2nd week

 Cultural presentations of the T'Boli and B'Laan ethnic minorities.
Lake Sebu in South Cotabato Province is regarded as a miraculous body of water by the highland tribe of T’boli.  Surrounded by verdant forests, it is also home to seven beautiful waterfalls. It is believed that Lake Sebu’s waters never run dry while continuously giving boats-full of harvest of Tilapia. Every November, the T’boli tribe showcases their arts, culture, sports and other tribal activities like the traditional horse fight through the Helubong Festival.  Helubong is a T’boli word meaning never-ending joy. Beadworks and baskets and other woven crafts made from the abaca handicraft known as T’nalak are displayed during the festival.  One can even see the T’nalak cloth being woven and worn by the T’boli men and women as they gather for the festival. Dancing to traditional music from the tribe’s musical instruments is a sight to behold and a delight to the ear. Witnessing the Helubong Festival is one way of touching ground with our diverse culture and having a clearer picture of one’s identity.
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SANDUGUAN
Calapan, Oriental, Mindoro
November 11-15
Re-enactment of the first contact between the natives of Mindoro and Chinese traders.
Sanduguan is a festival that reenacts the first barter trade between the Mangyan, the natives of Mindoro and traders from China. They celebrate the festival by dancing interpreting the trade with costumes made of anything that can be found in their hometown. Sandugo is the root word of sanduguan which means brotherhood or friend and the trades that happened long time ago was the earliest trade being recorded in the trade history of china which was in 900 AD.


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GUINAKIT OF MAGUINDANAO
Rio Grande de Mindanao
November 22
Decorated boats are tied together and parade along the river.
The Mindanao River, also known as the Rio Grande de Mindanao, is the largest river system in the country. on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Approximately 320 km (200 miles) long, the river drains the majority of the central region of the island, and is an important transportation artery. Its headwaters are in the mountains of northeastern Mindanao south of Butuan, where it is called the Pulangi river. Joining the Kabacan River, it becomes the Mindanao River. Flowing out of the mountains, it forms the center of a broad, fertile plain in the south-central portion of the island. Before its mouth in the Moro Gulf, it splits into two parallel sections, the Cotabato and Tamentaka, separated by a 180 m (600 foot) hill. Population centers along the river include Cotabato City, Datu Piang, and Midsayap.
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FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
November 29 to December 8
Highlighted by a fluvial parade and nightly cultural presentations.
A grand celebration in honor of the city's patroness, it is highlighted by a fluvial parade along Puerto Princesa Bay or Caracol, Tabuan and nightly cultural presentations by the different barangays of Puerto Princesa. Immaculate Conception Cathedral is just one of the tourist attractions in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It is located along Rizal Avenue in Barangay Liwanag (located across Plaza Cuartel). This cathedral is very historic. This used to be a small church during the Spanish occupation (circa 1872). In 1961, it was developed to become a cathedral. Although there were developments made, the church edifice was preserved. Its design, as you may have noticed, have angular structures. The arches inside and outside the church are pointed.

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DECEMBER

SHARIFF KABUNSUAN FESTIVAL
Cotabato City
15-19 December
Cotabato City's Moslem population celebrates the arrival of Islam to the region with a series of fun-filled activities. No need to go native to enjoy these - there's a fluvial parade, an outrigger boat race, as well as various musical and athletics events.
Shariff Kabunsuan Festival it is a colorful festival celebrating the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan via Rio Grande de Mindanao more than 500 years ago to introduce Islam to the natives. The festival, which will be held from Dec. 15 to 19, will feature SK trade fairs, battle of the bands, Mindanao business forums, cultural presentations, street dancing competitions, and Kanduli (thanksgiving banquent). A celebration of Islam, the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is a display of Muslim religion and culture. Cotabato City's Sharif Kabunsuan Festival is very popular among foreign and local tourists who visit their families and relatives during this holiday season. Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is a very significant event in Cotabato City and people look forward to various activities lined-up for the week long festivity. Events include cultural presentations, Alimango Festival, Culinary Arts Competition featuring Muslim delicacies, cultural musical showdown, Kulintang Ensemble Competition, Philippine Legend Acrobatic Show, Inaul Fashion Show, and Photo Exhibit Contest. Water sports, boat racing, ethnic sports competition, cultural dances, and a week-long trade fair, add color to the Kabunsuan Festival. Other highlights of the Kabunsuan Festival include fluvial parade along Rio Grande de Mindanao, the Kuyog Street Dancing Parade, the Guinakit and re-enactment of the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan, Banca Race, Kuyog Showdown and Pagana sa Maguindanao. The highlight is the "Guinakit" which is the colorful fluvial parade of colorful decorated bancas along the Rio Grande de Mindanao. Capping the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is the "Pagana Maguindanao,' a traditional way of dining among Maranaos and Maguindanaons in honor of special guests. This is a solemn gathering for the guest. The visitors are served with traditional Muslim cuisine like tinadtag, plil, putrid mandi, sininang baka among others followed by a cultural presentation. Traditionally the guests sit barefooted on the floor during dinner. The lavish meal begins with a thanksgiving prayer. At the end of the meal, the host will give a token to the honored guests. Cotabato City had witnessed more history than any other place in Mindanao. Its history dates back to the 16th century when Shariff Kabunsuan, an Arab missionary from Johore, landed along the banks of the Masla Pulangi now known as Rio Grande de Mindanao. Shariff Kabunsuan introduced Islam to the natives which lead to the establishment of the Sultanates of Maguindanao, Rajah Buayan and Kabuntalan. During the golden age ushered in by Sultan Dipatuan Qudarat in the 17th century Cotabato became the first capital of Mindanao. The introduction of the Christian faith in 1870 by the Jesuits and the ruling of Sultan Makakua gave rise to the birth of the modern-day Cotabato with the construction of roads and bridges and wharves. Today, Cotabato City is the only Tagalog speaking city in Mindanao, the only place where both seeds of Islam and Christianity grew and flourished. Some the city's historical sites are the Takumi Butai Shrine, Kutwato Cave, Shariff Kabunsuan marker, Old Capitol Building at PC Hill, City Hall, and Immaculate Conception Church at Tamontaka, Rio Grande de Mindanao, Maguindanao Motif, PC Hill and Timako Hill. The Kutawato Caves is a network of caves and tunnels found at the foot of Tantawan. These caves are located right in the heart of the city with four major entrances offering various natural attractions like rock formations, salt water ponds, and underground river.

The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto Tamantoka is historically linked to the Jesuits in 1871 during the conversion days. The Church is a living witness to the harmony that exists among Muslims and Christians. The statue of the Lady of Lourdes Grotto is a replica of the original in France. Incidentally, Cotabato has the longest river which is estimated to be 182 kilometers long and 96 meters wide. The river is used for the fluvial processions of the Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia, the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival and the annual Guinakit or river festival.
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GIANT LANTERN FESTIVAL
San Fernando, Pampanga
3 December

San Fernando makes the biggest, most spectacular lanterns, at around 40 feet in diameter and bearing thousands of light bulbs a piece. Watch them all in their twinkling, blinking, flashing glory in this grand Christmas exhibit. The Giant Lantern Festival is an annual festival held in December (Saturday before Christmas Eve) in the City of San Fernando in the Philippines. The festival features a competition of giant lanterns. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been nicknamed the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines". The first lantern festival was held to honor President Manuel L. Quezon. At that time, Quezon made Arayat his rest area and converted Mount Arayat into a tourist resort. As a show of gratitude to Quezon, the people of San Fernando held a Christmas lantern contest to honor the first family. Quezon himself donated the prize for his lantern contest, which was personally awarded to the winner by First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon. The San Fernando lantern industry evolved from the Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando. The festival, which is held every December, finds its roots in Bacolor where a much simpler activity was held. Following the transfer of the provincial capital from Bacolor to San Fernando in August 1904, this lantern event followed as well. "Ligligan Parol" was said to have started in San Fernando in the year 1904. But some say that the "Ligligan Parol" did not happen immediately after the transfer and in fact began in 1908. This predecessor of the modern day Giant Lantern Festival was actually a religious activity which we know today as “lubenas.” The lanterns measured just two feet in diameter, a far cry from the fifteen feet that we see today. These were created in each barrio from bamboo and other locally available materials. During the nine-day novena before Christmas, which coincided with the simbang gabi from December 16 to 24, these paruls were brought around each barrio in procession to their visita. Before the midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the lanterns were brought to the town church together with the barrio patrons. This tradition gradually evolved as the lanterns became bigger and the designs more intricate. Later, one big lantern was made for each barrio, which was created through a cooperative effort. Each resident contributed to its construction, from the concept and design, to the materials and labor. In the end, these lanterns became a symbol of unity for the barrios. It was in the year 1931 that electricity was introduced to the San Fernando lantern, thus sparking the birth of the first Giant Lantern Festival. The added illusion of dancing lights highlighted the bright colors and intricate designs of these Giant Lanterns. At this time, the lights were controlled by individual switches that were turned on and off following the beat of the music. The barangays of Del Pilar, Sta. Lucia and San Jose were among the first barangays to participate in the festival


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GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
lntramuros, Manila
December 2
Sixty images of the Virgin Mary are paraded on lavishly decorated carriages (carrozas).
The annual procession of images of The Virgin Mary is held every 1st Sunday of December in Intramuros. In honor of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mother, thousands of devout Catholics join a grand procession in which more than 100 images and statues of the Blessed Virgin are paraded through the streets of Old Manila. This feast is organized by the Cofradia de la Immaculada Concepcion. The statues and images of the Virgin Mary are from all over the country and thousands of devotees join de parade. It is a unique occasion to get a glimpse of the many gorgeous statues of the Virgin Mary that are normally scattered all over the country. As usual during those religious festivals you need to be prepared to face big crowds of devotees.
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CHRISTMAS SYMBOLS
Tangub, Misamis Occidental
Month long of December
Tangub City's landscape is again spruced up for the Christmas season. Newly installed posts on the main street leading to the city hall and around the children's park bear lanterns which are no longer made of indigenous materials. A row of arches with Christmas inspired filigree now stand at the city plaza giving one the feeling that he walks under an ornate passageway. The month-long Christmas symbols festival started out of a person's desire to comfort a homesick beloved. He put up a lighted Christmas tree at the city plaza which light also drew scores of Tangubanons to the area just to pass the time away. In no time, parents came with babes in their arms or going after toddlers, or grandpas and grandmas bringing picnic baskets. It was a grand time for the whole family.
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TULTUGAN
Maasin, Iloilo
Highlights the town's bamboo industry and the versatility of bamboo.
The fiesta traces the Maasianon cultural heritage and pays tribute to the bamboo as a musical instrument. The main attractions are tribal competition, and street performers wearing native costumes made predominantly of bamboo and dancing to the beat of bamboo instruments. The seven tribes will clash talents in the area of music, dance choreography, costume design, performance and discipline. The judges will come from the National Council for Culture and the Arts in Manila. Tultugan Festival is celebrated to project the Maasinanons’ culture and promote the municipality’s bamboo industry. Maasin is recognized as the “Bamboo Capital of the Philippines



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