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Festivals and Fiestas in the Philippines 1. Ati-Atihan Festival (3rd Sunday of January) * The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast held in honor of the Santo Nino held annually in January concluding on third Sunday, in the town of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines * Celebrants paint their faces with black soot and wear bright, outlandish costumes as they dance in revelry during the last three days of this two week-long festival. 2. Sinulog (3rd Sunday of January) * The festival honors the child Jesus, known as the Santo Nino (Holy Child), patron of the city of Cebu. It is a dance ritual that commemorates the Cebuano people’s pagan origin, and their acceptance of Christianity. * The festival features a street parade with participants in bright-colored costume dancing to the rhythym of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. 3. Dinagyang (4th Sunday of January) * The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January. * Dinagyang was voted as the best Tourism Event for 2006, 2007 and 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines. 4. Panagbenga Festival (Whole Month of February) * The festival in Baguio was created as a tribute to the city’s flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake. * The festival includes floats that are decorated with flowers unlike those used in Pasadena’s Rose Parade. The festival also includes street dancing, presented by dancers clad in flower inspired costumes, that is inspired by the Bendian, an Ibaloi dance of celebration that came from the Cordillera region. 5. Kaamulan (Second half of February to March 10) * The Kaamulan Festival is a Bukidnon ethnic-cultural festival, from the Binukid word amul, “to gather”, is an indigenous Bukidnon term for a gathering for any purpose. * The Festival is held in Malaybalay City from the second half of February to March 10, the anniversary date of the foundation of Bukidnon as a province in 1917, to celebrate the culture and tradition of the seven ethnic tribal groups-Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon- that originally inhabited the province.

6. Mriones (Holy Week) * The Moriones is an annual festival held on Holy Week on the island of Marinduque. * The “Moriones” are men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpreted by local folks- Morion means “mask” or “ visor,” a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. 7. Maleldo/Cutud Lenten Rites (Good Friday) * Every year 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 (2miles) from the proper of City of San Fernando, Pampanga and nailed to a cross using two-inch (5cm) stainless steel nails that have been soaked in alcohol to disinfect them. 8. Turumba (Between April and May) * Every year during the months of April and May, the people of Palik, in the province of Laguna celebrates the Turumba Festival. * It commemorates the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is held 7 times each year between the months of April and May. * The first is held on the Friday before Palm Sunday and the last falls on Pentecost Sunday. 9. Flores de Mayo & Santacruzan (1st May-31st May) * Flores de Mayo is a Catholic festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. * Santacruzan is the queen of Maytime festivals. It is a novena procession, in commemoration of Saint Helena’s finding of the cross. Saint Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great. 10. Carabao Festival (14th May-15th May) * Beginning May 14th, the people of Pulilan in Bulacan Province, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province, and Angono in Rizal Province celebrate for two days. * On the first day, farmers pay homage to the beast of burden which is the farmer’s best friend- the lowly carabao. * In the afternoon, farmer lead their carabaos to the church square to be part of the procession. At the church, the carabaos kneel for their blessings. * On the second day, the carabaos compete in aa friendly race.

11. Pahiyas Festival (15th May) * Lucban celebrates the Pahiyas Festival in honor of the patron saint of farmers, St. Isidore. * This festival showcases a street of houses which are adorned with fruits, vegetables, agricultural products, handicrafts and kiping, a rice-made decoration, which afterwards can be eaten grilled or fried. The houses are judged and the best one is proclaimed the winner. 12. Obando Fertility Rites (17th May-19th May) * “Santa Clarang pinong-pino, Ang pangako ko ay ganito, Pagdating ko sa Obando, Sasayaw ako ng pandanggo.” The Obando Fertility Rites are a Filipino dance ritual. Every year during the month of May, to the of musical instruments made out of bamboo materials, the men, women and children of Obando, Bulacan, Philippines wear traditional dance costumes to dance on the streets followed by the images of their patron saints San Pascual Baylon (St.Paschal), Santa Clara (St.Clare) and Nuestra Senora de Salambao (Our Lady of Salambao), while singing the song Santa Clara Pinung-Pino. * The feast days or dance festivals are held for three consecutive days: May 1 for St. Paschal, May18 for St. Claire and May19 for the Our Lady of Salambaw. * What makes the Obando fiesta unique among Philippine festivals is the dance performed in the streets by the childless women. 13. Pintados Festival (29th June) * The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making even lasting a whole month, highlights of which include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the Pagrayhak Grand Parade. * 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. 14. Sandugo Festival (July 1-2) * The Spanish colonization of the Philippines began with a blood-sealed peace treaty on the shore of Bohol. This historic event is remembered today with an all-out fiesta at the island’s capital city. * Checkout 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.

15. Kadayawan Festival (Third week of August) * The Kadayawan Festival is an annual festival in the city of Davao in the Philippines. * Its name derives from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, from the Dabawenyo word “dayaw”, meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful. * The festival is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. 16. Peñafrancia Fluvial (Third Saturday and Sunday of September) * The Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol Region. During the festivities, people attend church services, followed by parades on the streets, fireworks, and feasting. * The ninth day, usually falling on the third Saturday of September, is marked by a fluvial procession. * The image of the Virgin Mary is carried on a barge which is trailed by thousands of devotee in boats gliding alongside. People who line the river banks shout “Viva la Virgen!” as the Virgin passes by. 17. Zamboanga Hermosa Festival (Date: October 10-12) * 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! 18. MassKara Festival (3rd weekend nearest to 19th October) * The MassKara Festival is a week-long festival held each year in Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental province. * The festival features a street dance competition where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully-masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina. * The word MassKara has a double meaning. First, it is a fusion of the English word “mass” or many and “kara”, the Spanish word for “face”. Masskara then becomes a “mass of faces”, and these faces have to be smiling to project Bacolod already known in the late 70’s as the City of Smiles. 19. Lanzones Festival (25th October) * Each year there is a Lanzones Festival held in October. The week-long festival is one of the more colorful events in the Philippines. * The Lanzones festival celebrated its 30th Anniversary last October 2009.

20. Higantes (23rd November) * Angono celebrates the “Higantes Festival” which coincides with the Feast of Saint Clement, the Patron Saint of Angono. * Higantes Festival is now promoted as tourism-generating event in the country. This attracts numerous tourist from all over the world. * The higantes are made of paper-mache. Higantes measures four to five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height. * Traditionally, it began in the last century when Angono was a Spanish hacienda. This higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper-mache brought by the Spanish priests to the Philippines. 21. Giant Lanterns Festival (December-Saturday before Christmas Eve) * The Giant Lanterns 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”.

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