This is Why You Need to Experience PH’s Local Festivals
Because the music festivals of now were probably inspired by these exciting cultural celebrations
When: January 9 to 15, 2017
Where: Kalibo, Aklan
Why you need to go: Ati-atihan, which is among the country’s biggest festivals, is religious in nature and honors the Sto. Niño. What makes it quite a visual spectacle are the participants who paint their bodies black and their colorful costumes. That and their body-shimmying tribal dance to the beat of Hala bira! After days of partying, take a trip to the white sand beach of Boracay and just chill. After all, it’s just a few hours away.
When: January 15, 2017, Grand Parade
Why you need to go: Sinulog is another major festival in the Philippines that celebrates the feast of the Sto. Niño. Expect a vibrant procession and fluvial parade, and a lot of street dancing. This time though, revelers chant and dance to Pit Senor! Indulge in the Queen City of the South’s lechon cebu, sinugba or some refreshing tubo or sugarcane juice while you’re at it.
When: January 20 to 22, 2017
Why you need to go: Everything about Dinagyang is hypnotic, from the thousands of festivalgoers in unique costumes to the spellbinding drumbeat and all the frenetic dancing you’ll soon be doing if you decide to take part in the festival, which also honors the Sto. Niño. This is the place to, as many of the locals would say, “drink and be merry!”
When: February 25 to March 5, 2017
Why you need to go: It’s flower season in the PH, specifically in the City of Pines, where locals wear bright and striking costumes that mimic various flowers found in the highland region or sometimes, any of its 11 tribes. The Panabenga parade floats are noteworthy, too, as they are quite a sight to behold, not to mention, Instagramworthy.
When: Holy Week
Where: Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog, Marinduque
Why you need to go: Dubbed among the country’s biggest festivals, Moriones features its colorfully masked locals dressed as biblical Roman soldiers and centurions. During the celebration, participants reenact the life of Longinus until the time of his beheading, with the towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog as the virtual stage. We recommend a visit to the nearby pristine beaches (or hot spring!) thereafter for some serious down time.
When: October 2017
Where: Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Why you need to go: A huge local festival held in Bacolod, Masskara celebrates the City of Smile’s love for fun and merrymaking. It features exciting sports competitions and beauty contests as well as cultural programs, carnivals and the locals in Mardi Gras fashion. Go for the street dancing, the excellent food selection and make friends with the city’s jubilant crowd.