Fiestas are eagerly awaited events in the Philippines. The festivals celebrate the happy nature of the Filipinos. Whether it be for honoring the patron saint, or a harvest rite or commemorating a historical event, Filipinos celebrate every event.
Some of these Philippine Festivals even attract local and foreign tourist. Street dances, fluvial processions, floral parades, reenactments are some of the attractions of Fiestas. Below are some of the Festivals that are celebrated in the Philippines.
Feast of the Black Nazarene
Every Ninth of January, Filipinos from all walks of life congregate in Manila’s Quiapo Church to honor and give thanks to the Black Nazarene. Many Filipinos claim that the church’s Black Nazarene statue is miraculous. Devotees claim that the Black Nazarene has answered their prayers.
The religious devotion of the Filipinos is showcased in this day. The statue of the Black Nazarene is place on a carriage and pulled by thousands of male devotees along the streets near Quiapo Church.
The Ati-Atihan Festival is celebrated every third week of January in Kalibo, Aklan. This Philippine Festival is a combination of historical commemoration and religious homage. It commemorates how Bornean chieftains and the local Ati King Marikudo reached a deal to settle the land during the thirteenth century. Locals also give thanks to its patron saint Sto. Niño during this celebration. The main feature of this Philippine Festival is the street dance where soot-blacked people dressed in Ati-Atihan costume dance in the street along the accompaniment of drums.
Every last week of February, residents of Baguio take to the streets and celebrate Panagbenga. A parade of floats decorated with locally grown flowers is the highlight of this Philippine festival. Another attraction of this festival, is the street dance. Local schools compete in a street dance competition. Students of each school are dressed as Baguio flowers and perform in a choreographed dance. Thousands residents and tourist line up the sidewalks to watch the schoolchildren dance in the streets.
In Lucban, Laguna, residents give thanks to its patron saint San Isidro every 15th of May. Houses are colorfully decorated with fruits, vegetables and kiping (leaves colored with dyed ground rice) as materials.
Parada Ng Lechon(Parade of Roasted Pigs)
Lechon or Roasted Pigs has made Balayan, Batangas famous. This locally delicacy is in demand around the Philippines. To showcase this famed Balayan product, residents dress-up their roasted pigs as politicians, celebrities, even saints. These dressed-up lechons are paraded around town. On-lookers can partake of the lechon as they are paraded around town.
Celebrated every September 16 in Naga City in the Bicol Region. This Fiesta honors its Patron the Virgin Mother Mary. The highlight of this event is the fluvial parade.
Feast of San Clemente/Higantes
Very last week of November, residents of Angono, Rizal honor their patron saint San Clemente by paraded giant paper mache puppets. Another feature of this festival is that residents are dowsed with water as the procession marches on.
Giant Lantern Festival
San Fernando, Pampanga is famous for its beautifully made Christmas lanterns. To showchase this artistry, the Giant Lantern Festival is held every December. Enormous Christmas lanterns with intricate designs and elaborate twinkling light bulbs compete with each other for the festival’s top prize.