Viva La Fiesta: Philippines

Philippines

Every country has its own way of celebrating, and we’re all for expressing happiness. Take a look at the little pearl of the orient, the Philippines. The country is known to celebrate almost anything in the biggest way they can. Just give them even the slightest reason, and the Filipino people will be ready with a dance, colorful outfits, and great food. From a city of smiles to droves of men comically dressed as Roman soldiers, discover how festivals are more fun in the Philippines.

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Updated 12 days ago

San Fernando

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Bulaon, Philippines • Recommendation • 

As one of the only Christian nations in Asia, the Philippines loves Christmas. Every weekend before Christmas Eve, San Fernando City—known as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines—is lit up in holiday cheer thanks to the Giant Lantern Festival. An anticipated event area, the parade showcases the most intricately designed lanterns known locally as “parol.”

  • San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines

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Bacolod City

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Bacolod City, Philippines • Wishlist • 

Bacolod City, or its well-deserved nickname the “City of Smiles,” celebrates the MassKara Festival (a pun on the word “mass” and the Spanish/Filipino word for masks “maskara”) every fourth Sunday of October. During the weekend-long celebration, a sea of jubilant locals party on the streets dressed in happy masks and traditional outfits.

  • Negros Occidental, Philippines

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Lucban

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Santa Cruz, Philippines • Recommendation • 

Every year in the month of May, Lucban residents decorate their homes with every single fruit and vegetable you can grow in the Philippines. The salad spectacle is all to vie for the best display in the Pahiyas Festival. After a winning house is chosen, anyone can come along and pick their weekly groceries free of charge.

  • Lucban, Quezon, Philippines

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Marinduque

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Lucena, Philippines • Recommendation • 

The citizens of the Marinduque Province get to play a week-long game of hide and seek during the Moriones Festival. Participants dress up as Roman centurions and hunt down St. Longinus as they search for Jesus. The soldiers get into some hijinks and generally play the villains of this Lenten celebration.

  • Marinduque, Philippines

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Aklan

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Roxas City, Philippines • Recommendation • 

If we’re talking festivals, we have to pay our respects to the original festival of the Philippines: the Ati-Atihan Festival. Indigenous tribes from all over the country dance and parade down the streets of Aklan for a week. When you hear the drums pounding, you know it’s time to get marching.

  • Aklan, Philippines

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Baguio City

11 saves

Baguio, Philippines • Recommendation • 

In 1990, the city of Baguio was hit by a massive earthquake, but they were able to overcome the disaster and trudged on. Now, every February, Baguio celebrates the Panagbenga or the “Season of Blooming” where huge flower floats parade through the streets of the city. These flowers represent Baguio’s resilience to still bloom even when the earth literally shatters.

  • Baguio City Hall, City Hall Dr, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

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General Santos City

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General Santos, Philippines • Recommendation • 

If you love seafood, you’re going to love the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, General Santos City. Tuna, and fishing in general, plays such a huge role in their economy that they hold a Tuna Festival in September where hordes of locals dressed in traditional garments come out and serve every tuna dish you can think of.

  • General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines

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Dagupan

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Urdaneta, Philippines • Recommendation • 

One of the most loved fish eaten in the Philippines is the milkfish, locally known as “bangus.” So much so that the city of Dagupan holds a festival dedicated to the country’s national fish every April. The participants, dressed as the fatty fish, grill up thousands of bangus to serve over 40,000 guests year after year.

  • Dagupan, Pangasinan, Philippines

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Clark Freeport

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Santol, Philippines • Recommendation • 

Every year, all sorts of colors and designs fill the skies at the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.The 2- year-old three-day Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta quickly became a staple tradition for all Filipino aviation enthusiasts with hot air balloons, jet shows, and all sorts of aircraft parading above your head.

  • Clark Freeport, Pampanga, Philippines

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Cultural Center of the Philippines

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Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 

The Aliwan Fiesta that takes place in Pasay City each April is a manifestation of all the different cultures in the Philippines. In this festival of joy, contestants show off the very best of the Filipino people through song, dance, costumes, and more. It’s a great time for everyone involved, and it doesn’t hurt that the winners take home about USD20,000.

  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Building, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

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About Philippines

The 7,107 islands of the Pearl of the Orient Seas boast of cultures, language, sounds, and sights that are as lively as its people

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