Along with its beautiful scenery, abundant natural resources, and welcoming people, Philippines also boasts of a diversity of cultures and traditions among its numerous communities that inhabit various parts of the archipelago. The country is an ideal destination for tourists to explore not just the captivating coastlines but also its creative native crafts, as well as diverse, unique gastronomic experiences.
One of the best ways to discover the local culture and diversity is to participate in the numerous festivals that take place in the Philippines and are an integral aspect of the local culture, known for their grand, vibrant celebrations. There are plenty of festivals which are celebrated in the country and some of the biggest ones include the Ati-atihan, Dinagyang and Sinulog festivals in Akian, Iloilo and Cebu respectively. They are mainly a day or two long events primarily for the domestic market, yet have an international appeal.
Here’s a list of festivals to keep a lookout for while planning a trip to the Philippines.
Buyog (bees) dancers depict the origin of the town’s name in a well-choreographed dance festival. It has environmental preservation dimension importance of bees in nature preservation and human health.
Dinagyang Festival is one of the biggest and world-class festivals in the Philippines. It traces the history of devotion to the Holy Child Jesus popularly known to Filipino devotees as Sr Sto Nino. The festival also commemorates the arrival of the Malay settlers and the legendary barter of Panay Island from the natives called called Ati.
Karatong is the Waray, a native of and language in Leyte, word for bamboo. During the olden times, way before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the people in Dulag used bamboos to warn the town if there were enemies, such as pirates and tribes, who wanted to invade their lands. They would make loud noises to warn the townsmen of the arrival of the intruders, and would use it also as their weapon in the form of spears to fight against the enemies. With the story they have, they will make it into a series of routines, amazing music and dance moves.
Giant Lantern Festival
Measuring 6-m diameter and fitted with close to 7,000 bulbs that blink on and off through a number of rotors in sync with a medley of Filipino Christmas songs, these giant lanterns let out not less than 10 designs that feature geometric shapes, flowers, fans, cones and hearts glowing in all colours of the rainbow. The exhibition is usually capped by the opening of the innermost circle in half to reveal in full bloom what the lantern makers designed to be the showcase of their presentation like the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the grand applause from a crowd estimated at 20,000 each year. The festival is participated in by some 8-10 villages of the City San Fernando in Pampanga with each one creating its own design, colour combination and interplay of lights and sound. The city is known as the lantern capital of the Philippines. These are just a few of the festivals that one could include in the visit to the Philippines.