The Philippines events and festivals are too numerous to count, and while there are several big ones that deserve special mention, most every town and village offers an annual celebration of its own. Some visitors plan trips around specific annual events in the Philippines, while others simply attend those that they happen to stumble upon. Either way, a special festival or event in this dynamic island nation is likely to prove unforgettable, and it can only add depth to the overall picture.
One of the most famous Philippines festivals is the Ati-Atihan Festival. This week-long, Mardis Gras-style celebration peaks on the third Sunday of July. The town of Kalibo, which can be found on the island of Panay, is the place to go for this king of the Philippines events, which has its roots in tribal traditions. The influence of the Spanish on Philippines history is evidenced by the festival's overriding Christian elements. For those who can't make it to Kalibo for this renowned festival, some of the other towns and cities in the area hold their own similar celebrations around the last weekend of July. They include Iloilo City, which can be found on the southern end of Panay, and Cadiz on the island of Negros.
Many of the Philippines events and festivals are rooted in religion, and they also include the Black Nazarene Procession, which takes place in the Manila district of Quiapo. The Black Nazarene Procession in Quiapo Manila is a bi-annual festival that is held on January 9 and during Holy Week (the period from Palm Sunday to Easter). This festival, as the name would imply, revolves around a main procession. During this procession, the miraculous Black Nazarene statue is paraded through the streets. Not all of the annual events in the Philippines revolve around religion, however, and visitors will find that every month offers up its own collection of fun festivals to enjoy. Every year on June 24, for example, the town of Balayan hosts the Parada NG Lechon, which showcases one of the country's most popular foods. Lechon is roast suckling pig, and it is nothing if it isn't delicious.
Since there are so many fun festivals and exciting events in the Philippines throughout the year, visitors will want to consult the events calendar when planning when to go. The Pahiyas Festival is just one of the country's festivals that is worth planning a trip around. The local harvest is celebrated during this festival, and the Catholic patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, is honored with a large feast. The Pahiyas Festival takes place on May 15, and it is held in the town of Lucban in the Quezon Province.
Travelers should have no trouble finding Philippines festivals that pique their interest. For some, the Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio City might prove to be the most interesting, while others might prefer the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City. The former sees the city of Baguio awash in flowers around the last weekend in February, and song and dance fills the streets. As for the Masskara Festival, it is a week-long affair that takes place in October.
One of the more renowned annual Philippines festivals, Masskara has its roots in tragedy. After a specific period of crises, various groups in Bacolod City decided to start a festival that would liven up spirits. Also known as the Festival of Smiles, Masskara encourages locals and visitors alike to don masks and dance in the streets. All of the masks display smiling faces, and coincidentally, they figure among the more interesting things that can be purchased when shopping for interesting keepsakes in the Philippines.