Almost every town in the Philippine archipelago has its own festival. Some of these festivals are famous worldwide. From the month of January to December, various festivals are celebrated anywhere else in the country.
1.) Buyogan Festival
One of the best festivals in the Philippines is the Buyogan Festival. This festival originated in Abuyog, Leyte and focuses on the “bee” locally known as “buyog”. The festival is highlighted by Buyogan parade and dance festival. Participants wear colorful costumes patterned from the various colors and shapes of bee. Watch the video and be the judge why it is considered one of the best festivals in the country.
2.) Lami-Lamihan Festival: Basilan
Basilan is one of the southernmost provinces of the Philippines. The province’s most popular attraction and festival is Lami-Lamihan Festival which is celebrated during the Feast of Saint Peter or Fiesta San Pedro – the island’s premier festival, is celebrated during the Feast of St. Peter or Fiesta San Pedro every June 29 in Lamitan City. This colorful event is highlighted by the participation of the Yakans – the last tribe of Mindanao. They attend the festivities in full regalia, selling wares and produce brought in from their farms in the interior.
3.) Tinalak Festival: South Cotabato
The best known festival of South Cotabato is the colorful T’nalak Festival. It is celebrated every July 18 – the founding anniversary of the province. The festival features the traditional weaved cloth of the T’boli’s and Blaans – the original inhabitants of the province.
4.) Bonok-bonok Festival: Surigao
Bonok-bonok Festival is a beautiful festival celebrated in the province of Surigao. The province is home to the oldest and most colorful tribes in the Philippines – the Mamanwa. This festival is held every September 9 and its complete name is Bonok Bonok Maradjao Karadjao Festival. The celebration falls on the Feast of San Nicolas de Tolentino, Surigao City’s patron saint. “Bonok-bonok” is an ancient ritual for thanksgiving and expressed by chanting, dancing and singing.
5.) Binuhat Festival: Davao
Binuhat Festival is an awesomely peculiar festival that originated in Tagum City, the capital of Davao. This festival is unique because it is exclusively participated and designed for gays. The term “Binuhat” means “Creation”. The festival is an opportunity to all the gays to express and show their talent, skill and creativity. It is open to all the gays of Mindanao.
6.) Kaamulan Festival: Bukidnon
Bukidnon’s premier festival is Kaamulan Festival, an ethnic cultural festival conducted every year in the City of Malaybalay. It is held annually from mid-February to March 10, the anniversary date of the Bukidnon’s foundation as a province in 1917. The festival is conducted to showcase the rich culture and tradition of the 7 ethnic tribal groups—Bukidnon, Higaonon, Manobo, Talaandig, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon – the original inhabitants of the place.
Kaamulan Festival is regarded as the only ethnic festival in the Philippines. The term “Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather”. Kaamulan is a gathering for various reasons such as datuship ritual, wedding ceremony, thanksgiving and many others.
This festival is originally celebrated during the month of September but was transferred to March in lieu to the founding month of the province. Due to the popularity of the Kaamulan Festival, it was declared Region X or Northern Mindanao’s “regional festival”.
7.) Sandugo Festival: Bohol
Chocolate Hills, Luboc River and White Sand beaches are amongst the most popular attractions of Bohol. In addition, the Sandugo Festival, an annual historical celebration in the province is another wonderful attraction of Bohol. This event takes place annually in the City of Tagbilaran. This historic festival is meant to commemorate the “Treaty of Friendship” between the chieftain of Bohol – Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conqueror – Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This event that occurred in March 1565 was highlighted by a blood compact or locally known “sandugo”.
Although the original “sandugo” took place in March, the Sandugo Festival is held every July during the city’s “Charter Day”. This month-long festival packed with numerous festivities and celebrations is highlighted by Street Dancing Festival and the reenactment of the original Sanduguan or Blood Compact.
8.) Sangyaw Festival: Leyte
Sangyaw Festival is a festival in Tacloban, Leyte. It started in the 1970s but was cancelled in 1987. It was revived in 2008. This festival is participated by different festivals from all over the country. The photo above shows the Tribu Kabatok of Tacloban Leyte. Different festival-participants from different parts of the country participate in this tribal procession. The festival is celebrated a day before the city fiesta.
9.) Sapatos Festival: Marikina City
The Sapatos Festival or Shoe Festival is a festival from Marikina City the so-called – “Shoe Capital of the Philippines”. This festival is celebrated in recognition of the Filipino ingenuity in manufacturing world-class quality shoes.
10.) Caracol Festival: Makati City
Not known to many, Makati City, the business center of the Philippines, has its own festival also – the Caracol Festival. The word Caracol is Spanish for “snail”. The snail is depicted in the festival as symbol of protection from the harshness of life not for its slowness. This very young festival that only began in 1991 is held every 3rd Sunday of January. It is celebrated as a tribal competition among hundreds of students from participating Makati public schools and is highlighted by street dancing contest and best in costume competition.