Famous Secular Festivals In The Philippines

Famous Secular Festivals In The Philippines

When it comes to the Philippines, there’s more to it than just beautiful beaches and stunning islands. The country is also home to a variety of festivals that showcase its rich culture and history. From grand parades to colorful street performances, every celebration is a testament to the Filipinos’ joyous spirit and deep-rooted traditions. In this article, we’ll explore some of the country’s most famous secular festivals that you shouldn’t miss.

The Sinulog Festival 🎉

The Sinulog Festival is a religious and cultural event celebrated every third Sunday of January in Cebu City. It honors the Sto. Niño or the Holy Child Jesus, and it’s one of the grandest festivals in the country. The festival’s highlight is the street dance competition where participants wear colorful costumes and dance to the beat of drums and native instruments.

The History of Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog Festival originated from the pre-colonial era when the natives of Cebu worshiped their idols and spirits. When the Spaniards came, they introduced Christianity to the island, and the natives embraced it. The festival evolved into a mixture of pagan and Christian practices, and it became a way of expressing their devotion and gratitude to Sto. Niño.

What to Expect During Sinulog Festival?

During the Sinulog Festival, the streets of Cebu City are filled with locals and tourists who come to witness the colorful and vibrant performances. Aside from the street dance competition, there are also grand processions and religious activities that showcase the deep faith of the Cebuanos. If you’re planning to attend the Sinulog Festival, make sure to book your accommodations and transportation early as the city gets crowded during this time.

TRENDING:  Famous Religious Festivals In The Philippines

The Ati-Atihan Festival 🎭

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a celebration of the Santo Niño in the town of Kalibo, Aklan. The festival’s name comes from the Aklanons’ imitation of the Ati or Negrito tribe’s way of dancing and singing. It’s a week-long festivity that culminates on the third Sunday of January.

The History of Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival traces its roots to the 13th century when ten Bornean datus led by Datu Puti arrived in the island of Panay. They made friends with the local Ati tribe and celebrated with a feast and dance. The celebration became an annual tradition that evolved into a religious and cultural festivity after the Spanish colonization.

What to Expect During Ati-Atihan Festival?

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a lively and colorful event that showcases the Aklanon’s creativity and hospitality. The streets are filled with people wearing indigenous costumes and painted in black soot to resemble the Ati tribe. There are also street dances, parades, and religious processions that highlight the Santo Niño’s importance in the Aklanon’s lives. Make sure to try the famous Ati-Atihan dish, the chicken inasal, and join the locals in their merrymaking.

The Kadayawan Festival 🍃

The Kadayawan Festival is a thanksgiving celebration in Davao City that features the bountiful harvest and diverse cultures of Mindanao. It’s held every third week of August and showcases the city’s lush vegetation, colorful floral floats, and tribal dances.

The History of Kadayawan Festival

The Kadayawan Festival’s roots can be traced back to the indigenous peoples’ rituals and customs in Davao. It was initially a solemn and spiritual event that gave thanks to the gods and spirits for the bountiful harvest. When the Christian settlers arrived, they introduced the tradition of offering flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which later evolved into the current festival.

TRENDING:  Top 10 Religious Festivals In The Philippines

What to Expect During Kadayawan Festival?

The Kadayawan Festival is a celebration of the Davaoenos’ unity and cultural diversity. It features various events such as street dances, tribal performances, and competitions that showcase the region’s flora and fauna. The festival’s highlight is the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, a street dance competition where participants wear elaborate costumes adorned with flowers and other natural materials. Don’t forget to try the durian, Davao’s famous fruit, and other local delicacies during the festival.

The Pahiyas Festival 🌽

The Pahiyas Festival is a harvest festival celebrated in Lucban, Quezon, every 15th of May. It’s a colorful and vibrant event that showcases the town’s agricultural heritage and creativity through the decoration of houses with colorful kiping and other produce.

The History of Pahiyas Festival

The Pahiyas Festival originated from the town’s tradition of offering their harvest to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. The houses were decorated with the colorful kiping, or rice wafers, and other farm produce to attract the saint’s blessings. The festival became popular, and it evolved into a grandiose celebration that showcases the Lucbanons’ artistic talents and cultural identity.

What to Expect During Pahiyas Festival?

The Pahiyas Festival is a feast for the eyes and taste buds as the houses are adorned with colorful and intricate decorations made of kiping, fruits, flowers, and other farm produce. There are also street dances, parades, and cultural shows that feature the Lucbanons’ creativity and traditions. Don’t forget to try the famous pancit habhab, a local delicacy that you can eat on a banana leaf using your hands.

The Higantes Festival 🎨

The Higantes Festival is a cultural and religious event celebrated in Angono, Rizal, on November 23. It’s a unique and lively festival that features giant papier-mache effigies, street dances, and other cultural performances.

The History of Higantes Festival

The Higantes Festival’s origins can be traced back to the Spanish colonial era, where the hacienderos or landlords would give gifts to their tenants to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The tenants would make giant effigies of the landlords, which later evolved into the current Higantes Festival. The festival also honors San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen, who is believed to have saved the town from a devastating storm.

TRENDING:  Famous Religious Festivals In The Philippines

What to Expect During Higantes Festival?

The Higantes Festival is a colorful and vibrant event that features the town’s artistic talents and cultural identity. The giant effigies, which can reach up to 12 feet tall, are paraded around the town and are decorated with colorful clothing and accessories. There are also street dances, cultural shows, and other performances that showcase the Angonos’ creativity and traditions. Don’t forget to try the town’s famous bibingka, a rice cake cooked using charcoal and banana leaves.

The Moriones Festival 🎭

The Moriones Festival is a Lenten celebration in Marinduque that features the reenactment of the story of Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced the side of Jesus Christ. It’s a week-long event that culminates on Easter Sunday and attracts tourists from all over the world.

The History of Moriones Festival

The Moriones Festival’s origins can be traced back to the Spanish colonial era, where the friars used the story of Longinus to convert the native Marinduquenos to Christianity. The festival evolved into a grandiose celebration that features colorful costumes, masks, and other accessories that resemble the Roman soldiers’ attire during the time of Christ.

What to Expect During Moriones Festival?

The Moriones Festival is a solemn and spiritual event that features the town’s devotion to their faith and traditions. The Morions, or the men who wear the Roman soldier costumes, roam around the town, performing skits and reenacting the story of Longinus. There are also processions, cultural shows, and other religious activities that highlight the town’s deep faith and cultural identity. Don’t forget to try the town’s famous arrowroot cookies, which are sold during the festival.

The MassKara Festival 🎭

The MassKara Festival is a cultural event celebrated in Bacolod City every third weekend of October. It’s a colorful and lively festival that features street dances, food, and music that showcase the city’s resilience and positive spirit despite the challenges it faced.

The History of MassKara Festival

The MassKara Festival’s origins can be traced back to the city’s downturn due to the sugar industry crisis and the tragic ferry accident that killed many Bacolodnons. The festival was created to boost the city’s morale and attract tourists. The word masskara means many faces in Spanish, and the festival features colorful masks that symbolize the city’s optimism and joyous spirit.

What to Expect During MassKara Festival?

The MassKara Festival is a celebration of Bacolod City’s resilience and creativity. The streets are filled with locals and tourists wearing colorful and intricate