The Philippines is famous for its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and friendly people, but these aren’t the only things it has to offer. It also has hundreds of festivals (or fiestas in Filipino) that will expose you to the local culture and give you an exciting and memorable time. Here are some of the fiestas that you should attend when you’re visiting the Philippines:
Where and when it’s held: Kalibo, Aklan, on the third Sunday of January.
What it’s all about: The Ati-Atihan is held in honor of Santo Niño (or the Child Jesus).
What to expect: A parade of dancers wearing colorful traditional costumes. They usually have black paint on their faces and bodies to honor the Aetas, who were the first settlers in Panay island (where Aklan is located). Be ready to groove along with the dancers as the rhythm of the drums sweep you away!
Where and when it’s held: Cebu City, Cebu, on the third Sunday of January.
What it’s all about: Like the Ati-Atihan, Sinulog is a religious festival that’s dedicated to the Santo Niño.
What to expect: A huge street parade with people wearing colorful costumes and dancing to the traditional Sinulog beat, which is played by drum and bugle bands. If you go to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, you’ll see numerous pilgrims attending mass, saying their prayers, and lighting candles. Street parties pop up throughout the city after the official parade is over.
Where and when it’s held: Baguio City, Benguet, on the last weekend of February.
What it’s all about: Panagbenga gives tribute to the flowers that grow abundantly in the city and are a source of livelihood for many people.
What to expect: A colorful parade with flower-covered floats and dancers wearing flower-inspired costumes. You’ll also find lots of sidewalk stalls selling food, handicrafts, and flowers.
These are just some of the hundreds of fiestas you can attend when you travel to the Philippines. Check out these festivals and make your trip more special and unforgettable!