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Cebu City
JANUARY
The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest, most distinguished and most colorful festivals in the
Philippines. The major festival is held each year on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City to honor
the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu (since
in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is fundamentally a dance ritual which remembers
the Filipino people's pagan past and their recognition of Christianity.
The festival features some the country's most colorful displays of ceremony and
pageantry: participants clothe in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums and
native gongs. The streets are generally lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the
street-dancing. Smaller versions of the festival are also held in different parts of the province, also to
celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a Sinulog sa Kabataan, which is performed by the
youths of Cebu a week before the Grand Parade.
Recently, the cultural event has been commercialized as a tourist attraction and instead of traditional
street-dancing from locals, Sinulog also came to mean a contest highlighting groups from various parts
of the country. The Sinulog Contest is traditionally held in the Cebu City Sports Complex, where most
of Cebu's major provincial events are held.
The Festival
The celebration traditionally lasts for nine days, ending on the ninth day when the Sinulog
Grand Parade reveals. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession, a water-parade, held at dawn
from the Mandaue City wharf to Cebu City wharf with the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat
decorated with hundreds of flowers and candles. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-
enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu follows. In the afternoon, a more formal procession takes place
along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowd participating in the religious
event.
On the feast day, at the Basilica, a Pontifical Mass is held, given by the Cardinal with the assistance of
several bishops of Cebu. The majority of the city’s population and devotees would flock to the Basilica to
attend the mass before heading out to the streets to watch the Parade.
Background
'Sinulog' comes from the Cebuano adverb sulog which is "like water current movement," which
proficiently describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. Traditionally,
the dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of the drums.
The dance is classified into Sinulog-base, Free-Interpretation, and recently a Latin Category, which most
people have argued that it had nothing to do with Sinulog tradition. Candle vendors at
the Basilica continue to perform the traditional version of the dance when lighting a candle for the
customer, usually accompanied by songs in the native language.
IRIGA CITY
FEBRUARY
Tinagba Festival is a yearly celebration in Iriga City, Camarines Sur during the month of February. It is a
harvest-offering occasion that also celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The festival originally
started from the rituals of the earliest Bicolanos who offered their harvest to their gods as a way of
thanksgiving and requesting for a more abundant harvest. This festival in Bicol is all about offering the
first harvest of crops and fruits. The event features a long procession of floats that are being pulled by
carabaos.
There is a parade in carabao-drawn carts or motored floats packed with the best of the province's
products. It’s very colorful and made more amazing with marching bands producing lively sounds. The
procession ends at the foot of the Emerald Grotto located at the top of Calvary Hill. After that, a mass is
held, and later on, there is a distribution of the agricultural products to needy families in the town.
The highlight of the festival and the most awaited event by the viewers is the competition of street
dancing.
The last celebration paved way to the introduction of the town's Science and Technology Park. Some of
the activities done in the celebration are acrobatics, animalandia, quiz contest, film showing, techno
dance competition, wall climbing, and science exhibit. One of the main programs in the celebration is a
contest for Miss Rinconada and Miss Tourism. There's also a celebration for the Charter Foundation
Anniversary of city. Iriga City is fast rising as a modern town in the Bicol province which also offers
wonderful tourist destinations. The people in the province are also known as Bicolanos; they are very
hospitable and kind to their visitors.
Iriga is well known as the City of Crystal Clear Springs, with more than 30 natural springs scattered all
over the area. It is also popular for its most famous natural landmark, the majestic Mt. Iriga, that offers
a fascinating and breathtaking scenery of the Bicol River basin area.
Objective
Aside from offering their first harvest as a traditional celebration, the local government in the province
also wants to promote eco-tourism in the city of Iriga by presenting their prides and originalities in the
festival celebration.
PASSI CITY
MARCH
The Pintados de Pasi Festival, in Passi City, central of Iloilo province, is perhaps one of the best known
and established festivals of the Visayan region that have evolved through the years. It has played a big
part in the lives of most Passinhons. It is the most popular spectator cultural event and the most
popular for the community that has a large following. Theatrical-like street dancing performances are a
celebrated part of the Pintados festivity that is characterized by heavy and aggressive body movements.
Here, performers adorned in traditional body tattoo with elaborate geometrical designs in their body,
including their arms, legs and torso dramatizes stories in which the towns’ ancestral beings laid down
every feature of the area, especially, their way of life.
Characterized by heavy and aggressive body movements, the dances seem to have developed
independent of any external influences, as in the combat dances, folk plays, ritual actions, or character
types. Historical or cultural sources are essential materials in sustaining a festival such as theirs. The
festivity changed over the years, though its cultural presentation remained popular up to this day, and
has resurrected and form part in a celebration that reflected function and transition. It also represented
a major change in style and subject matter.
ImageTourism, through this cultural celebration brings thousands of local and international visitors
interested to know the city’s rich history, considerable scenic beauty, and a number tourism attraction.
The Passinhon 2000 Incorporated devotes their efforts of promoting the festival in the local and national
scene. These efforts focus on the cultural festivity—at least in the early promotional stage, is the best
way to keep it alive, and a variety of innovative efforts are underway to do just that. This year, 2008
marks the 10th Foundation Anniversary. Body painting as well as carabao(water buffalo) painting
contests are being practiced followed by a beauty pageant, a boat and bicycle racing events, and a tribal
dancing competition. Passi City celebrates the feast of its patron saint, San Guillermo (St. William) on
the 10th of February along with the coronation of a fiesta queen.
History
It was the 1998 when the doors opened for a celebration of Pintados de Pasi festival, acknowledged
being an original and spiritually appreciated art form tattooing was in countless cultures around world.
Tattooing is a vital part of the Visayan culture. However other nations reflect that tattooing as a newly
adopted art, Philippine history would tell us that in some parts of the Philippine country, precisely in
the Visayas, the art of tattooing has been in manner for thousands of years. Early explanations of
Visayan tattooing date back from 1590 and 1608 by Spanish explorers. It became a form of clothing.
Certain designs recognized strength and personal accomplishments as well as desirability, fertility, and
permanence of the family or village.
Date of the festival
The Pintados de Pasi is held during the third week of March, and the festival is celebrated annually at
the beautiful and progressive town of Passi in the province of Iloilo. A week-long celebration of
characterization traditional tattoo, the Pintados de Pasi festival is an important part in the lives of
Passinhons or the people of Passi City. This festivity is one of the Philippines’ topmost tourism festivals.
Description
The Pintados or "painted" is a word applied to the people of the Visayan region throughout the Spanish
colonization of the Philippines. The term was set to them since they painted their bodies with red clay
or, as some authors say, on explanation of their being tattooed. Both men and women wear their hair
long and fastened in a knot on the crown of the head. The men tattoo their whole bodies with same
attractive figures, using some tiny pieces of iron dipped in ink. This ink combines itself with the blood,
and the marks are permanent. At the Pintados de Pasi festivity, tattoed men, believed to have conquered
the early days of Passi dance featuring supernatural traditions and beliefs. Stage-like street dancing
presentations are a renowned portion of the Pintados de Pasi festivity that is categorized by full and
aggressive body actions. In this feast, entertainers adorned in out-dated body tattoo with elegant
geometrical symbols in their whole body, as well as their face, arms, legs and torso performs stories in
which the cities’ inherited beings laid down each feature of the area, particularly, their way of their
living.
MASBATE
APRIL
The Rodeo Masbateño Festival is an annual event which takes place in Masbate City which showcases
skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a
fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer since 1993
in the province of Masbate, which is traditionally considered the “Cattle Country of the Philippines.”
The festival opens with a lively parade of horseback riders. There are also livestock shows, a carnival,
and a trade fair featuring local products, as well as animal health seminars.
The highlight of the event is the rodeo competition itself. Men and women dress up in cowboy outfits to
perform stunts like lassoing on foot and on horseback, livestock wrestling, casting down, load carrying,
bull riding and whipping, the two-person carambola, and other activities related to the handling of
livestock. These events draw people from the rest of the Philippines and around the world as well as
locals. International cowboys and bull riders also participate in the competitions.
History
The Rodeo Masbateño Festival was conceived in 1992 as a way of uplifting the local cattle industry. It
was started by MAKUSOG, a group of ranchers and businesspeople of Masbate, who formed the Rodeo
Masbateño Foundation. There had been a long tradition of cattle raising in the province, with some 81%
of its land used for pasturing livestock, but at that point in time the industry was in a slump. With the
support of the provincial governor Emilio Espinosa Jr., the first Rodeo was staged in 1993. Following this,
it became an annual event that improved tourism as well as commerce in the region and increased the
locals’ pride in their province’s unique identity and products. The event was initially known as Rodeo
Filipino, but the name was eventually changed to Rodeo Masbateño. It grew into a national event over
the years, attracting tourists from all over the Philippines and abroad. In recognition of the success of
this event, on September 2, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 120
declaring Masbate as the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines. Masbate has also become known as the Rodeo
Capital of Asia and is now affiliated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association of America. Its
homegrown cowboys, whose rodeo talents have been honed at the festival, have participated in the
National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas.
MAY
The Pahiyas Festival's name came from the Filipino words “hiyas,” which means jewel and “pahiyas,”
which means both precious offering and decor. The festival is an old farmers' harvest celebration, which
started in the 16th century. It is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers,
peasants and laborers. The feast of San Isidro Labrador was first celebrated by the people of Lucban at
the time the Spaniards were still spreading Christianity in the 1500s. The early residents of Lucban
celebrated the feast through a simple offering to the “anito” (pagan god) asking for a bountiful harvest.
During harvest season, the farmers would gather their crops inside a small worship place where they
would eat together and drink a kind of coconut wine. The locals believe that in having this kind of
celebration and merry-making, they would be blessed with another bountiful harvest during the
following season.
During the 1630s, under the leadership of Chief Lukas Martin and Fr. Alfonso de San Miguel, the first
Catholic church was built and the people of Lucban learned to embrace and incorporate Christian
faith into their daily lives. When harvest time came, the farmers would pick their finest crops and take
them to the much bigger church where the parish priest would bless them in thanksgiving to God and
Jesus Christ. This practice or ritual assures farmers of bountiful harvests year after year after year.
According to legend, which was passed on by the Spaniards to the Filipinos from Mexico during the
Spanish colonization era, white oxen would magically plow and tend to San Isidro's field whenever he
went to church. San Isidro was Mexico's patron saint of agriculture, venerated and called upon by the
people for an abundant supply of water as well as a fertile land. The good harvests enjoyed by the
farmers of Lucban make stronger their devotion to San Isidro Labrador. The festival's highlight is a
street procession featuring the image of San Isidro Labrador and his wife, Sta. Maria dela Cabeza. The
santa's image carries a basket full of triangulo biscuits, given to the children present during the
procession. Adding interest to the procession are giant papier mâché figures of a local farmer and his
wife. After the procession, the townspeople enjoy a joyous sharing of food.
Tourists visiting Lucban to witness the Pahiyas Festival do not consider their experience complete
without having tasted the town's delicious specialties: the Pancit Habhab and the Longganisang Lucban.
The pancit habhab is a kind of noodle made from rice flour and is sold on the streets on a piece of
banana leaf. The Longganisang Lucban is a local sausage made of ground pork, paprika, oregano extract,
salt, pepper and garlic. The Pahiyas Festival has, without doubt, made Lucban a must-see destination
during the summer, especially for tourists exploring the Philippines' multicultural and multifaceted
character.
LEYTE
JUNE
The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making event lasting a whole month, highlights of which
include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the 17th Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation
and the "Pagrayhak'' Grand Parade. These festivals are said to have began from the feast day of Señor
Santo Niño, held every June 29th. The Leyteños celebrate a religious festival in a unique and colorful
way. Since the Visayans are experienced in the art of body tattooing, men and women are fond of
tattooing themselves. The Pintados Festival displays the rich cultural heritage, incorporating native music
and dances, of the people of Leyte and Samar. The Leyte Kasadya-an Festival of Festivals, meanwhile,
showcases the unique culture and colorful history of the Province of Leyte. Started by former Leyte
Governor Remedios Loreto-Petilla, the celebration was first held on May 12, 1996. The festivities weren't
always held every June 29th; the first three years saw different dates. It was only in 1999 that it was
fixed to June 29, the Feast of the Señor Santo Niño de Leyte. "Kasadyaan'' in the Visayan tongue means
merriment and jollity. Various municipal festivals of Leyte gather together in the original capital of
Tacloban City for the celebration. There, lively dance-drama parade of many colors takes place. There is
an important role that the festival plays, and it is strengthening the Leyteños' sense of pride. Every
municipality mounts a storyline all their own to portray with pride their local folklore and legends.
The Festival
The Pintados festival of Tacloban City is a Filipino festival with its own unique flavor. This Pintados
festival recalls Pre-Spanish history of the native Leytenos from wars, epics and folk religions. The most
expected aspect of the Pintados festival are the festive dancers, painted from head to toe with designs
that look like armor to resemble the tattooed warriors of old. During the course of the Pintados festival,
dancers whose bodies are painted in an amazing array of colors fill the streets of Tacloban city. At first
sight, they may seem outrageous as grown men pour into the streets decorated in such dazzling colors
as luminous blue or neon green. But as one gets used to this and sees the dances depicted, one gets a
glimpse of the history of the people that once lived on the islands of Leyte so long ago. The folk dances
presented by the dancers portray the many traditions that flourished before the Spaniards came. These
include worship of idols, indigenous music and epic stories. The hypnotic rhythms of native instruments
beat through the air accompanying the dances performed on the streets as the Pintados festival goes.
Aside from the folk dances, is the much likely parade, which crisscrosses the avenues of Tacloban city.
The parade traditionally begins at the Balayuan Towers and proceeds throughout tacloban leyte city. The
surprised spectators follow the procession of dancing colors from the beginning to end. The Pintados
festival concludes in much merrymaking with a signature traditional Filipino fiesta, where everyone is
invited to join the fun and celebrate the Pintados Festival.
DAPITAN CITY ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE
JULY
Kinabayo Festival which is celebrated every July 25 in Dapitan City Zamboanga del Norte Philippines
celebrate a mysterious and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, mainly the Battle of
Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan. They
were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and
modernism has made this annual celebration a popular attraction which brings thousands of tourists to
the Dapitan City.
HISTORY
St. James, the Greater is the patron saint of Dapitan City. Earlier on into the Spanish rule, Dapitan was
still flooded by Moro pirates. The Jesuit priests fatefully set up St. James, to protect the Dapitanons from
an attack of invaders. It was believed that in the fifth century, an apparition of St. James, atop a horse
carrying a sword, guided the Spansih Christians into victory over the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga.
Three centuries later, St. James still plays a significant part in the Dapitanons’ lives. For the past three
years the Kinabayo Festival of Dapitan has been celebrated by city folk centering on his feast day, July
25. On that day a magnificent re-enactment of the Battle of Covadonga is unfurled before the city folk
and tourists. It is 45 days of celebration that can only be rivaled by Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-
Atihan.
MINDANAO
August
It is a celebration of Good Harvest! This globally famous festival is a weeklong celebration and
thanksgiving for nature’s bountiful harvest. Kadayawan Festival is being celebrated every 3rd Week of
August. A celebration of the plentiful harvests of fruits and orchids during the season. Kadayawan is
derived from the prehistoric word “madayaw,” a warm and friendly greeting also used to explain a thing
that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable, “Kadayawan” in Mandaya means anything that
brings fortune, a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the
bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Ethnic tribes around Mt. Apo usually gathered during the
harvest-time when they had a bountiful harvest to give thanks to their gods particularly the all-powerful
Bathala (supreme God). According to legend, the occasion is noticeable by happiness, singing, and
dancing, as well as offerings to their divine protectors.
The festival is celebrated in the month of August with floats of fresh flowers and fruits, and indak-indak
sa kadalanan or street dancing in colorful costumes. A variety of tribes parade the streets with their
tribal costumes and jewelry. The city of Davao comes alive every year in August when it holds it yearly
harvest festival. The streets are adorned with local fruit & vegetables while people hold street dances
with abandon for four days. The harbour is the venue for native & power boat races. Everybody fights
for seats to watch the Horse Fighting wherein stallions fight each other over the rights to mate with a
mare. The crowd is sometimes tracked by the horses if they get too close. The last day the street is full
of costumed dancers dancing to the local beat & decorated floats with glamorous Mindanao girls as eye
candy. It's a time of fun & abandon. The festivity is not complete without the Bya'Neng ng Kadayawan
or the Miss Kadayawan beauty contest. There is also the horsefight, a tribal animal show similar to the
bullfight in Spain.
History
The festival began from a government-initiated program called “Unlad Proyekto Davao” in 1986, planned
to unite the Davaoeños after the chaotic martial law years and to showcase the city as a peaceful and
colorful place to visit and do business in. At the time, it was called “Apo Duwaling,”a name created from
the icons Davao was famous for: Mt. Apo, the country's highest peak; durian, the king of fruits; and
waling-waling. The queen of orchids. Davao is also home of the majestic Philippine eagle, the national
bird. In 1988, the festival was renamed “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to celebrate
the city's unique wealth in flowers, fruits, and ethnic culture.
Today, Kadayawan has transformed into a festival of festivals, the mother of may other festivals in the
region as it honors Davao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage, its past personified by the ancestral
“lumads”, its people as they celebrate on the streets, and its floral industry as they parade in full regalia
in thanksgiving for the blessings granted on the city.
“Kadayawan sa Dabaw” is an enriching experience with a difference as its explores the past, present and
future of the Davaoeños, the Mindanaoans, the Filipinos. Its sights and sounds remain supreme. Be part
of the experience.
BICOL
SEPTEMBER
The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City,
Bicol Philippines. All roads and routes will lead to Naga City in Camarines Sur where six million
Bicolanos from here and abroad will flock to that progressive city to pay honor to the Virgin of
Peñafrancia, miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. Bicolanos from all walks of life will be in Naga
City to meet their relatives and partidarios, share food, drinks, and prayers with them, and most of all,
to pay homage and make thanksgiving to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina.
Viva la Virgen, they will shout to high heavens. The feast day is headed by a novena, nine days of prayer,
in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia,
Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the
image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by
thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its
destination, the devotees shout "Viva la Virgen" (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a
procession to the cathedral.
Millions of Bicolanos will once again show to the whole Christian world their strong faith and loyalty to
their Heavenly Mother. amongst triumphant sounding shouts of Viva la Virgen , Bicolanos and pilgrims,
with lighted candles in their hands, will kneel on the ground and bow their heads in prayer as the
colorful fluvial procession carrying the Virgin plows through the Bicol River in downtown Naga.
A multicolored pagoda carrying the images/icons of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro will
pass through the Bicol River. Male, sunburned devotees of the Virgin will adhere to the huge pagoda in
a heartwarming display of faith and devotion. Actually, the fluvial procession marks the return of the
Virgin from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to her home shrine at the Basilica. Upon its arrival, the
Virgin will be received in formal religious rites by Roman Catholic dignitaries of the Bicol Region led by
Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez.
Considered the biggest and most popular religious event in the Philippines, the Peñafrancia fiesta is in
fact a one-week affair that starts on the second Friday of September when the miraculous Ina is
transferred from her shrine to the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral where a nine-day novena
and prayers are held in her honor. Ranking government officials, Cabinet members, ambassadors,
governors, mayors, senators, diputados , business/industry leaders, landlords, etc., vie for the distinct
honor of sponsoring a nightly novena and prayers at the Naga Cathedral.
A procession, locally called traslacion (is the transferring of the miraculous Image of the Virgin, Our
Lady of Peñafrancia and of the Divino Rostro to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City for a Novena
and Holy Masses. This begun in 1885.), ushers in the weeklong festivities which include civic and
military parades, sports competitions, agro-industrial fairs, cultural shows, and the coronation of Miss
Bicolandia beauties.
During the traslacion, which passes through the main streets of Naga, the miraculous Ina of the
Bicolanos is borne on the rugged, muscular shoulders of barefooted voyadores who form a human
barricade to protect the Virgin from the unruly crowd. Call it absolute coincidence or plain superstition,
but any Bicolano will swear to high heavens that the presence of a woman, Filipina or foreigner, aboard
the merrily decorated pagoda will surely spell disaster. Whether this belief is true or not, only the
Bicolanos know. But past events and experiences support their claim.
NEGROS
OCTOBER
The Masskara Festival through the years gives the people of Negros, as well as local and foreign visitors,
a chance to drink and be merry for 20 days. Originally designed to show the hardships of the people of
Negros, the Masskara Festival has become a tool of escapism and a way to generate revenues for big
business. It has indeed come a long way, and it is clear that the path turn away from the progressive
goal.
Bacolod City is known for the popular Masskara Festival which takes place here Oct. 1-20. Local and
foreign visitors get a chance to enjoy 20 days of merry making, beer drinking, dining and street dancing.
On the weekend nearest to 19 October, the biggest party in Bacalod is scheduled to take place. Bacalod
is the capital city of the country's sugar-producing province of Bocalenos.
The term Masskara is created from two words: mass, meaning crowd, and the Spanish word cara, for
face; thus the double meaning for "mask" and "many faces". It was coined by Ely Santiago, a painter,
cartoonist, and cultural artist, who devoted show in his art works the many faces of Negrenses
overwhelmed with various crises.
Group of masskara dancers A smiling mask, which is the symbol of the fiesta was conceived by the
organizers to show the happy spirit of the Negrenses despite experiencing bad times in the sugar
industry.
The Masskara festival was first envisioned in 1980 to add color and jollity to the Bacolod City's
celebration of its Charter Day anniversary, on 19 October. The symbol of the festival - a smiling mask -
was adopted by the organizers to dramatize the Negrenses happy spirit, in spite of periodic economic
downturns in the sugar industry.
Throughout the week, people from all over the Visayas, gather to the town plaza. They join Bacoleños in
the non-stop round of festivities. Even if you don't feel like dancing and singing, the pig catching and
pole climbing competitions are musts. Some are also trying their luck and testing their skills in mask-
making contests, disco king and queen competitions, coconut-milk drinking to name a few.
Masks are the order of the day at the Masskara parade, as brightly-costumed men and women dance
and strut in the streets. Their beaming faces are be-dimpled, smiling and laughing in molded clay or
papier-mâché. Every group is represented: civic associations, commercial establishments, schools, even
private and government organizations. They march out in excited crowd wearing their painted masks
and elaborate costumes, all vying for prizes in judging that will be held in the afternoon. The festival
also benefits Bacolod tourism not only because tourists flock the city during this time to join the
merrymaking but also to buy the orchids and ornate handicrafts on sale.
BACOLOD CITY
November
The Pintaflores Festival was born out of the city’s search for a cultural identity and tradition. Each city
in negros province celebrates their own festival during fiesta. Sinulog of Cebu City, the MassKara
Festival of Bacolod City and Ati-atihan at Aklan, and the City of Sunflower Festival also called as
PintaFlores Festival.
The streetdancing and ritual competition highlights the event which held every Nov. 3-5. Colorful
costumes, painted body of the dancers and the glamorous dancesteps given by their choreographer, with
musical accompaniment add to the thrill of competition.
It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil
that depict the people’s thanksgiving and merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the
Pintados tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express
gratitude to man and his environment.
The dances are dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil. These themes are
thanksgiving praises to the city's patron saint, San Carlos Borromeo.
Dancers with colorful flowers drawn artistically over faces, arms, bodies, and legs and dressed in ethnic-
styled ensembles perform a dance ritual that usually shows a human flower formation.
"Pintaflores is coined from the words Pintados, the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and
the "flores", the Spanish word for flowers that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers," the site
stated.
Tattoos are believed to have been sketched on the skin of locals in pre-colonial Visayas--and its tribal
allure has since been the core subject of the festival in San Carlos.
Although not as visited as the festivals in the neighboring Panay and Cebu Islands, the Pintaflores has
received accolades among the various festivals in the Visayas.
"Pintaflores dazzles one with the vibrant colors of flowers and silk. It enlivens the spirit to the snappy
beat of drums. It titillates the mind to the graceful sways and spirit of colorful dancers. It leaves a
lasting imprint of a colorful, lively and beautiful people," the site added.
The celebration starts on November 3 and goes on until November 6. The street dancing and ritual
competition will be held on November 5.
SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA
DECEMBER
The Giant Lantern Festival (Kapampangan: Ligligan Parul) is an annual festival held in December
(Saturday before Christmas Eve) in the City of San Fernando in the Philippines. The festival features a
competition of giant lanterns. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been nicknamed the
"Christmas Capital of the Philippines".
The San Fernando lantern industry evolved from the Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando. The
festival, which is held every December, finds its roots in Bacolor where a much simpler activity was held.
Following the transfer of the provincial capital from Bacolor to San Fernando in August 1904, this
lantern event followed as well. "Ligligan Parol" was said to have started in San Fernando in 1904. But
some say that the "Ligligan Parol" did not happen immediately after the transfer and in fact began in
1908.
This predecessor of the modern day Giant Lantern Festival was actually a religious activity which we
know today as “lubenas.” The lanterns measured just two feet in diameter, a far cry from the fifteen feet
that we see today. These were created in each barrio from bamboo and other locally available materials.
During the nine-day novena before Christmas, which coincided with the simbang gabi from December
16 to 24, these paruls were brought around each barrio in procession to their visita. Before the midnight
Mass on Christmas Eve, the lanterns were brought to the town church together with the barrio patrons.
This tradition gradually evolved as the lanterns became bigger and the designs more intricate. Later, one
big lantern was made for each barrio, which was created through a cooperative effort. Each resident
contributed to its construction, from the concept and design, to the materials and labor. In the end,
these lanterns became a symbol of unity for the barrios.
It was in 1931 that electricity was introduced to the San Fernando lantern, thus sparking the birth of the
first Giant Lantern Festival. The added illusion of dancing lights highlighted the bright colors and
intricate designs of these Giant Lanterns. At this time, the lights were controlled by individual switches
that were turned on and off following the beat of the music. The barangays of Del Pilar, Sta. Lucia and
San Jose were among the first barangays to participate in the festival: The Story behind the Giant
Lanterns of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
The first lantern festival was held to honor President Manuel L. Quezon. At that time, Quezon
made Arayat his rest area and converted Mount Arayat into a tourist resort. As a show of gratitude to
Quezon, the people of San Fernando held a Christmas lantern contest to honor the first family. Quezon
himself donated the prize for his lantern contest, which was personally awarded to the winner by First
Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon.
It was only cancelled in 1972, 1973 and 1974 when the country declared Martial Law. In the years that
followed, more innovations were introduced to the giant lanterns. Colored plastics replaced traditional
papel de hapon. The use of colored plastics will continue on until 2010, wherein fiberglass and
handmade paper will make their first appearances on the lanterns.[2]
Large steel barrels called rotors also substituted the hand-controlled switches to manipulate the lights.
And lanterns have grown in size, approximately 20-feet today, and illuminated by about 3,500 to 5,000
light bulbs.
In 1990, the venue was moved to Paskuhan Village. In 2000, the venue was moved again to SM City
Pampanga until 2007. In 2008, until now, the venue is now at Robinsons Starmills. In 2011, Brgy. Calulut
and Brgy. Del Carmen joined the competition for the first time. In 2015, Brgy's. Sindalan and Pandaras,
also joined the competition for the first time.
Last December 17, 2016, in the first time in history, Brgy. Dolores was the first grand slam champion
after they won in three competitive years last 2014, 2015 & 2016. This year's 1st & 2nd runner-up are
Brgy. Calulut and Brgy. Sindalan.

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Philippine festivals

  • 1. Cebu City JANUARY The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest, most distinguished and most colorful festivals in the Philippines. The major festival is held each year on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City to honor the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu (since in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is fundamentally a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino people's pagan past and their recognition of Christianity. The festival features some the country's most colorful displays of ceremony and pageantry: participants clothe in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums and native gongs. The streets are generally lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the street-dancing. Smaller versions of the festival are also held in different parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a Sinulog sa Kabataan, which is performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the Grand Parade. Recently, the cultural event has been commercialized as a tourist attraction and instead of traditional street-dancing from locals, Sinulog also came to mean a contest highlighting groups from various parts
  • 2. of the country. The Sinulog Contest is traditionally held in the Cebu City Sports Complex, where most of Cebu's major provincial events are held. The Festival The celebration traditionally lasts for nine days, ending on the ninth day when the Sinulog Grand Parade reveals. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession, a water-parade, held at dawn from the Mandaue City wharf to Cebu City wharf with the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat decorated with hundreds of flowers and candles. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re- enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu follows. In the afternoon, a more formal procession takes place along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowd participating in the religious event. On the feast day, at the Basilica, a Pontifical Mass is held, given by the Cardinal with the assistance of several bishops of Cebu. The majority of the city’s population and devotees would flock to the Basilica to attend the mass before heading out to the streets to watch the Parade. Background 'Sinulog' comes from the Cebuano adverb sulog which is "like water current movement," which proficiently describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. Traditionally, the dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of the drums. The dance is classified into Sinulog-base, Free-Interpretation, and recently a Latin Category, which most people have argued that it had nothing to do with Sinulog tradition. Candle vendors at the Basilica continue to perform the traditional version of the dance when lighting a candle for the customer, usually accompanied by songs in the native language.
  • 3. IRIGA CITY FEBRUARY Tinagba Festival is a yearly celebration in Iriga City, Camarines Sur during the month of February. It is a harvest-offering occasion that also celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The festival originally started from the rituals of the earliest Bicolanos who offered their harvest to their gods as a way of thanksgiving and requesting for a more abundant harvest. This festival in Bicol is all about offering the first harvest of crops and fruits. The event features a long procession of floats that are being pulled by carabaos. There is a parade in carabao-drawn carts or motored floats packed with the best of the province's products. It’s very colorful and made more amazing with marching bands producing lively sounds. The procession ends at the foot of the Emerald Grotto located at the top of Calvary Hill. After that, a mass is held, and later on, there is a distribution of the agricultural products to needy families in the town. The highlight of the festival and the most awaited event by the viewers is the competition of street dancing. The last celebration paved way to the introduction of the town's Science and Technology Park. Some of the activities done in the celebration are acrobatics, animalandia, quiz contest, film showing, techno dance competition, wall climbing, and science exhibit. One of the main programs in the celebration is a contest for Miss Rinconada and Miss Tourism. There's also a celebration for the Charter Foundation Anniversary of city. Iriga City is fast rising as a modern town in the Bicol province which also offers wonderful tourist destinations. The people in the province are also known as Bicolanos; they are very hospitable and kind to their visitors. Iriga is well known as the City of Crystal Clear Springs, with more than 30 natural springs scattered all over the area. It is also popular for its most famous natural landmark, the majestic Mt. Iriga, that offers a fascinating and breathtaking scenery of the Bicol River basin area. Objective
  • 4. Aside from offering their first harvest as a traditional celebration, the local government in the province also wants to promote eco-tourism in the city of Iriga by presenting their prides and originalities in the festival celebration. PASSI CITY MARCH The Pintados de Pasi Festival, in Passi City, central of Iloilo province, is perhaps one of the best known and established festivals of the Visayan region that have evolved through the years. It has played a big part in the lives of most Passinhons. It is the most popular spectator cultural event and the most popular for the community that has a large following. Theatrical-like street dancing performances are a celebrated part of the Pintados festivity that is characterized by heavy and aggressive body movements. Here, performers adorned in traditional body tattoo with elaborate geometrical designs in their body, including their arms, legs and torso dramatizes stories in which the towns’ ancestral beings laid down every feature of the area, especially, their way of life. Characterized by heavy and aggressive body movements, the dances seem to have developed independent of any external influences, as in the combat dances, folk plays, ritual actions, or character types. Historical or cultural sources are essential materials in sustaining a festival such as theirs. The festivity changed over the years, though its cultural presentation remained popular up to this day, and has resurrected and form part in a celebration that reflected function and transition. It also represented a major change in style and subject matter. ImageTourism, through this cultural celebration brings thousands of local and international visitors interested to know the city’s rich history, considerable scenic beauty, and a number tourism attraction. The Passinhon 2000 Incorporated devotes their efforts of promoting the festival in the local and national
  • 5. scene. These efforts focus on the cultural festivity—at least in the early promotional stage, is the best way to keep it alive, and a variety of innovative efforts are underway to do just that. This year, 2008 marks the 10th Foundation Anniversary. Body painting as well as carabao(water buffalo) painting contests are being practiced followed by a beauty pageant, a boat and bicycle racing events, and a tribal dancing competition. Passi City celebrates the feast of its patron saint, San Guillermo (St. William) on the 10th of February along with the coronation of a fiesta queen. History It was the 1998 when the doors opened for a celebration of Pintados de Pasi festival, acknowledged being an original and spiritually appreciated art form tattooing was in countless cultures around world. Tattooing is a vital part of the Visayan culture. However other nations reflect that tattooing as a newly adopted art, Philippine history would tell us that in some parts of the Philippine country, precisely in the Visayas, the art of tattooing has been in manner for thousands of years. Early explanations of Visayan tattooing date back from 1590 and 1608 by Spanish explorers. It became a form of clothing. Certain designs recognized strength and personal accomplishments as well as desirability, fertility, and permanence of the family or village. Date of the festival The Pintados de Pasi is held during the third week of March, and the festival is celebrated annually at the beautiful and progressive town of Passi in the province of Iloilo. A week-long celebration of characterization traditional tattoo, the Pintados de Pasi festival is an important part in the lives of Passinhons or the people of Passi City. This festivity is one of the Philippines’ topmost tourism festivals. Description The Pintados or "painted" is a word applied to the people of the Visayan region throughout the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. The term was set to them since they painted their bodies with red clay or, as some authors say, on explanation of their being tattooed. Both men and women wear their hair long and fastened in a knot on the crown of the head. The men tattoo their whole bodies with same attractive figures, using some tiny pieces of iron dipped in ink. This ink combines itself with the blood, and the marks are permanent. At the Pintados de Pasi festivity, tattoed men, believed to have conquered the early days of Passi dance featuring supernatural traditions and beliefs. Stage-like street dancing presentations are a renowned portion of the Pintados de Pasi festivity that is categorized by full and aggressive body actions. In this feast, entertainers adorned in out-dated body tattoo with elegant geometrical symbols in their whole body, as well as their face, arms, legs and torso performs stories in which the cities’ inherited beings laid down each feature of the area, particularly, their way of their living.
  • 6. MASBATE APRIL The Rodeo Masbateño Festival is an annual event which takes place in Masbate City which showcases skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer since 1993 in the province of Masbate, which is traditionally considered the “Cattle Country of the Philippines.” The festival opens with a lively parade of horseback riders. There are also livestock shows, a carnival, and a trade fair featuring local products, as well as animal health seminars. The highlight of the event is the rodeo competition itself. Men and women dress up in cowboy outfits to perform stunts like lassoing on foot and on horseback, livestock wrestling, casting down, load carrying, bull riding and whipping, the two-person carambola, and other activities related to the handling of livestock. These events draw people from the rest of the Philippines and around the world as well as locals. International cowboys and bull riders also participate in the competitions. History The Rodeo Masbateño Festival was conceived in 1992 as a way of uplifting the local cattle industry. It was started by MAKUSOG, a group of ranchers and businesspeople of Masbate, who formed the Rodeo Masbateño Foundation. There had been a long tradition of cattle raising in the province, with some 81% of its land used for pasturing livestock, but at that point in time the industry was in a slump. With the support of the provincial governor Emilio Espinosa Jr., the first Rodeo was staged in 1993. Following this, it became an annual event that improved tourism as well as commerce in the region and increased the locals’ pride in their province’s unique identity and products. The event was initially known as Rodeo Filipino, but the name was eventually changed to Rodeo Masbateño. It grew into a national event over
  • 7. the years, attracting tourists from all over the Philippines and abroad. In recognition of the success of this event, on September 2, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 120 declaring Masbate as the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines. Masbate has also become known as the Rodeo Capital of Asia and is now affiliated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association of America. Its homegrown cowboys, whose rodeo talents have been honed at the festival, have participated in the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas.
  • 8. MAY The Pahiyas Festival's name came from the Filipino words “hiyas,” which means jewel and “pahiyas,” which means both precious offering and decor. The festival is an old farmers' harvest celebration, which started in the 16th century. It is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, peasants and laborers. The feast of San Isidro Labrador was first celebrated by the people of Lucban at the time the Spaniards were still spreading Christianity in the 1500s. The early residents of Lucban celebrated the feast through a simple offering to the “anito” (pagan god) asking for a bountiful harvest. During harvest season, the farmers would gather their crops inside a small worship place where they would eat together and drink a kind of coconut wine. The locals believe that in having this kind of celebration and merry-making, they would be blessed with another bountiful harvest during the following season. During the 1630s, under the leadership of Chief Lukas Martin and Fr. Alfonso de San Miguel, the first Catholic church was built and the people of Lucban learned to embrace and incorporate Christian faith into their daily lives. When harvest time came, the farmers would pick their finest crops and take them to the much bigger church where the parish priest would bless them in thanksgiving to God and Jesus Christ. This practice or ritual assures farmers of bountiful harvests year after year after year. According to legend, which was passed on by the Spaniards to the Filipinos from Mexico during the Spanish colonization era, white oxen would magically plow and tend to San Isidro's field whenever he went to church. San Isidro was Mexico's patron saint of agriculture, venerated and called upon by the people for an abundant supply of water as well as a fertile land. The good harvests enjoyed by the farmers of Lucban make stronger their devotion to San Isidro Labrador. The festival's highlight is a street procession featuring the image of San Isidro Labrador and his wife, Sta. Maria dela Cabeza. The santa's image carries a basket full of triangulo biscuits, given to the children present during the procession. Adding interest to the procession are giant papier mâché figures of a local farmer and his wife. After the procession, the townspeople enjoy a joyous sharing of food. Tourists visiting Lucban to witness the Pahiyas Festival do not consider their experience complete without having tasted the town's delicious specialties: the Pancit Habhab and the Longganisang Lucban. The pancit habhab is a kind of noodle made from rice flour and is sold on the streets on a piece of banana leaf. The Longganisang Lucban is a local sausage made of ground pork, paprika, oregano extract, salt, pepper and garlic. The Pahiyas Festival has, without doubt, made Lucban a must-see destination during the summer, especially for tourists exploring the Philippines' multicultural and multifaceted character.
  • 9. LEYTE JUNE The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making event lasting a whole month, highlights of which include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the 17th Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the "Pagrayhak'' Grand Parade. These festivals are said to have began from the feast day of Señor Santo Niño, held every June 29th. The Leyteños celebrate a religious festival in a unique and colorful way. Since the Visayans are experienced in the art of body tattooing, men and women are fond of tattooing themselves. The Pintados Festival displays the rich cultural heritage, incorporating native music and dances, of the people of Leyte and Samar. The Leyte Kasadya-an Festival of Festivals, meanwhile, showcases the unique culture and colorful history of the Province of Leyte. Started by former Leyte Governor Remedios Loreto-Petilla, the celebration was first held on May 12, 1996. The festivities weren't always held every June 29th; the first three years saw different dates. It was only in 1999 that it was fixed to June 29, the Feast of the Señor Santo Niño de Leyte. "Kasadyaan'' in the Visayan tongue means merriment and jollity. Various municipal festivals of Leyte gather together in the original capital of Tacloban City for the celebration. There, lively dance-drama parade of many colors takes place. There is an important role that the festival plays, and it is strengthening the Leyteños' sense of pride. Every municipality mounts a storyline all their own to portray with pride their local folklore and legends. The Festival The Pintados festival of Tacloban City is a Filipino festival with its own unique flavor. This Pintados festival recalls Pre-Spanish history of the native Leytenos from wars, epics and folk religions. The most expected aspect of the Pintados festival are the festive dancers, painted from head to toe with designs that look like armor to resemble the tattooed warriors of old. During the course of the Pintados festival, dancers whose bodies are painted in an amazing array of colors fill the streets of Tacloban city. At first sight, they may seem outrageous as grown men pour into the streets decorated in such dazzling colors as luminous blue or neon green. But as one gets used to this and sees the dances depicted, one gets a glimpse of the history of the people that once lived on the islands of Leyte so long ago. The folk dances presented by the dancers portray the many traditions that flourished before the Spaniards came. These include worship of idols, indigenous music and epic stories. The hypnotic rhythms of native instruments
  • 10. beat through the air accompanying the dances performed on the streets as the Pintados festival goes. Aside from the folk dances, is the much likely parade, which crisscrosses the avenues of Tacloban city. The parade traditionally begins at the Balayuan Towers and proceeds throughout tacloban leyte city. The surprised spectators follow the procession of dancing colors from the beginning to end. The Pintados festival concludes in much merrymaking with a signature traditional Filipino fiesta, where everyone is invited to join the fun and celebrate the Pintados Festival. DAPITAN CITY ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE JULY Kinabayo Festival which is celebrated every July 25 in Dapitan City Zamboanga del Norte Philippines celebrate a mysterious and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, mainly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan. They were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and modernism has made this annual celebration a popular attraction which brings thousands of tourists to the Dapitan City. HISTORY St. James, the Greater is the patron saint of Dapitan City. Earlier on into the Spanish rule, Dapitan was still flooded by Moro pirates. The Jesuit priests fatefully set up St. James, to protect the Dapitanons from an attack of invaders. It was believed that in the fifth century, an apparition of St. James, atop a horse carrying a sword, guided the Spansih Christians into victory over the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga. Three centuries later, St. James still plays a significant part in the Dapitanons’ lives. For the past three years the Kinabayo Festival of Dapitan has been celebrated by city folk centering on his feast day, July 25. On that day a magnificent re-enactment of the Battle of Covadonga is unfurled before the city folk and tourists. It is 45 days of celebration that can only be rivaled by Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati- Atihan.
  • 11.
  • 12. MINDANAO August It is a celebration of Good Harvest! This globally famous festival is a weeklong celebration and thanksgiving for nature’s bountiful harvest. Kadayawan Festival is being celebrated every 3rd Week of August. A celebration of the plentiful harvests of fruits and orchids during the season. Kadayawan is derived from the prehistoric word “madayaw,” a warm and friendly greeting also used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable, “Kadayawan” in Mandaya means anything that brings fortune, a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Ethnic tribes around Mt. Apo usually gathered during the harvest-time when they had a bountiful harvest to give thanks to their gods particularly the all-powerful Bathala (supreme God). According to legend, the occasion is noticeable by happiness, singing, and dancing, as well as offerings to their divine protectors. The festival is celebrated in the month of August with floats of fresh flowers and fruits, and indak-indak sa kadalanan or street dancing in colorful costumes. A variety of tribes parade the streets with their tribal costumes and jewelry. The city of Davao comes alive every year in August when it holds it yearly harvest festival. The streets are adorned with local fruit & vegetables while people hold street dances with abandon for four days. The harbour is the venue for native & power boat races. Everybody fights for seats to watch the Horse Fighting wherein stallions fight each other over the rights to mate with a mare. The crowd is sometimes tracked by the horses if they get too close. The last day the street is full of costumed dancers dancing to the local beat & decorated floats with glamorous Mindanao girls as eye candy. It's a time of fun & abandon. The festivity is not complete without the Bya'Neng ng Kadayawan or the Miss Kadayawan beauty contest. There is also the horsefight, a tribal animal show similar to the bullfight in Spain.
  • 13. History The festival began from a government-initiated program called “Unlad Proyekto Davao” in 1986, planned to unite the Davaoeños after the chaotic martial law years and to showcase the city as a peaceful and colorful place to visit and do business in. At the time, it was called “Apo Duwaling,”a name created from the icons Davao was famous for: Mt. Apo, the country's highest peak; durian, the king of fruits; and waling-waling. The queen of orchids. Davao is also home of the majestic Philippine eagle, the national bird. In 1988, the festival was renamed “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to celebrate the city's unique wealth in flowers, fruits, and ethnic culture. Today, Kadayawan has transformed into a festival of festivals, the mother of may other festivals in the region as it honors Davao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage, its past personified by the ancestral “lumads”, its people as they celebrate on the streets, and its floral industry as they parade in full regalia in thanksgiving for the blessings granted on the city. “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” is an enriching experience with a difference as its explores the past, present and future of the Davaoeños, the Mindanaoans, the Filipinos. Its sights and sounds remain supreme. Be part of the experience.
  • 14. BICOL SEPTEMBER The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol Philippines. All roads and routes will lead to Naga City in Camarines Sur where six million Bicolanos from here and abroad will flock to that progressive city to pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. Bicolanos from all walks of life will be in Naga City to meet their relatives and partidarios, share food, drinks, and prayers with them, and most of all, to pay homage and make thanksgiving to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina. Viva la Virgen, they will shout to high heavens. The feast day is headed by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its destination, the devotees shout "Viva la Virgen" (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a procession to the cathedral. Millions of Bicolanos will once again show to the whole Christian world their strong faith and loyalty to their Heavenly Mother. amongst triumphant sounding shouts of Viva la Virgen , Bicolanos and pilgrims, with lighted candles in their hands, will kneel on the ground and bow their heads in prayer as the colorful fluvial procession carrying the Virgin plows through the Bicol River in downtown Naga. A multicolored pagoda carrying the images/icons of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro will pass through the Bicol River. Male, sunburned devotees of the Virgin will adhere to the huge pagoda in a heartwarming display of faith and devotion. Actually, the fluvial procession marks the return of the Virgin from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to her home shrine at the Basilica. Upon its arrival, the
  • 15. Virgin will be received in formal religious rites by Roman Catholic dignitaries of the Bicol Region led by Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez. Considered the biggest and most popular religious event in the Philippines, the Peñafrancia fiesta is in fact a one-week affair that starts on the second Friday of September when the miraculous Ina is transferred from her shrine to the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral where a nine-day novena and prayers are held in her honor. Ranking government officials, Cabinet members, ambassadors, governors, mayors, senators, diputados , business/industry leaders, landlords, etc., vie for the distinct honor of sponsoring a nightly novena and prayers at the Naga Cathedral. A procession, locally called traslacion (is the transferring of the miraculous Image of the Virgin, Our Lady of Peñafrancia and of the Divino Rostro to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City for a Novena and Holy Masses. This begun in 1885.), ushers in the weeklong festivities which include civic and military parades, sports competitions, agro-industrial fairs, cultural shows, and the coronation of Miss Bicolandia beauties. During the traslacion, which passes through the main streets of Naga, the miraculous Ina of the Bicolanos is borne on the rugged, muscular shoulders of barefooted voyadores who form a human barricade to protect the Virgin from the unruly crowd. Call it absolute coincidence or plain superstition, but any Bicolano will swear to high heavens that the presence of a woman, Filipina or foreigner, aboard the merrily decorated pagoda will surely spell disaster. Whether this belief is true or not, only the Bicolanos know. But past events and experiences support their claim.
  • 16. NEGROS OCTOBER The Masskara Festival through the years gives the people of Negros, as well as local and foreign visitors, a chance to drink and be merry for 20 days. Originally designed to show the hardships of the people of Negros, the Masskara Festival has become a tool of escapism and a way to generate revenues for big business. It has indeed come a long way, and it is clear that the path turn away from the progressive goal. Bacolod City is known for the popular Masskara Festival which takes place here Oct. 1-20. Local and foreign visitors get a chance to enjoy 20 days of merry making, beer drinking, dining and street dancing. On the weekend nearest to 19 October, the biggest party in Bacalod is scheduled to take place. Bacalod is the capital city of the country's sugar-producing province of Bocalenos. The term Masskara is created from two words: mass, meaning crowd, and the Spanish word cara, for face; thus the double meaning for "mask" and "many faces". It was coined by Ely Santiago, a painter, cartoonist, and cultural artist, who devoted show in his art works the many faces of Negrenses overwhelmed with various crises. Group of masskara dancers A smiling mask, which is the symbol of the fiesta was conceived by the organizers to show the happy spirit of the Negrenses despite experiencing bad times in the sugar industry.
  • 17. The Masskara festival was first envisioned in 1980 to add color and jollity to the Bacolod City's celebration of its Charter Day anniversary, on 19 October. The symbol of the festival - a smiling mask - was adopted by the organizers to dramatize the Negrenses happy spirit, in spite of periodic economic downturns in the sugar industry. Throughout the week, people from all over the Visayas, gather to the town plaza. They join Bacoleños in the non-stop round of festivities. Even if you don't feel like dancing and singing, the pig catching and pole climbing competitions are musts. Some are also trying their luck and testing their skills in mask- making contests, disco king and queen competitions, coconut-milk drinking to name a few. Masks are the order of the day at the Masskara parade, as brightly-costumed men and women dance and strut in the streets. Their beaming faces are be-dimpled, smiling and laughing in molded clay or papier-mâché. Every group is represented: civic associations, commercial establishments, schools, even private and government organizations. They march out in excited crowd wearing their painted masks and elaborate costumes, all vying for prizes in judging that will be held in the afternoon. The festival also benefits Bacolod tourism not only because tourists flock the city during this time to join the merrymaking but also to buy the orchids and ornate handicrafts on sale.
  • 18. BACOLOD CITY November The Pintaflores Festival was born out of the city’s search for a cultural identity and tradition. Each city in negros province celebrates their own festival during fiesta. Sinulog of Cebu City, the MassKara Festival of Bacolod City and Ati-atihan at Aklan, and the City of Sunflower Festival also called as PintaFlores Festival. The streetdancing and ritual competition highlights the event which held every Nov. 3-5. Colorful costumes, painted body of the dancers and the glamorous dancesteps given by their choreographer, with musical accompaniment add to the thrill of competition. It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil that depict the people’s thanksgiving and merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the Pintados tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express gratitude to man and his environment. The dances are dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil. These themes are thanksgiving praises to the city's patron saint, San Carlos Borromeo. Dancers with colorful flowers drawn artistically over faces, arms, bodies, and legs and dressed in ethnic- styled ensembles perform a dance ritual that usually shows a human flower formation. "Pintaflores is coined from the words Pintados, the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and the "flores", the Spanish word for flowers that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers," the site stated. Tattoos are believed to have been sketched on the skin of locals in pre-colonial Visayas--and its tribal allure has since been the core subject of the festival in San Carlos.
  • 19. Although not as visited as the festivals in the neighboring Panay and Cebu Islands, the Pintaflores has received accolades among the various festivals in the Visayas. "Pintaflores dazzles one with the vibrant colors of flowers and silk. It enlivens the spirit to the snappy beat of drums. It titillates the mind to the graceful sways and spirit of colorful dancers. It leaves a lasting imprint of a colorful, lively and beautiful people," the site added. The celebration starts on November 3 and goes on until November 6. The street dancing and ritual competition will be held on November 5. SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA DECEMBER The Giant Lantern Festival (Kapampangan: Ligligan Parul) is an annual festival held in December (Saturday before Christmas Eve) in the City of San Fernando in the Philippines. The festival features a competition of giant lanterns. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been nicknamed the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines". The San Fernando lantern industry evolved from the Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando. The festival, which is held every December, finds its roots in Bacolor where a much simpler activity was held. Following the transfer of the provincial capital from Bacolor to San Fernando in August 1904, this lantern event followed as well. "Ligligan Parol" was said to have started in San Fernando in 1904. But some say that the "Ligligan Parol" did not happen immediately after the transfer and in fact began in 1908. This predecessor of the modern day Giant Lantern Festival was actually a religious activity which we know today as “lubenas.” The lanterns measured just two feet in diameter, a far cry from the fifteen feet that we see today. These were created in each barrio from bamboo and other locally available materials. During the nine-day novena before Christmas, which coincided with the simbang gabi from December
  • 20. 16 to 24, these paruls were brought around each barrio in procession to their visita. Before the midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the lanterns were brought to the town church together with the barrio patrons. This tradition gradually evolved as the lanterns became bigger and the designs more intricate. Later, one big lantern was made for each barrio, which was created through a cooperative effort. Each resident contributed to its construction, from the concept and design, to the materials and labor. In the end, these lanterns became a symbol of unity for the barrios. It was in 1931 that electricity was introduced to the San Fernando lantern, thus sparking the birth of the first Giant Lantern Festival. The added illusion of dancing lights highlighted the bright colors and intricate designs of these Giant Lanterns. At this time, the lights were controlled by individual switches that were turned on and off following the beat of the music. The barangays of Del Pilar, Sta. Lucia and San Jose were among the first barangays to participate in the festival: The Story behind the Giant Lanterns of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. The first lantern festival was held to honor President Manuel L. Quezon. At that time, Quezon made Arayat his rest area and converted Mount Arayat into a tourist resort. As a show of gratitude to Quezon, the people of San Fernando held a Christmas lantern contest to honor the first family. Quezon himself donated the prize for his lantern contest, which was personally awarded to the winner by First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon. It was only cancelled in 1972, 1973 and 1974 when the country declared Martial Law. In the years that followed, more innovations were introduced to the giant lanterns. Colored plastics replaced traditional papel de hapon. The use of colored plastics will continue on until 2010, wherein fiberglass and handmade paper will make their first appearances on the lanterns.[2] Large steel barrels called rotors also substituted the hand-controlled switches to manipulate the lights. And lanterns have grown in size, approximately 20-feet today, and illuminated by about 3,500 to 5,000 light bulbs. In 1990, the venue was moved to Paskuhan Village. In 2000, the venue was moved again to SM City Pampanga until 2007. In 2008, until now, the venue is now at Robinsons Starmills. In 2011, Brgy. Calulut and Brgy. Del Carmen joined the competition for the first time. In 2015, Brgy's. Sindalan and Pandaras, also joined the competition for the first time. Last December 17, 2016, in the first time in history, Brgy. Dolores was the first grand slam champion after they won in three competitive years last 2014, 2015 & 2016. This year's 1st & 2nd runner-up are Brgy. Calulut and Brgy. Sindalan.