The mood always seems to be colourful in the Philippines. After all, the celebrator frenzy of a number of exciting and colourful festivals throughout the year does its bit to create a merry festive atmosphere.
Many of the celebrations involve elaborate costumes, parades and processions. Come, let’s take a closer look at the festivities.
Get Bugged by the Bees in Buyogan Festival
Buyogan Festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration. People dress up and behave like bees-in-action. Costumed children buzz around in a bee-like manner. Other participants put tribal henna designs on their body and face to represent the Abuyog’s ethnic history. Usually, Buyogan Festival is celebrated in the last weekend of August. It coincides with the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.
Masks in the Masskara Festival
Held in the third weekend of October, Masskara Festival is a week-long fiesta. People dress in graceful costumes and dance on the streets. These attires are adorned with exotic feathers, gleaming sequins and multi-coloured beads. The vibrant masks signify the jovial Negrense spirit of putting on a happy face when faced with challenges.
One of the country’s most elaborate celebrations, Bangus Festival is highly popular for its cultural fusion. Dagupan City is marked by hundreds of barbecue grills for cooking bangus. There’s the grilling challenge too. Other types of competitions include bangus eating contest and search for the biggest and heaviest bangus. Tourists participating in this festival get the opportunity to dance and socialise with the locals. These dances denote the bountiful harvest of Bangus. It is celebrated in April every year.
Higantes Festival is a two-week long celebration in the honour of San Clemente – the patron saint of fishermen. There are multiple activities such as Misa Cantada, song and dance contests, on-the-spot painting competition and art exhibition. There’s a procession with thousands of individuals splashing onlookers with water. The festival also features The Higantes, i.e. huge papier-mâché figures up to 12-feet high and 5-feet in diameter. The Higantes Festival is held on 23rd November every year.
Tuna Festival is a great moment for people wishing to try out a wide variety of tuna dishes. After tasting the delicious cuisines, tourists can participate in the street carnivals and befriend locals. This festive occasion celebrates the abundance of tuna fish. This year, it will be observed on the 5th of September.