Join the Fun in these Upcoming Festivals
It’s rave partying done the traditional Filipino way – the fiestas!
The Philippines is known not only for its 7,107 amazing islands but also for its great love for street partying – the colorful fiestas all year round. And for expats who want to experience how the locals party ‘til they drop, you can check out and head to the various festivals that are happening very soon in various towns and cities in the Philippines where everyone is invited to join in the fun.
These feasts are actually meaningful revelries and are not simply about merrymaking but go as deep as celebrating a cultural heritage, or expressing gratitude for bounty, or inspiring people to overcome challenges. They feature fun events that are usually centered on culture, history, culinary, spirituality, industry, passion for life and more.
Basically, fiestas or festivals are those events where the fun never seems to stop and the people’s upbeat spirit is simply contagious.
Here’s a list of the festivals coming up soon. All you need is a little travel budget and a large appetite for fun and you’re good to go and enjoy in these absolutely fab fiestas!
(Photo from General Santos Facebook)
TUNA SA GENSAN
General Santos City
The rich bounty of the Philippine seas is worth celebrating and General Santos City in the southernmost part of the Philippines certainly knows how to do some partying – through a fun and engaging cultural and culinary festival where its main product, the tuna, takes centerstage. Lovers of the tasty and healthy fish get treated to a visual and gastronomic feast as the city celebrates its cityhood anniversary by showcasing its main industry and livelihood – tuna fisheries and processing. The celebration features tuna dish cooking competitions, carnivals, parades of tuna and tuna-like floats, street dancing, and drum-and-lyre performances.
(Photo from www.mindanews.com)
If you’re digging for some tribal ritual festivity, you might want to head south to where the islands are as fascinating as the natives living there. Surigao, home to one of the country’s most colorful tribes – the Mamanwas, offers us a glimpse into their natives’ rich ethnicity with the Bonok-Bonok Festival. Steep in history and culture, it showcases the beliefs, traditions, skills, and crafts of the indigenous tribe as the streets are filled with their ritual dance that showcases their colorful, elaborate costumes and accessories, chants, and rhythms. Celebrated on the occasion of the feast of San Nicolas de Tolentino, the day-long festivity takes place in the area around the Provincial Sports Complex.
PEÑAFRANCIA VIVA LA VIRGEN
16 September (every 3rd Saturday of September)
The popular Bicolano Feast is the region’s largest annual celebration that combines religion with culture and tradition in an eventful fiesta that culminates with a stirring climax: the fluvial parade. The parade features a multicolored pagoda carrying the images of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro as it makes its way down the river, surrounded by a sea of glowing candles.
Over six million Bicolanos from here and abroad as well as prominent individuals and high-ranking government and church officials flock to the city to pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia and share the festive spirit of communing, sharing food, drinks, praying, and celebrating their faith and tradition as one family.
(Photo from ptd.com.ph)
ZAMBOANGA HERMOSA FESTIVAL
The scenic city of Zamboanga in Mindanao holds its grand, annual Hermosa Festival with fun-filled events that draw thousands to this wonderful side of the southern Philippines. Hermosa, meaning “beautiful” is a befitting description to the dazzling event which is a homage to the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pilar Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa, more commonly known as the “Fiesta Pilar” at the legendary Fort Pila.
The event includes live music, cultural performances, street parades, fireworks displays and the much awaited regatta with old sailing ships and yachts that sport red, yellow and other brightly colored sails called vinta. There are also art exhibitions and colorful flower shows displaying the botanical wonders of the city. It’s an all-out celebration of the beauty of life and everyone’s invited.
(Photo from The Masskara Festival Facebook)
The term Masskara was coined from two words: mass, meaning crowd, and the Spanish word cara, for face; thus the double meaning for “mask” and “many faces”. The Masskara festival was first conceived in 1980 to add color and cheer to the city’s Charter Day anniversary and to help lift up the spirit of the Negrenses of the whole Negros province who faced some downturns in their sugar industry during that period. The symbol of the festival – a smiling mask – was adopted by the organizers to foster the locals’ happy and resilient spirit even during trying times.
The spectacular event is filled with days of merrymaking, beer drinking, dining, fun games and competitions like mask-making contests, disco king and queen, coconut milk drinking to name a few, and of course, the much anticipated street dancing where participants don vibrant beaming masks and dance to the beat of fun rhythms.
Article by Ingrid Soriano