The Philippines does not seem to run out of any reason to celebrate. Proof of this is the many colorful and vibrant festivals in many corners of the country, on top of the numerous holidays throughout the year. Think of a municipality and, chances are, it will have an important festival that is celebrated each year.
Here are some local festivals and events that travelers may want to visit this coming April and May:
Name of Festival: Turumba
Location: Pakil, Laguna
The Turumba Festival is a seven-day celebration in honor of our lady of sorrows. The festivity is punctuated by a procession and dancing to the beat of a turumba song.
Name of Festival: Lami-Lamihan Festival
Date: April 14 to 16
The Laimi-Lamihan Festival celebrates the rich heritage traditions of the Yakan people. The event is usually celebrated by a colorful parade and a horse race.
Name of Festival: Kadaugan sa Mactan
Date: April 27
The Kadaugan sa Mactan Festival re-enacts the Battle of Mactan which took place on the island’s shores.
Name of Festival: Flores de Mayo
Date: Whole month of May
Location: Catholic communities all over the Philippines
The Flores de Mayo or Flowers of May is a religious celebration celebrated by Catholicsin honot of the Virgin Mary. It happens together with the Santacruzan, a reenactment of Queen Elena’s search for the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. The town or city’s loveliest ladies are chosen to represent the various queens and consorts of Queen Elena.
Name of Festival: Magayon Festival
Date: May 1
Location: Albay Province
The Magayon Festival celebrates the rich culture and unique are of the province of Albay. The event is highlighted by exhibits and trade shows, street parades, various shows, and sports activities.
Name of Festival: Boa-Boahan
Date: May 2
Location: Nabua, Camarines Sur
The Boa-Boahan festival reenacts the old 13th-century rite of offering chains of coconut embryos locally called boa to the ancient gods with the belief that this would ensure a prosperous year.
Name of Festival: Lanahan Ritual
Date: May 1-3
Location: Balabag, Digos, Davao del Sur
The Lanahan Ritual is carried out by the Bagobo tribe and is characterized by the concoction of medicinal oil or lana after they make a pilgrimage to Mount Apo.
Name of Festival: Carabao Festival
Date: May 15
Location: Pulilan, Bulacan
This Carabao Festival honors San Isidro Labrador who is the patron saint of farmers. Farmers’ Carabaos are paraded around town and are then blessed by the town priest.
Name of Festival: Pahiyas Festival
Location: Lucban and Sariaya, Quezon
The Pahiyas Festival serves as a thanksgiving celebration to San Isidro Labrador for the bountiful harvest during the year. The event is best known for the elaborate decorations like fresh fruits and vegetables that cover whole houses. The most prominent of such decorations is the brightly-colored rice wafers known as kiping. An image of the town’s patron saint is paraded around the streets in hopes of being assured abundant produce in the years ahead.
Name of Festival: Obando Festival
Date: May 17 to 19
Location: Obando, Bulacan
The Obando Festival involves various dance rituals held for three consecutive days, each to honor three different patron saints: May 17 for St. Paschal (for couples praying for a male child), May 18 for St. Claire (for couples who are hoping for a female child), and May 19 for the Our Lady of Salambaw (the patroness of fishermen).
Name of Festival: Pahoy-Pahoy Festival
Date: May 19 to 25
Location: Calbiga, Samar
The Pahoy-Pahoy Festival is held every May in the quaint little town of Calbiga. What is unique about this celebration is the giant pahoy-pahoy or scarecrows made of indigenous materials that are paraded and made to dance in the streets. Bamboos, cans and stones are used to create the sounds to scare away local maya birds.
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