Philippine Festivals this coming March

With the numerous festivals that happen all year round in the Philippines, it would not come as a surprise if we are perceived by the international community as a generally happy nation. That is probably the reason why there is still a significant influx of tourists at any time throughout the year.

While festivals in the country abound, the colors, the pomp, and the revelry are unique in every region, thus, providing a distinctive experience to travelers which keeps them wanting to see what’s in store for them in their next destination.

As such, despite the fact that summer may just be around the corner, you might want to start your adventure early by going to the following festivities this coming March.

Malasimbo Festival

When: March 10-12
Where: Puerto Galera

The Malasimbo Festival is a celebration of music, arts, indigenous people, and environment. Most notably, the festival is famous for bringing in some of the most recognizable musicians in the land. The Malasimbo Festival also showcases world-class artwork courtesy of some of the most talented visual artists that combine their own creativity with indigenous elements.

UNESCO-ITI World Theater Week

When: March 21 – 27
Where: Metro Manila and other participating regions

The World Theatre Week is an occasion to celebrate the power of theater in bringing people together. It is an opportunity for theatre artists and media arts practitioners to share with audiences the wealth our country’s heritage, history, habitat, theatrical traditions and expertise.

Anibina Bulawanun Festival

When: March 8
Where: Compostela Valley Province

This is an annual celebration consisting of eight days of activities that culminates on the foundation day of Compostela Valley Province. It features various themes and is a colorful spectacle that celebrates the province’s bountiful harvests and rich mineral resources. There is also a trade and tourism fair that showcase the local people’s culture and traditions. Something to look forward to also is the Al-law Ng Kalomonan (Tribal Day) falls on the 7th day of the festival.

Moriones Festival

When: Holy Week
Where: Marinduque

This is almost certainly one of the most recognizable festivities in the Philippines. A week-long celebration during Holy Week, male penitents parade around town in costumes. During Good Friday, the penitents reenact the story of Longinus, a centurion who was blind in one eye and who speared the side of the crucified Jesus Christ. Blood fell from Jesus’ wound to Longinus’ blind eye which inexplicably restored his vision; eventually leading to the latter’s conversion to Christianity.

Centurion Festival

When: Holy Week
Where: General Luna, Quezon

The Centurion Festival may not be well-known to most Filipinos but it is very similar to Marinduque’s Moriones Festival in terms of format and splendor. In fact, some believe that it is the origin of the Moriones Festival. It may not be widely-promoted but it is a festival that is observed annually by some towns in Quezon. The Centurion Festival also keeps the local tradition and art of mask-making alive in the towns of Quezon.

Pangalap Ritual

When: Good Friday
Where: Nueva Valencia, Guimaras

This is not a festival per se but an interesting ceremony in which believers crawl through Catilaran Cave as they chant various prayers. The ritual is believed to give participants supernatural powers that help protect them against malevolent spirits.

Witches Festival

When: Holy Week
Where: Siquijor

Siquijor is best known as the land of witchcraft. During the Witches Festivals, sorcerers or mambabarang gather at Crocodile Hill during the full moon to collect herbs, roots and live insects which they throw into enormous cauldrons filled with boiling water. They sit around this concoction while chanting incantations. The festival culminates in dancing and a restricted ritual in an isolated cave at dawn.

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