August, like any other month in the Philippines, is filled with celebrations and events. There’s always something going on somewhere in the country, be it a town fiesta, a citywide festival or a cultural event.
The month marks the celebration of the birthday anniversary of Manuel L. Quezon, the Philippines’ second president. Different towns in Luzon celebrate the birth anniversary: Angono in Rizal, Baler in Aurora and Quezon City in Metro Manila. August is also recognized as Buwan ng Wika (Month of the National Language).
Two cities also celebrate their charters during the month. Kabanlakan City, Negros Occidental and Butuan City celebrate their births on August 2. In addition, several historical events are commemorated like the death of Statesman and Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino on the 21st, the Cry of Pugadlawin on the 23rd the Battle of San Juan del Monte on the 30th.
Here’s a list of festivals and events that you can witness and experience if you’re spending August in the Philippines. Understand that accommodations are scarce and more costly during festival seasons so it is best to book early.
Pasigarbo as Sugbo
Pasigarbo means “pride” in Cebuano and the event is a celebration of the province’s founding anniversary. The event features the best of what Cebu has to offer including local products like lechon, danggit, pastries, mangoes and world-class furniture. The culmination of the festivities is marked by a fireworks display and a showcase of the different festivals in the province.
The four-day festival is marked by trade fairs and street dancing that celebrates the transition of the townsfolk from paganism into Christianity during the Spanish colonial period. Lal-lo is one of the very first cities established by the Spanish in the 15th century. Cabibi is the local term for the shells found on the banks of the mighty Cagayan River.
Tigaon, Camarines Sur
The festival is held in honor of St. Claire de Assisi, the town’s patron saint. The merriment lasts for almost two weeks leading to the culmination marked by the Devotional Fertility Street Dancing which is participated in by childless couples from nearby towns and provinces. If you’re planning to witness the celebrations, make sure that there are no weather issues as Camarines Sur is part of the typhoon zone.
Ironman 70.3 Philippines
The event is aimed at attracting hundreds of tri-athletes from all over the Philippines and from nearby countries. It is part of the Ironman world series of 31 events which includes three disciplines: running, cycling and swimming. The sports event will kick off at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, one of the premier resorts in the Philippines with world-class facilities and amenities.
Ceramic and pottery collectors will find the Coron Festival a delightful event. The celebration is aimed at recognizing and promoting the town’s growing ceramics industry. Coron is the local name for clay pots which are handcrafted by the locals of Tiwi. The centuries-old skill of pottery has been passed on from generation to generation through teaching and not by the help of manuals.
Mindanao Travel and Tour Expo
As part of the events leading to the Kadayawan Festival, the Mindanao Travel and Tour Expo aims to promote key destinations not just in the Davao Region but in all of Mindanao. Several airlines, travel agencies and tour providers participate in the event, offering special discounts and promotions to visitors. The event will be held at the Atrium of the Gaisano Mall of Davao.
Legazpi City, Albay
The two-week long Ibalong Festival depicts the folklore about Bantong, Baltog, Handiong and other superheroes who fought against wild animals and villains during the ancient times. The celebrations include a pageant for the Mutya ng Ibalong (Gem of Ibalong), street dances, trade fairs, tours and a grand parade of revelers wearing masks of villains, animals and heroes.
Dinagat (Bakasi) Festival
Bakasi is the local name for the exotic eel that thrives in the waters of Cordova. Revelers emulate the slithering and gliding movements of the eel in their dances while being applauded by spectators. There is also a food innovation contest which is focused on the Bakasi as the main ingredient. The festival is dedicated to the town’s patron Sr. San Roque.
Kumbira Culinary Food Show and Competition
The Atrium, Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City
Foodies will find the Kumbira Culinary Food Show and Competition a noteworthy event in CDO. The culinary festival includes competitions on food and beverage, cooking demos, and exhibits. Kumbira means invitation to a feast in Visayan and the festival is aptly named as it invites both professional and student food enthusiasts to participate.
Third week of August
Kalubihan translates to coconut plantation and the festival is centered on the town’s coconut growing industry. It recognizes the efforts of local coconut farmers and land owners through an exciting set of activities. There is a parade of coconut-decorated carts called “karituhan”, food fests, games, competitions and a pageant named “Nanay sang Kalubihan” (Mother of the Coconut Plantation).
Considered the King of Festivals, the Kadayawan sa Dabaw is a celebration of a bountiful harvest in the city. Eleven tribes of the Davao Region come down from the mountains to showcase their cultures through dances and rituals in the streets during the culmination. The peak of the festivities features street dancing, indigenous dance fests and a grand floral float parade along the main streets of the city. The weeks leading to the culmination are marked with mall sales, night markets, food festivals and the Hiyas ng Kadayawan pageant.
Cagayan de Oro City
Similar to Davao’s Kadayawan, Cagayan de Oro’s Kagay’anon Festival is a colorful event marked by street dances, parties and parades. One of the core events is the Golden Float Parade participated in by local schools, the private sector and the departments in the local government. The city dedicates the festival to its wonderful people and to their patron St. Augustine.
Madayaw Hugyaw Samal Festival
Penaplata, Island Garden City of Samal
Last weekend of August
Madayaw means good and hugyaw means gaiety in the local dialect and the festival is aptly named as such. The Sama tribe of the Island Garden City of Samal holds the three-day festival as thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest and the abundance of resources in the island. There are parties, games, fire dances, parades and other exciting activities. The event is centered in Penaplata where some excellent resorts in the island are located.