With just a month to go before December, the entire country is now bedecked with twinkling lights, Christmas trees and Styrofoam snowmen. November marks the beginning of all-out sales in large shopping malls as everyone starts to shop for gifts to give as ‘pamasko’ to their loved ones.
Here are some exciting events and festivals to watch out for this November in the Philippines.
Banaag Festival is a celebration of fire and light in the small town of Anilao in Iloilo. It is actually in commemoration of the town’s foundation. The word ‘banaag’ means bright in the local language called Hiligaynon. The festival features street dances during nighttime to emphasize the play of fire and light.
All over the country
In line with the celebration of the All Saint’s and All Soul’s Days, Filipinos converge in cemeteries to visit their dead and meet with family members. These days are declared non-working holidays hence the huge number of people in these places. As a tradition, families bring food to the cemeteries both to “offer” to their deceased loved ones and to share with other relatives. Traffic can be quite impossible during these days, especially on roads leading to cemeteries. Undas is a good time to watch and photograph people.
Belen sa Makati
November 1 – December 16
Now on its 25th year, buildings in the country’s financial center are decorated with a belen, a presentation of the Nativity using figurines made from all sorts of materials. It would be a delight to drive through Makati’s Buendia and Ayala Avenues to see these creches displayed in different colors complemented by brightly lit lanterns.
Negros Day/ El Cinco de Noviembre
This celebration commemorates the townsfolk’s revolution against their Spaniards in the year 1898. History has it that the Negrenses (townsfolk) were happy living with the colonizers until the movement for freedom in Luzon resonated to the sugar barons and planters of the province who later revolted against their lords. This event is actually made famous for the bluff which involved disguising sawali mats and nipa stalks as rifles and canons which drove the Spanish authorities away. This historical festival is celebrated all over Negros Island.
San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
‘Pinta’ means paint and ‘flores’ means flowers. The Pintaflores Festival features revelers dressed in ethnic-inspired costumes painted with large flower patterns. Even their bodies and faces are painted with flower designs. The festival is dedicated to San Carlos Borromeo, the city’s patron saint. Now on its 20th year, Pintaflores is an ultra-colorful festival with school children participating in street dances and other activities.
November 17 – 20
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
After joining in the revelry of the Pintaflores, you can head on east to Dumaguete where the Sandurot Festival is celebrated. Dumaguete City is a melting pot of different cultures both foreign and local. The city embraces the influx of foreigners wishing to reside, study or stay for a long period. ‘Sandurot’ is the local word for arrival and this festival is a testimonial of the city’s warm welcome to the different people and cultures.
Creed Live in Manila
Smart Araneta Coliseum
The American rock band Creed will be entertaining music lovers in Manila. The one-night concert will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Hit songs like My Sacrifice and With Arms Wide Open will be enjoyed along with other songs in their albums. Tickets start at P800 (20USD).
La Union Surfing Festival
Urbiztondo, La Union
La Union is known as the Surfing Capital of Luzon and it opens it shores to surf enthusiasts from all over the country. The invitational competition is managed by Filipinos as a move to promote local tourism and lure tourists into one of the country’s best surfing destinations.
Higantes or giants dominate the streets of Angono as the town celebrates the feast of San Clemente, patron saint of Angono and of fishermen. During the festival, the image of the saint in papal vestments is carried by men followed by devotees called pahadores dressed in fishermen’s clothes, local costumes, wooden shoes and carrying fishing paraphernalia and 12-foot giants. These giants are made of paper-mâché created by locals all throughout the year.
Grand Cordillera Festival
The Cordilleras in Luzon is a cornucopia of different cultures, histories and peoples. The Grand Cordillera Festival is the convergence of the various tribes living in the urban areas and hinterlands of the mountain range. The festival is marked by thanksgiving rituals and tribal dancing. This is the best time to witness and experience the culture of the highlands, not to mention feast on the many food delights of the region.
Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila
Mall of Asia Arena
Hollywood actress, singer, dancer and former American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez will take Manila by storm as part of her Dance Again World Tour. Her one-night concert will be held at the large SM Mall of Asia Arena. VIP tickets are already sold out.
Annual Pinatubo Trek
Barangay Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac
The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on July 1991 is chronicled as the 20th century’s second largest terrestrial eruption. Now, more than two decades after, the Annual Pinatubo Trek with a theme ‘A March To Peace And Tranquility’ invites everyone to trek the fringes of the volcano as a move to promote harmony and stability among the people. Mount Pinatubo is an active volcano and the thrill of trekking on one would be an exhilarating
November starts with a holiday and ends with a holiday. Bonifacio Day is a day of remembrance to the revolutionary who started it all. Andres Bonifacio is one of the most prominent figures in history, being the founder of the Katipunan. He is considered as one of the bravest men born in the Philippines. Bonifacio Day is celebrated all over the country.