October is one of the most exciting months in the Philippines. For one thing, the rains finally simmer down, announcing the arrival of sunnier days. Another thing that makes October a favorite month of most is the Oktoberfest. Deemed to be a subdued version of Munich’s Oktoberfest, it is a much-awaited event participated by the youth and supported by local and international brewing companies, bands and celebrities.
Just like any other month, there are a number of festivals that grace the towns and cities all over the country. The biggest of all is Bacolod’s ultra-vibrant Masskara Festival which is witnessed by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. Read on and find out what is in store for travelers in the Philippines this October.
Zamboanga Hermosa Festival
October 1- 12
Colorful sailboats called vintas are icons of Zamboanga City and the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is the best time to see these beautiful vessels gliding over the water in a regatta. The festival also features trade fairs, art exhibits, pageants, cultural and variety shows, and flora displays. Street dancing is also a spectacle that must not be missed.
If you missed General Santos City’s Tuna Festival in September, Siargao’s Kinilaw Festival is the next best thing. The festival aims to showcase the different methods in preparing kinilaw, the local version of ceviche popular in Mexico and Peru. Other blessings of the sea found in the island are also featured during the festival. Kinilaw Festival is a perfect time to experience the bohemian beach life of Siargao and meet surfers from all over the world.
Kidapawan City Fruit Festival
October 5 – 10
Fancy feasting on tropical fruits absolutely for free? Celebrate with the locals of Kidapawan City, Cotabato. The fruit festival is an event that expects to attract thousand of visitors especially during the highlight aptly called Fruit Galore. During the event, tons of fruits will be arranged on an 800-meter table in the middle of the highway for the public to munch on for free!
La Naval Festival
Angeles City and Quezon City
As a commemoration of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary, the La Naval Festival is celebrated all over the Philippines but the biggest fiestas are held in Angeles City, Pampanga and Quezon City. This religious event is marked by a celebration of the Holy Mass, wonderful food and several programs. The festival remembers the intercession of the Virgin during the Dutch invasion attempt in which the Spanish emerged as victors.
October 14 – 15
Talisay City, Cebu
If you are a fan of Cebu’s lechon, you will find the Inasal/Halad Festival a perfect time to overload on this delicious Filipino classic dish. This celebration in Talisay City aims to promote the city as a tourist destination and showcase their rich historical heritage. The city’s “inasal” or lechon is claimed to be the best and this favorite dish is the central theme of the festival.
October 17 – 20
SMX Convention Center
A collaboration of three of the country’s biggest sourcing events, FAME Manila aims to promote the Philippines as Asia’s premier destination for sourcing of textile, furniture, lifestyle products, holiday gifts and fashion. The event will be participated by homegrown manufacturers from all over the country.
Bacolod Charter Day Celebration and Masskara Festival
Considered as one of the grandest festivals in the Philippines, the Masskara Festival is celebrated in line with Bacolod’s charter anniversary. The Mardi Gras-like celebration features the locals’ love for fun and gaiety with street dancers wearing smiling masks of different colors. Carnivals, float parades, trade fairs and food fests make the celebrations one of the most well-loved festivals in the country.
Leyte Gulf Landing Anniversary
Dulag and Palo, Leyte
General Douglas MacArthur’s famous promise “I shall return” was made good on this date and the Leyte Gulf Landing Anniversary is a commemoration of the general’s and the Allied Forces’ efforts to liberate the Philippines from foreign rule. Competitions and photo exhibits serve as reminders of this significant historical event to the younger generations.
October 25- 31
Legazpi City, Albay
Superheroes roam the streets of Legazpi City during the Ibalong Festival. Also known as the Epic Tale of the Superheroes, the festival is a depiction of the city’s birth as described in the epic titled Ibalong. Ethnic masks portraying the epic’s villains and superheroes are worn by revelers in the streets. Sporting events, trade fairs and pageants are also held as part of the festivities.
Eid’l Adha is one of the most important religious holidays of the Islam faith. It is known as the “Feast of the Sacrifice”, a commemoration of Abraham’s (Ibrahim’s) willful sacrifice of Ishmael (Isma’il) to show his obedience to Allah. The national government has declared it as a holiday and being a Friday, it means a long weekend for most Filipinos.
October 29 – 30
The province of Capiz has a notorious reputation as a haven for aswangs, the local version of the witch or sorceress. For centuries, the province is feared by many and only the bravest of souls dare to visit. The Aswang Festival aims to turn this reputation around and use it to their advantage by promoting their world-class seafood products and the warmth of the locals who were thought by many as harmful people. Capiz is a captivating paradise and the Aswang Festival is the best time to experience it.