June is the start of the rainy season in the Philippines. Days start to become much cooler and showers occur even in the middle of the day. June is also the start of off-season travel in the Philippines. Airfare and accommodations become cheaper and owners are more accommodating with requests for discounted rates. While most would discourage travel to the Philippines in June, the entire month can actually be an opportune time to enjoy destinations without the crowds.
June is also the start of school season in the Philippines so you can expect the traffic situation to get worse especially in large metros like Manila, Cebu, and Davao. The start of the school year also means all-out sales in shopping malls, making it an excellent time to do some shopping on the side.
Spending June in the Philippines may not be as great as staying during summer but the weather is really not so bad during this month. Also, there are a number of festivals and events to watch out for; below is a list of some of them.
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The Philippine Independence Day commemorates the nation’s freedom against Spanish rule on June 12, 1898. General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine President, read the declaration of independence from the balcony of his home in Kawit, Cavite. The house is now considered a symbol of that freedom. After such declaration, the Philippines was under American rule until full independence was granted through the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946. The celebration of Independence Day includes ceremonies lead by the current President as well as other nationalistic activities.
Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
The Agusan Valley is home to several tribes and the Naliyagan Festival is a celebration of their culture. During the 6-day affair, tribes converge at the Naliyagan Plaza to showcase their songs, dances, handmade crafts and agricultural products. They come down from their abodes in full traditional regalia. At the opening of the festivities, a babaylan (tribal leader) performs rituals to bless the participants and invoke their gods to drive away negative energy.
Murcia, Negros Occidental
While the name of the festival may get you thinking about beauty treatments, the purpose of the celebrations is actually to promote the area where the Mambukal Resort is located. The festival involves revelers adorned with body art made from multi-colored mud acquired from the resort. Performers showcase tribal dances, crafts and other forms of art. Mambukal Resort is located 25 minutes from the provincial capital Bacolod City.
If you love pineapples, a trip to Daet, Camarines Norte is in order this month. The town’s celebrations are centered on the succulent fruit of their lands. Sporting events, cultural performances, exhibits, parades and trade fairs are set to entertain both locals and visitors.
Pujada Bay Festival
Mati, Davao Oriental
Now on its 10th year, the Pujada Bay Festival is the locals’ way of paying tribute to their ecological jewel, the source of their marine livelihood, the Pujada Bay. The festival coincides with Mati City’s charter anniversary. Highlights of the festivities include a parade of contingents showcasing the bountiful blessings of the bay, cultural presentations and several programs to raise coastal protection awareness among locals.
Parada Ng Lechon
The annual Parada ng Lechon (roasted pig parade) in Balayan, Batangas is a grand procession of succulent roasted pigs in bamboo skewers. The celebration is held every 24th of June, the feast day of San Juan (Saint John the Baptist). The roasted pigs are dressed according to the theme of the fiesta and brought to the church to be blessed during the mass. Since the festival coincides with the feast of John the Baptist (San Juan), the parade of Lechon goes around the main streets while onlookers drench everyone with water in celebration. After the procession, the succulent Lechon is brought back to the owner’s house for the feast.
Tacloban City, Leyte
The Pintados were once warriors who sported different tattoos as a sign of their courage and rank among their tribesmen. The Pintados/Kasadyaan Festival is a commemoration of these warriors and at the same time a tribute to the Santo Nino. Revelers use body paint to depict the tattooed warriors of old. It is dubbed as the Festival of Festivals; participants from the different municipalities of the province of Leyte join in the pageantry held in Tacloban City. Each contingent showcases their respective festivals in a street dancing competition.
Visitors from other places may want to get acquainted with the local customs and traditions of the regions they are planning to visit to avoid disconcerting experiences.
Rains may come in June but the Filipino people are known for their happy disposition and their love for festivities and merry-making. Every occasion is a reason for celebration, fun and laughter. Why don’t you come join in the fun. Just don’t forget to bring your umbrella.